[Editor's note: These new DC-based websites display a wealth of information about the fifty U.S. states and around the world. Maps are presented both as simple choropleth (color by area) and animated non-continuous area cartograms of the type promoted by Zach Johnson over at IndieMapping. Click on the map above to see it animated to the cartogram view. Thanks Rick!
Quibbles: I wish the US map was projected into a conic like Albers and the World maps were projected, too. Some of the maps deserve a per capita view to best show their thematic data. That would be more telling than a simple cartogram. Or a cartogram that was based on per capita measure would be even better.]
From Spanish speakers to bales of cotton produced to number of UFO sightings, SHOW®USA (show.mappingworlds.com) displays each state’s numbers in animated, easy-to-understand maps that resize the state to the data rather than geographical area. The results are cartograms that bring the numbers to life–and reveal a few surprises.
“Look at our Tornado Deaths map, for instance,” says the site’s creator, Desmond Spruijt. “The most people killed last year by tornadoes were in Florida. It makes you wonder why it wasn’t in the Midwest, where our Tornadoes map shows the most storms. It turns out states like Oklahoma have better warning systems and more storm shelters, not to mention fewer people. The visual presentation makes you think about the data, to understand it better.”
Spruijt is founder of MappingWorlds, a company that helps government, non-profit, and business clients worldwide create innovative maps and cartograms. SHOW®USA is the sister site of SHOW®WORLD, which presents maps with data on the countries of the world in the same way.
SHOW®USA and SHOW®WORLD are free for public use, with no registration or personal information collected. Users can download the numbers behind the maps, which come from dozens of sources like the U.S. Census Bureau, capture and use an image of a map with animation, hyperlink to any map, and post comments about each one–all at no charge.
“To us, maps are more than pictures, they are communication and education tools,” says Spruijt. “We want people to use the SHOW®USA maps in slide shows or research papers, in the classroom–wherever our maps can make simple numbers come alive–and also to start conversations about them on our site. SHOW®USA and SHOW®WORLD also show off the kind of innovative maps we create for our clients at MappingWorlds.”
Spruijt founded MappingWorlds in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 2004. The company’s clients include the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
The maps available on SHOW®USA touch on nearly every aspect of the land and people of America. Some of the current maps include: Hispanics, rural population, people with disabilities, drunk driving deaths, U.S. military deaths in Iraq, people without health insurance, strawberry production, natural gas reserves, casinos, federal farm support received, electoral college votes, food stamp recipients, gay marriages, murders, hate crimes, immigrants, charitable contributions, foreclosures, roller coasters, number of presidents born in each state, and Bigfoot sightings. With 141 maps so far, the site is still adding data and plans to have several hundred maps on display.
For those without Flash, JPG versions of the embedded SWF above:
[Editor's note: January begins newspaper design association page contest season. We came across this graphic looking thru our 2008 work in the Washington Post and was reminded how it fits in with my geography and projections as network topology thesis. Lines on this map of "Major Global Trade Routes" of oil connect each geographic feature with related geographic features. Weights are given to each connection and represented visually. Overall the network is conformal to real geography in a top level abstract sense, but the connections (flow lines) between them shine. Kudos to Renée, now at the Wall Street Journal.]
Reprinted from The Washington Post, July 27, 2008.
In the time it takes most people to read this sentence, the world will have used up (forever) about 9,520 barrels of oil. At 40,000 gallons per second, it’s going fast.
The United States plays a central role in the global energy system as the largest consumer, the largest importer and the third-largest producer of oil in the world. With use of this finite resource rising at breakneck speed, will the world have enough to meet its needs, and will it be able to afford it?
TOP OIL PRODUCERS Where does the oil come from? Just three countries — Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States — pump about 31 percent of the world’s oil. More than 9 million barrels per day of crude oil (plus another 1 million barrels per day of liquids derived from natural gas) are being extracted from the reserves underneath Saudi Arabia, the world’s single largest oil producer.
TOP OIL CONSUMERS Every day, the U.S. consumes more than 20 million barrels — almost one-fourth of all the oil used in the world and more than two times as much as the second-biggest consumer, China. Consumption in most developed countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Italy, hovers around 2 million barrels a day — barely a tenth of that used by the U.S.
[Editor's note: China has surpassed the USA as the #1 worst fossil fuels polluter in the world, according to the Guardian. They have updated their Carbon Atlas with new numbers and an interactive version, shown below (still has Dorling cartograms!). I earlier blogged about last year's print version here. Data is from Energy Information Administration. Seen at designnotes.info. I like the little animated hand on the graphic showing that it can be interacted with.]
New figures confirm that China has overtaken the US as the largest emitter of CO2. This interactive emissions map shows how the rest of the world compares. Global C02 emissions totaled 29,195m tonnes in 2006 – up 2.4% on 2005.
The reception to my Toni Mair photo essay blog post continues to blow my mind. The first day it was up on March 11th my site got 17,000 page views (7,500 unique) with 97% of those being just for that blog post! If you haven’t seen it already, check it out here. Since then it’s gotten nearly 30,000 hits, the bulk of which come from a link-sharing site called stumbleupon.com. Hot damn! Another popular post has been about the Carbon Atlas featuring Dorling cartograms.
I started my blog at the end of November just to ramble about this and that and mostly just keep track of things that interest me; like an annotated bookmark list (complete with a tag cloud). Since then my blog has hosted visitors from 123 countries on all the continents and every state in the union. 75% of you are on Windows but 75% are using Firefox and not Internet Explorer. Only 2% are on dialup. Source: Google Analytics.
I have a followup to the Toni Mair piece planned next month so please stayed tuned :)
The Washington Post won 12 awards from SND’s annual contest this year. The Society for News Design awarded NewsArt where I work 5 individual graphics awards and one “staff graphic portfolio” or general art department excellence. One of these was for Laura and Brenna’s Operation Turkey graphic which I promoted here last year. Laris and April received one for their full-page map of the Cherry Blossoms last spring, too.
(From NCGIA) A Dorling cartogram maintains neither shape, topology nor object centroids, though it has proven to be a very effective cartogram method. To create a Dorling cartogram, instead of enlarging or shrinking the objects themselves, the cartographer will replace the objects with a uniform shape, usually a circle, of the appropriate size. Professor Dorling (…) suggests that the shapes not overlap but rather be moved so that the full area of each shape can be seen.
Carbon Atlas Details
Note how the world map below shows true geography and establishes the region color code. Graduated circles, by region, establish proportions between regions and later iterate onto the background of the Europe detail image. Circles are labeled by rank on the main map (Europe clip below). Graduated circle labels could have been augmented with the 2 digit county code in many cases (e.g. 64CH for Switzerland). Use the table at the very bottom to lookup the rank number by continent to get the country name, total tons of C02 emissions, and ton-per-person equivalent.
I prefer this automated charting method as it emphasizes proportions while still approximating geographic relationships (spatial proximity) yet avoiding the abstract art distortion noise common in the fish eye method. Some cartograms do a better job preserving shape while scaling it proportionally to the data theme like this map of Oil Reserves where a fish eye algorithm might have guided creation of final art but the original shapes are better preserved. Automated routines are available for the Dorling method (including non-overlap) and the fish eye method.
Prof. Dorling is now involved in WorldMapper.org which uses a fish-eye lense effect to generate cartograms like this one. Some areas like Africa are relatively easy to digest. The Americas have turned into an ink-blot fractal. High marks for thematic coverage in the online atlas project, though. The fish eye artifacts are partly negated in this project by comparing so many different maps in sequence, especially with the selective use of animation.