Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
James A. Trostle,
Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Nathan at FlowingData.com posts a nice collection of traffic mapping examples.
Traffic visualizations, mostly in the form of geographic maps, have been popular lately. Governments and organizations have been releasing lots of GPS data, and as a result, we get to see some impressive animations and explore some slick interactives.
We don't often get to see how cars, trains, subways, airplanes, etc move in physical space, because, well, we're usually in them, so it's always interesting to see the big picture. The activity feels very organic as traffic peaks during rush hours and slows down during the night, taxis provide service to and from the airport, and air traffic continues into the late hours. The maps pulsate with energy.
Let's take a look at some of these great traffic visualizations, some new and some old.
Pedro Cruz's maps showing traffic in Lisbon (above) are the most recent on the list. They're another take on the ghostly trails aesthetic. Areas turn bright when there's more activity. Watch the animations play out over time.
Sha Hwang, now a part of Stamen Design, spun off of the fruminator's subway sparklines with a Modest Maps rendition of NYC MTA Ridership. Tracks get thicker with amount of estimated riders. Obviously, there's some interpolation going on.
We saw this one by The New York Times fairly recently, made possible by a collaboration between Sense Networks and New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission.
With the launch of data.gov.uk came a bunch of visualizations and applications. Ito World put together several maps that show car, bus, bicycle, and motorcycle traffic.
Taco Lab had some fun with public transit data. The animation looks a lot like ants scurrying around in the dark.
Cascade on Wheels by Steph Thirion and team was an effort during the Visualizar workshop to show traffic in Madrid's city center. In a bit of a different approach that we've seen, traffic was represented with rising “walls.”
AirTraffic Worldwide by Zhaw shows just that. Each yellow dot represents an airplane, and air traffic dies down as the cloud of darkness called night passes over the region.
Britain from Above by 422 South was created for a special segment on BBC. The series of videos revealed the ebb and flow of land and air traffic using GPS data.
Of course we can't talk about traffic visualization and maps without mentioning Stamen Design's Cabspotting. Launched way back in 2006, previous cab trails are drawn in the background, with current cabs driving around the city.
Finally, we can't forget Aaron Koblin's Flight Patterns, which (obviously) shows a day of flights in the United States according to an FAA dataset. It won a first place prize in the 2006 NSF visualization challenge.
See, I told you there was a lot of great stuff. Did I miss anything obvious? Leave a link in the comments below.
We have long been critical of newspapers' failure to marry data with real-time readers' interests. Interests like finding a cab in New York City. It's great to see the gang from the NYTimes doing some innovative mapping to truly present added-value to their product.
Note. Blocks that have fewer than one cab ride every two hours on average are not included in the data.
Open Source Maps Are Helping the World Bank Save Lives in Haiti BY ANYA KAMENETZFri Feb 19, 2010
An aid worker from the European Commission holds a PDF printout from OpenStreetMaps.
The humanitarian relief effort underway in Haiti is proving the true potential of open source map building. Don't take my word for it, follow the Tweets and blogs of my friend Schuyler Erle. He's on the ground in Port-au-Prince along with Tom Buckley, a developer of mapmaking program GeoCommons Maker. The pair are advising the World Bank on the use of crowd-sourced mapping, primarily through the open-source programOpenStreetMap, in the relief and recovery effort in Haiti. They are also dealing with rain, illness, PowerBar meals, World Bank contacts snowbound back in DC, and bureaucratic alphabet soup.
“Since mid-January, we've seen a whole set of interlocking technical communities swung into gear to piece together geographic information to help relief efforts after the earthquake in Haiti: OpenStreetMap, Ushahidi, CrisisMappers, and so on,” Erle writes. He's an open-source smart maps ninja–cofounder of OpenLayers, author of the books Mapping Hacksand Google Maps Hacks, and creator of a program that allowed for historians to make crowdsourced improvements to the New York Public Library's digital maps archive.
“The most amazing thing to me about this global response to the disaster is the degree to which volunteers have been able to make a significant impact on the relief situation while sitting at their own desks, thousands of miles away. OpenStreetMap, particularly, has been a model of distributed collaboration, with basically no one calling the shots, while a thousand people painstakingly build a map database of Haiti drawn from aerial and satellite imagery that's so detailed that the Ushahidi volunteers have to ask for a simpler version.”
Erle says the humanitarian applications of Geographic Information Systems may truly comes of age as a result of this disaster. “OpenStreetMap really *has* become the gold standard for base map data in the relief and recovery effort in Haiti.”
Photos by Schuyler Erle via Twitpic
Press Release 10-028
2009 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge Winners Announced
Winning entries appear in the Feb. 19 issue of Science
“Branching Morphogenesis” aims to reveal–through abstraction–the unseen beauty and dynamic relationships that exist between endothelial cells and their surrounding extracellular microenvironment. Movies of networking endothelial cells cultured on a 3-D matrix were analyzed to generate computational tools that simulate this process. Next, large-scale templates from simulations were overlaid with more than 75,000 inter-connected zipties.
Credit: Peter Lloyd Jones, Andrew Lucia, and Jenny E. Sabin, University of Pennsylvania's Sabin + Jones Lab Studio
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (9.8 MB)
Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.
Scanning electron micrograph of tiny plastic fingers around a sphere.
Tiny plastic fingers, each with a diameter 1/500th of a human hair, assemble around and hold a tiny sphere. The image brings to mind global efforts to promote the sustainability of the planet. The image was produced with a scanning electronic microscope and was digitally enhanced for color.
Add another book to the growing library of guides on how to make information graphics the right way. Dona M. Wong, former graphics director of The Wall Street Journal and now strategy director for information Design at Siegel+Gale, provides the dos and don'ts of data presentation in The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics.
Given Wong's background, you can make a pretty good guess about the examples used. They're not graphics from The Journal but they do look a lot like them. The book description also makes a point of highlighting that Wong was a student of Edward Tufte, which was a big hint on what the book is like.
The guide is on the smaller side at about 150 pages of content, but it's mostly a visual book. There is about as much text as there are graphic examples, which I like. [more]
Thanks to Steve Doig for the pointer:
Freakonomics – New York Times Blog
February 17, 2010, 3:00 pm
Predicting the Next Enron
Via the Wall Street Journal, here’s further evidence that companies “tweak” quarterly earnings numbers. Joseph Grundfest and Nadya Malenko analyzed almost half a million earnings reports from 1980-2006. They discovered that when companies want to appear more successful than they are, they often massage their per-share earnings numbers upward by a tenth of one cent. The evidence? The number 4 appears significantly less often than expected in the post-decimal digits of earnings reports. In the U.S., per-share earnings are reported as pennies, so bumping that post-decimal digit from a 4 to a 5 results in the overall number being rounded up by a full penny. Grundfest and Malenko call the practice quadrophobia. While the tweaking may be legal in some cases, the authors also found that “quadrophobes are more likely to restate financials and to be named as defendants in SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAER).” Or, as Grundfest told the Journal, quadrophobia serves as “a leading indicator of a company that’s going to have an accounting issue.”
GIS Data Show Relationship Between Violence, Liquor Retailers
February 17, 2010 in GIS, Social Science
Annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
18 – 22 February 2010, San Diego, California
As cities grapple with liquor-related violence, new data suggests zoning commissions may want to take a second look at where they put liquor retailers. IU Bloomington criminologist William Pridemore and Geographer Tony Grubesic are in the midst of analyzing new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data that seem to suggest violent crime is more likely to occur in the vicinity of stores that sell liquor expressly for off-premise consumption. Violence, they are learning, is less likely to occur near other types of establishments that offer alcohol, such as bars, pubs and restaurants. Pridemore and Grubesic have conducted their studies in Cincinnati (Ohio) neighborhoods using blocks as a unit of analysis. Pridemore led the research and is the session organizer. Grubesic will speak about the scientists’ collaborative research, which is using GIS and other spatial analysis techniques to learn more about human behavior patterns.
“Using GIS and Spatial Analysis To Better Understand Patterns and Causes of Violence,” Monday, Feb. 22, from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Room 5A
Grubesic and Pridemore will take part in a press briefing regarding “Using GIS and Spatial Analysis to Better Understand Patterns and Causes of Violence,” at 2:00 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 21, at the San Diego Convention Center. Please visit the Press Room beforehand for the event’s location (TBD).
To speak with Pridemore or Grubesic, please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 606-356-6551 or email@example.com.
[Source: Indiana University press release]
This looks to be a good book on backgrounding how police use — or do not use — GIS so a reporter can ask informed questions. Oh, did I mention that it's free?
“From the BACK COVER
This book, GIS for Public Safety, focuses on ESRI’s ArcGIS functionality (the most popular GIS software, worldwide) and presents many of the tools and techniques that are commonly used by public safety researchers, analysts, and practitioners. It gives simple steps for descriptive, exploratory, and explanatory mapping tasks and includes concise but meaningful discussions to let you critically assess and accurately apply the software to your own unique specialty. This provides a solid foundation for advanced spatial thinking and permits you to utilize GIS technology in your own innovative ways. Its comprehensive content makes it the perfect coursebook or reference manual for students, researchers, crime analysts, and other GIS users at all skill levels. To use a construction metaphor, this book is intended to teach a carpenter what tools are in his toolbox and how to use them. This instills confidence in his ability to apply these tools to any job when needed. Other books teach the carpenter specifically how to build a house. However, skills needed to build a house might fail the carpenter when he needs to build furniture instead. GIS for Public Safety focuses on a complete working knowledge of the toolbox to let the carpenter accurately apply the tools to his or her own unique specialty.”
From the Society of Newspaper Designers via FlowingData:
January 20th, 2010
By Kevin Quealy
One of The Times’ recent graphics, “A Peek Into Netflix Queues,” ended up being one of our more popular graphics of the past few months. (A good roundup of what people wrote is here). Since then, there have been a few questions about the how the graphic was made and Tyson Evans, a friend and colleague, thought it might interest SND members. (I bother Tyson with questions about CSS and Ruby pretty regularly, so I owe him a few favors.)
Most readers are probably interested in the interactive graphic, although I will say that we also ran a lovely full-page graphic in print in the Metropolitan section, which goes out to readers in the New York region. That graphic had a lot of interesting statistical analysis – in fact, it would have been nice to get some analysis in the web version, more on that later – but for this I will focus mostly on the web version. If there are questions about the print graphic, I will make sure I get Amanda Cox to try to explain cluster analysis to me again.
First is the data itself. Jo Craven McGinty, a CAR reporter, was in contact with Netflix to obtain a database of the top 50 movies in each ZIP code for every ZIP in the country. That’s about 1.9 million records. The database did not include the number of people renting the movie – just the rank. (We [more here: http://www.snd.org/2010/01/nyt-netflix-graphic ]