Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Super Commuting

A new report from NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management details the rise of the "super commuter" - someone who commutes from one metropolitan area to another. The report is summarized in an article in the Atlantic Cities. This map shows "non-local labor sheds" for major U. S. cities.

The stars are the commuting destinations while the graduated circles represent the home areas of commuters from outside the region. I like the gratuitous inclusion of Puerto Rico at the bottom right of these maps.

According to the study, these commuters tend to be younger people with modest incomes and may be making these commutes to take advantage of more affordable housing. Many of them probably don't need to show up in the office more than a couple of times a week. Two of the top super commutes are Houston to Dallas and Dallas to Houston. Sounds like a recipe for a house swap reality show.

I grabbed this image directly from the report as a typical detail of one of these areas - in this case Chicago.

 The darker reds represent larger percentage increases. While Detroit had the largest percentage increase, it is still coming from a much smaller number of actual commuters,. Cities such as Champaign and Saint Louis had higher absolute increases. I don't know why Milwaukee is so much smaller than the other cities when it is so close by - better job market there?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spying on Those You Care About

My wife is flying through thunderstorms from Philadelphia to Fort Myers, Florida. I just got a free iPhone app called "Flight Aware" so I can see where she is. You can also see the thunderstorms moving out to sea.

I can also see what kind of air traffic she'll be up against in the area.

And take look at the airport area to see how much more traveling she needs to do from the airport. This is almost as cool as Passur's live airport monitors!

UPDATE - she made it! Thank you airline industry!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Akihabara-Japan's Electronics Market

My September, 2008 issue of Nipponia magazine features Akihabara. This district of Tokyo has become the world's largest collection of electronics stores as well as a lifestyle mecca for fans of manga, anime and video games.
The printed copy has a large centerfold map of the district-here's a copy from their web site.

The red and dark blue dots are electronic stores and parts stores. Orange are computers and peripherals. Pink dots are pop culture stores and light blue dots are places that sell mini cars, train sets and robots. The map also shows you where you can get canned bread, o-den ("chunks of food") and other delicacies.

The green dots are maid cafes. These are cafes where you can live out your video game fantasies (aka cosplay) by being served by maids who will refer to you as "My Lord and Master" or "Your Ladyship" and may cast spells or draw pictures in ketchup on your food. Most customers are male - big surprise!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Pennsylvania Underground Railroad

To honor black history month, I went digging for maps. While the Underground Railroad is only a piece of that history, it has some of the most interesting map content. I came across this nice map of Underground Railroad sites around Kennett Square in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Quakers from the area were active in the abolitionist movement. The map is from the Kennett Square Underground Railroad Center.

A large print of the map is available here. Below is a detail:

I also found this schematic of the area from the website of Singing Wid a Sword in Ma Han  - a musical docudrama of the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania playing in New York City.

For a complete picture of the Railroad's breadth, here is a map from Slavery in America.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Unexploded Vacation

This week I am on vacation on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, a former U. S. Navy bombing range. Thanks to the protests of the local residents we can now enjoy it without fear of an air raid. The beaches are excellent but be careful of unexploded ordnance.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Maps from Memory

Illustrator Ellis Nadler started a group on flickr for maps drawn From Memory. There's a nice variety of artistry and accuracy here. One of the better ones is Montreal de memoire from Axel Drainville.

User 4ojos has some very nice maps on flickr. Here's Goa.

For some enjoyable inaccuracy here is the Nadler's Brazil featuring Rio on the wrong side of the Amazon and in the wrong hemisphere.

Brazil map from memory

His Australia's a little off too...

australia map from memory

...but not as bad as the one drawn by his "highly educated" friend.

Australia map from memory

Nadler simplifies London in case you get lost.
Map from memory

Here's his solar system in case you get lost there.
Map of solar system from memory

There's many more fun maps on this group so go waste some quality time!