Posts Tagged ‘maps’
In 2012, 437,000 people were killed worldwide, yielding a global average murder rate of 6.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. A third of those homicides occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean, home to just 8% of the world’s population. But data on violent death can be difficult to obtain, since governments are often reluctant to share their homicide statistics. What data is available is sometimes inconsistent and inconclusive.
To make this data clear and to better address the problem of global homicide, a new open-source visualization tool, the Homicide Monitor, tracks the total number of murders and murder rates per country, broken down by gender, age and, where the data is available, the type of weapon used, including firearms, sharp weapons, blunt weapons, poisoning, and others. For the most violent region in the world, the 40 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, you can also see statistics by state and city. That geographic specificity helps to underscore an important point about murders, says Robert Muggah, the research director and program coordinator for Citizen Security at the Rio de Janeiro-based Igarapé Institute, in the above-lined story: “In most cities, the vast majority of violence takes place on just a few street corners, at certain times of the day, and among specific people.”
* William Shakespeare, Macbeth
As we reach for the kevlar, we might recall that it was on this date in 1637 (or nearabouts, as closely as scholars can say) that Cardinal Richelieu introduced the first table knives (knives with rounded edges)–reputedly to cure dinner guests of the unsavory habit of picking their teeth with the knife-points of the daggers that were, until then, used to cut meat at the table. Years later, in 1669, King Louis XIV followed suit, forbidding pointed knives at his table; indeed, he extended the prohibition, banning pointed knives in the street in an attempt to reduce violence.
Cartographer Daniel Huffman has created a series of maps in which American river systems are visualized as subway maps (specifically, in the manner of Harry Beck’s 1930s London Tube maps), with nodes representing connections between streams and tributaries.
Huffman strikes a particular chord in the map-lover’s heart. On an Internet brimming with sleek, sharp geo-visualizations, Huffman’s maps offer a sweetly idiosyncratic view of the world. The signatures of historic figures turn into street vectors. Oregon’s wine country gets the ‘90s computer-game treatment. A simple bike path becomes a work of calligraphy.
“What it really probably comes down to is a desire to do things differently than others,” he says in an email. “I crave variety, and so it often leads me to thinking of weird ideas and saying, ‘I wonder if I can do X[.]’”
Lately, a trend has emerged out of Huffman’s impulses towards novelty—an idea he calls “Modern Naturalism,” in which his maps present natural features in the type of “highly-abstracted, geometrically precise visual language that we often apply to the constructed world on maps,” according to his website…
More on Huffman and his marvelous maps at “When Rivers Look Like Subway Systems.”
* Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
As we hop onto our rafts, we might send healing birthday greetings to Florence Nightingale, born on this date in 1820. Famed for her work as a nurse in the Crimean War, she went on to found training facilities and nursing homes– pioneering both medical training for women and what is now known as Social Entrepreneuring. Less well-known are Nightingale’s contributions to epidemiology, statistics, and the visual communication of data in the field of public health. Always good at math, she pioneered the use of the polar area chart (the equivalent to a modern circular histogram or rose diagram) and popularized the pie chart (which had been developed in 1801 by William Playfair). Nightingale was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society, and later became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.
Nobody lives here: The nearly 5 million Census Blocks with zero population
A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics. As of the 2010 census, the United States consists of 11,078,300 Census Blocks. Of them, 4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them. Despite having a population of more than 310 million people, 47 percent of the USA remains unoccupied.
Green shading indicates unoccupied Census Blocks. A single inhabitant is enough to omit a block from shading.
As we search for signs of intelligent life, we might spare a thought for Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; he died on this date in 1955. A Jesuit theologian, philosopher, geologist, and paleontologist, he conceived the idea of the Omega Point (a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving) and developed Vladimir Vernadsky‘s concept of noosphere. Teilhard took part in the discovery of Peking Man, and wrote on the reconciliation of faith and evolutionary theory. His thinking on both these fronts was censored during his lifetime by the Catholic Church (in particular for its implications for “original sin”); but in 2009, they lifted their ban.
An endonym is the name for a place, site or location in the language of the people who live there. These names may be officially designated by the local government or they may simply be widely used.
This map depicts endonyms of the countries of the world in their official or national languages. In cases where a country has more than one national or official language, the language that is most widely used by the local population is shown…
See and explore the whole world at “Endonyms of the World.”
* George III
As we contemplate connecting across cultural differences, we might recall that it was on this date in 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell first spoke through his experimental “telephone”– to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, in the next room. Bell wrote in his notebook, “I then shouted into M [the mouthpiece] the following sentence: ‘Mr. Watson–come here–I want to see you.’ To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said.”
“If the people of New Zealand want to be part of our world, I believe they should hop off their islands, and push ’em closer”*…
World Maps Without New Zealand is a stupid side project an attempt to raise the awareness of a very serious and troubling issue we are seeing taking place all around the world: the disrespectful cartographical neglect towards the country that gave you such amazing things as Lord of the Rings, Flight of the Conchords, Lorde, and ZORB. Here, we collect and share the real world examples of this atrocity.
The blog is curated by this guy, who is a humble Auckland based web developer by day, and an extra lazy one by night…
Many, many more at “World Maps Without New Zealand“–“It’s not a very important country most of the time…”
* Lewis Black
As we get antipodeal, we might recall that it was on this date in 1954, at an athletics meeting in Gisborne (New Zealand), that Yvette Williams broke the long jump record held by Dutch athlete Francine Blankers-Koen. Williams record of 20 feet 7½ inches (6.29 m) stood for another 18 months.
Williams had already achieved international recognition by winning Gold in the Long Jump event at the at the 1950 Commonwealth Games and at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. She took Gold again at the Commonwealth Games later in 1954, but did not surpass her own record. She was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame in 1990.
“Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’… Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land”*…
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC. Until you look at the title to the land. The federal government owns large tracts of the western states: from a low of 29.9% in Montana, already more than the national average, up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada…
More on government land, the uses to which it is put, and the issues it raises at “How the West Is Owned.”
* John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
As we wonder what Horace Greeley was on about, we might recall that it was on this date in 1601 that agents of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, paid Shakespeare’s theater troupe, The Lord Chamberlin’s Men, to perform Richard II. The group had been reluctant to dust off the by-then old piece of repertoire, but were convinced by a 40 shilling “gratuity.” Essex’s purpose in the endeavor was to stir the public against Queen Elizabeth (who identified– and was identified with– the childless, and thus heir-less Richard II, who is deposed in the play).
Essex had squandered and blundered his way into financial trouble and out of the Queen’s graces; desperate, he had plotted a rebellion that he launched two days after the play’s performance– only to find that he had garnered no support at all from the people. He was quickly captured by Elizabeth’s Lord High Admiral (the Earl of Nottingham) and his men, tried, convicted, and on February 25th, less than two weeks after his patronage of the stage, beheaded at the Tower of London.
This year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of William Smith’s extraordinary map, “A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales with part of Scotland“– the first geological map to identify the layers of rock based on the fossils they contained rather than on their composition.
Smith revolutionized the study of geological time and the order of the succession of life, and established the founding principles for geological surveys worldwide; accordingly, he is considered the “Father of Stratigraphy.” And as he helped British geology become a science, he is also known as the “Father of English Geology.”
* Tuzo Wilson (one of the fathers of the theory of plate tectonics)
As we think about the land in three (nay, four) dimensions, we might spare a thought for William Morris Davis; he died on this date in 1934. A geographer, geologist, and meteorologist, his most substantial contribution was probably the development of geomorphology, the scientific study of landforms and their evolution. Specifically, he described a “geographic cycle,” or “cycle of erosion,” explaining the way in which rivers create valleys and elevate land masses. When Davis retired from Harvard in 1911, the study of landscape evolution was dominated by his theories. Since then, several facets of his theory have been superceded (in part by plate tectonics thinking, as advanced by Tuzo Wilson), though the evolutionary orientation of his theory still informs the field.
Davis was a founder of the Association of American Geographers in 1904, and heavily involved with the National Geographic Society in its early years. He is considered the “father of American geography”; his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a National Landmark.