Saturday, June 24, 2017

City Cycling Stress Scores

Moovel Lab's What the Street? provides an interesting analysis of how much space is dedicated to cars, to cycling and to trains in cities around the world. According to What the Street cyclists in most cities around the world can typically expect much less than ten percent of the physical space that is dedicated to cars.

The quality of a city's cycling network however is far more than just a reflection of the amount of physical space dedicated to bikes. It also relies on how well a cycling network connects people to the places that they want to go and to the levels of stress that they experience while on their bikes. PlacesForBikes has therefore carried out a detailed analysis of local bike networks across the United States and ranked its towns and cities on how good they are for cycling.

The PlacesForBikes Bicycle Network Analysis allows you to view the results of this cycling network census in 299 towns and cities. You can view an interactive map for each town and city. The maps show the selected city's street colored according to their cycling stress score. Each map also includes the town or city's overall Bicycle Network Analysis score and individual scores for how easy it is for the population to access different places (e.g. parks, stores and health services) by bike.

You can read more about how the Bicycle Network Analysis scores are calculated on the PlacesForBikes Methodology page. The methodology partly relies on how streets are tagged on OpenStreetMap in terms of the roadway characteristics important to bikes and cyclists.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sonnets on the Streets of Seattle

Seattle is a city 'full of cannabis craving lovers ... and power hungry sharks'. It is also a city full of poets and bards. Some of whom can be found on this Seattle poetry map.

For two years Claudia Castro Luna has been Seattle's Civic Poet. To mark the end of her residency as Civic Poet Claudia has launched an interactive map of Seattle poetry. The Seattle Poetic Grid is a collection of poems by Seattle residents who took part in poetry writing sessions during Claudia's residence program at the Seattle Public Library.

The map features both established poets and those who are new to the art. Each of the featured poems on the map provides an insight into how Seattle locations can infuse and inspire. You can inspire yourself simply by clicking on the markers on the map and reading that location's featured poem.

If you don't live in Seattle you might still be able to find poems written about places nearby. The Representative Poetry Online (RPO) from the University of Toronto Libraries has created a Google Map called Places of Poems & Poets. This map allows you to search the RPO poetry collection by location

Alternatively you could search the Poetry Atlas. The Poetry Atlas is a Google Map that is trying to map poems that mention specific locations around the world.

The Rent in Spain Falls Mainly Down the Drain

Renting an apartment in Madrid or Barcelona is becoming very difficult for anyone who isn't already rich or a high earner. Like many other cites in the developed world a number of factors have combined to price many people out of being able to afford to rent an apartment in Spain's two most populous cities.

Tell Me How Much You Can Afford and I'll Tell You Where to Live explains the problems of renting in Madrid and Barcelona. It also explores the reasons behind the high rents and then suggests some possible solutions. The article includes an interactive map which allows you to explore how much salary you need to rent in different neighborhoods in both cities. The map allows you to enter your monthly salary and the size of the apartment that you want to rent. The city's neighborhoods are then colored on the map to show the percentage of your salary that you would need to be able to rent in that area of the city.

The map also includes a timeline control which allows you to compare the current situation to previous years. Therefore if you are depressed by the current situation you can depress yourself further by sliding the years back to see how far back in time you would have to travel before you could afford to rent in Barcelona or Madrid.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Degradation of the Amazon Rainforests

Most people are aware of the devastating effect of deforestation on the Amazon Rainforest. Not so many people are aware of the equally worrying 'degradation' of forests. With deforestation the forest is completely cleared and left for pasture, monoculture or simply abandoned. Forest degradation is the thinning of tree density which leads to the removal of important biodiversity. It is often caused by logging, fire, drought or hunting.

The extensive forest clearance caused by deforestation can be relatively easy to spot using aerial surveys or even satellite imagery. Forest degradation on the other hand can be a lot harder to monitor from the air as the tree canopy can still exist above the thinning tree density.

The Silent Forest project has been started by a team of Brazilian and foreign scientists to assess the extent and impact of forest degradation in the Amazon Rainforest. As part of this monitoring the project has released an interactive map to show Contributing Factors to Degradation in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. The map shows the extent to which fire, logging, hunting and fragmentation are leading to forest degradation.

The Silent Forest website also includes a hexagon grid map of the Brazilian state of ParĂ¡. The grid map shows the percentage loss of biodiversity across the whole state.

Where Cars Rule the City Streets

Do you know how much physical space in your town or city is dedicated to cars, to bikes and to trains? Moovel Lab has been analyzing OpenStreetMap data to answer this question and to provide a Mobility Space Report for major cities around the world. What the Street? allows you to explore these Mobility Space Reports and to view the amount of space dedicated to the three different modes of transport in your favorite cities.

Before exploring a city on What the Street? you are asked to enter your own guess as to how much city space you think is allocated to cars, trains and bikes. After you have made your guess you can then explore the results.

The results for each mode of transport is presented in a long scrollable visualization of all the individual spaces dedicated to each form of transit. For example for cars you get to scroll through all of the city's streets and parking lots. As you scroll through the visualization a total is kept of the amount of space dedicated to cars. Don't worry - you don't have to scroll through the whole city and a link allows you to skip to the end of the visualization.

After you have finished scrolling through all the city's streets, rails and bike lanes you can see how good your initial guess was. Your guess is compared to the actual results and to the guesses made by other users. The results page also includes some useful information about the city, such as the longest street and street name.

The city is then compared to the other cities around the world. This comparison includes its ranking as a city for driving, biking or taking the train.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Name the City from its Bike Lanes

The Guardian has a fun map game which requires you to guess cities around the world based solely on maps of their bike lanes. The maps were created by Bike Citizens using their bike mapping data. Each city map consists of just protected bike lanes (blue lines) and painted lanes (grey lines).

There are twelve city maps in all in Can you guess the city from its bike lane maps. All you have to do is choose the correct answer for each city map from a choice of three possible answers.

I got 10 out of 12 of the questions correct. I won't tell you which cities I got wrong as that would give you the answer to two of the trickier cities. I was amazed by how many cities I could recognize just from their bike lanes. I obviously spend far too much time looking at maps.

The UK Election Dot Map

The Colours of the Election is a dot map which provides a view of the geographical distribution of votes cast in the 2017 UK election. Each dot on the map represents 250 votes for one of the political parties. The dots are randomly distributed within each electoral area.

At the electoral ward level a random distribution of colored dots is obviously not the best way to present the number of votes cast for each political party. This data would be much more legible visualized as a bar graph. In fact randomizing the numbers within each constituency could be confusing as it suggests that the data is shown geographically - when in fact the data is just randomly distributed.

When you view the data at a regional level the data does begin to make more sense and the geographical distribution of votes for each political party can begin to emerge from the map. For example the regional view of London shows the dominance of Labour in inner London. The Conservatives voters are more concentrated in a ring in the suburbs outside of the center. This ring is broken in the south-west where the Liberal Democrats have a small pocket of support.

The question remains about whether this dot map view shows a more detailed picture of the number of votes cast for each party than a traditional election map. Here's the Evening Standard's static map of the 2017 election results in London.

I would argue that the Evening Standard map is at least as good, if not better, at showing where the different parties have the most support in London. In fact you could easily add a more refined analysis to the Evening Standard map by adding pop-up bar charts showing the total number of votes cast for each party in each electoral district.

What I do like about the Colours of the Election map is the responsive bar chart. This graph shows the total number of votes cast for each party for the current map view. This means that you can zoom and pan the map to explore the number of votes cast for each of the political parties in different parts of the UK. The date control also allows you to make a useful comparison between the support for each of the parties in this election and in previous elections.

How to Make a Travel Time Map

Mapbox has released a new plugin which allows you to add an isochrone layer to your Mapbox powered maps. The Mapbox Isochrone plugin visualizes how far you can travel in different periods of time.

You can see how the ischrone plugin works on this demo map. You can adjust the starting position by dragging and dropping the car icon on the map. If you switch to the 'Quantized' view the map switches to display stepped isolines, showing how far you can travel in incremental steps of time.

The Mapbox Isochrone plugin works with three different modes of travel: driving, cycling and walking. You can discover a little more about how the plugin generates the travel times for the different modes of travel on the Mapbox blog, Add Isochrones to Your Next Application.

You can also use the Route360 API to add an isochrone layer to your maps. Route360's API provides developer access to their isochrone library. The API has been designed to provide simple access to the Route360 isochrone travel time library from the Leaflet.js mapping platform.

Using the Route360 JavaScript API you can add a travel time isochrone layer to a Leaflet map. The API allows for users to view bike, car or walking travel-time isochrone layers on a Leaflet map. The API includes options to add a time control, so that the transit isochrone travel times will adjust to a transit network's schedule of operations.

The GraphHopper Isochrone API also provides travel times for bike, car or walking. You can view the API in action on this demo map. You can get details on how much the API costs on the Pricing page.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Trump's Huge Conflict of Interest Map

So many people ask me this. They ask me where does the president have great conflict of interests. I tell them Donald Trump has the best conflicts of interest. The corruption is big. I never realized how big it was. I really just see the bigness of it all.

You know Obama worked on it for years, got zippo, zero. Me, the people just call me up, they say, ‘Donald, can we just give you the money?’ I say, ‘Absolutely, yes.’ But some people don't get it. They don't want to give you the money. In which case they're very, very stupid people. Sad.

Here, you can take this, that's the final map of the numbers. It's pretty good, right? It's called the Trump’s Conflicts of Interest map. The black is obviously us. There's some countries you can't break through, you can't. It's sad. You can't. There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with them. But forget them. Have you seen all the black countries on the map. That's a tremendous success ... That's another thing that nobody talks about. The success. So much success.

Take that Qaddafi. I dealt with Qaddafi. I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for two years, and then I didn't let him use the land. That's what we should be doing. I screwed him. But nobody wants to talk about that.

Mapping Death from Global Warming

In 2003 in Europe 70,000 people died during an extreme heatwave. As global warming increases countries around the world are likely to experience more and more periods of life threatening extreme heat. By the year 2100 it is estimated that 74% of the world's population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves.

The University of Hawaii has released an interactive map which predicts the number of deadly days we can expect from extreme heat around the world for each year up to 2100. Heatwaves: Number of deadly heat days provides a timeline control which allows you to select any year from 1950-2100. The blue dots on the map show historic extreme heat events that have occurred around the world before 2014.

If you click on the map you can view two charts for the selected location. One chart visualizes the number of yearly deadly days over time and the other shows the humidity vs. temperature for the current year.