Posts Tagged ‘dorling’

Political prerogative in the embassies (Kelso via Wash Post)

Monday, October 26th, 2009

gr2009102300322

[Editor's note: I created this bivariate Dorling cartogram for Al's column on Friday. The bubbles are grouped by geographic region show number of total ambassadors and the subset (in red) who have been political appointees the last 49 years. The subset is aligned bottom middle instead of sharing the same center point as the total bubble. If you haven't seen our Head Count interactive database tracking all Obama's federal appointments, check it out!]

Republished from The Washington Post. Reported by Al Kamen.

Just after the election in November, we wrote that an Obama administration was likely to eschew “the traditional sale of most ambassadorships, so aptly carried on during the Bush administration.” The chatter was that the new team would pick political types, but with some foreign policy cred — as the Clinton administration tended to do — and maybe reduce the percentage of politicals in favor of more career Foreign Service officers.

Yeah, well, we must have been eschewing something. The fat-cat contributors naturally got the plum postings, as usual.

But judging from data compiled by the American Foreign Service Association, the career employees union, it appears that Obama is on track to reduce, at least marginally, the percentage of jobs going to contributors and cronies. While there are still a lot of vacancies, AFSA officials project that Obama is likely to end the year appointing fewer political folks than either Bush or Clinton to the 181 ambassadorial postings — but still too many, as far as the career diplomats are concerned.

About 30.1 percent of Bush’s ambassadors during his eight years were political folks, AFSA found. Clinton’s average, 33 percent politicals, was higher, but Clinton’s folks were a mix of non-career people who actually knew a lot about the countries or regions to which they were named and pure cash types — our favorite was hotelier Larry Lawrence for Switzerland, the guy whose body was exhumed from Arlingon National Ceremony when it turned out he lied about being in the Merchant Marine.

If Obama’s first-year total ends up slightly lower than Bush’s, then Obama’s eventual four-year — or eight-year — percentages will probably be clearly lower than his immediate predecessors’, we’re told, because the first round of appointments tends to skew more to paying off politicals than do the later rounds.

Of course, the politically connected still get the finer spots in the Caribbean and Western Europe. As the accompanying chart shows, the career diplomats head to somewhat less delightful (even nasty) postings in Central Asia (100 percent career since 1960), the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Since 1960, no Foreign Service officer has ever run the embassy in Dublin and only one, Ray Seitz, has gone to the Court of St. James’s in London. On the other hand, no political appointee has ever gone to Chad and only one has gone to Bulgaria.

See AFSA’s full data at http://www.afsa.org/ambassadors.cfm.

SOURCE: American Foreign Service Association, data 1960 through today. | Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso and Karen Yourish/The Washington Post – October 23, 2009

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Early Cartograms (IndieMaps)

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

[Editor's note: Enjoy these examples of early cartograms from Zach Johnson's thesis research.]

Excerpted from IndieMaps.
Originally published there Dec. 8, 2009.

I’m kind of on a cartogram kick lately. I’m interested in the pioneers of the form, those who first thought to distort borders and explode topologies in order to convey the distribution of some thematic variable. When was the first cartogram produced, where, and by whom? I ran into a lot of material while researching my thesis; this post only begins the discussion.

1868

The honor typically goes to Émile Levasseur for the diagrammatic maps contained in his 1868 and 1875 economic geography textbooks.

early diagrammatic map by Levasseur

H. Gray Funkhouser (1937) wrote of these “colored bar graphs”,

squares proportional to the extent of surfaces, population, budget, commerce, merchant marine of the countries of Europe, the squares being grouped about each other in such a manner as to correspond to their geographical position

Interestingly, Waldo Tobler (2004) points out that the example printed by Funkhouser (above) was sized by land area and thus not a true value-by-area cartogram. I don’t have access to Levasseur’s texts, and it’s odd that the only available scan of Levasseur’s first cartogram shows a diagrammatic map, not a true cartogram.

1897

On the other hand is the image below, whose units are definitely sized to the data, but whose geographic arrangement is questionable. I first saw this page from an 1897 Rand McNally Atlas of the World in a SpatialCollective post; a high res version is available from the David Rumsey Map Collection.

a bubble chart, perhaps a circular cartogram, from an 1897 atlas

Circles on the left are sized proportional to population, those on the right to debt. Though the arrangement seems haphazard, geography is not ignored as the circles are grouped together by continent. I don’t really buy these as cartograms, but they’re certainly a predecessor to the circular cartogram form popularized by Danny Dorling nearly 100 years later.

Continue reading at IndieMaps . . .

Climate Change: The Carbon Atlas (Guardian)

Friday, December 19th, 2008

[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.]

Republished from the Guardian.Christine Oliver, Tuesday 9 December 2008.

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.

Read more in the associated article at Guardian.

Country Codes of the World Map / Cartogram

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

[Editor's note: think of Dorling Cartograms but as tag clouds. Republished from ByteLevel.com. Thanks Aly!]

Country Codes of the World

A whole new way of looking at the world

At the end of every URL and email address is a top-level domain (TLD). Although .com is the world’s most popular TLD, it is far from alone. There are more than 260 TLDs in use around the world, most of which are country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). The Country Codes of the World map includes 245 country codes, which encompasses all United Nations countries as well as numerous islands and territories. Each two-digit code is aligned over the country it represents and is color coded with the legend below for quick and easy reference.

High-quality print, suitable for framing

The map measures 24 inches by 36 inches and is printed on high-quality, 80 lb. uncoated cover stock with a one-inch margin to accommodate most frames.

Each ccTLD is sized relative to the population of the country or territory, with the exception of China and India, which were restrained by 30% to fit the layout. At the other end of the spectrum, the smallest type size used reflects those countries with fewer than 10 million residents.

This map is an excellent resource for managers of global Web sites and global marketing executives. And because there are no country borders, this map has been proven by teachers to be a valuable tool for teaching world geography.


Bulk orders. Media requests.
One company recently ordered more than a hundred copies for its global Web teams — and saved money by ordering in bulk. If you would like a price quote, please contact John Yunker.

We’re also happy to send sample copies to qualified members of the media.

Map conceived and designed by John Yunker

This map is a registered trademark of Byte Level Research, LLC. All rights reserved.

Wow, How Fast Time Flies (Kelso)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

It’s been a year since I launched my site to promote some of the scripting (programming) work I was doing and to list useful plugins for Adobe Illustrator other cartographers and graphic designers. I launched my blog soon after to note websites, graphics, and concepts that attracted my attention. It’s proven a useful notepad to organize these for my reference and to share with others.

Some stats to geek out with:

All-time most popular blog posts:
Meet Toni Mair — Terrain Artist Extraordinaire

Dorling Cartograms – Carbon Atlas – SND Awards

Recent top blog posts:
Anything iPhone and GPS
GPS Kit – New software app for iPhone 3G (Kelso)

iPhone GPS with iTrail and RunKeeper (Kelso)

Mapping and GPS on the iPhone, Part 2

Mapping and GPS on the iPhone

Total blog pageviews: 60,000 since Nov. 29th, 2007.

Total site pageviews (including blog): 87,000 since Oct. 8th, 2007.

Site visitors are from all around the world including 154 countries and all 50 states (please excuse the terrible Google maps. Darker colors = more visitors. “City” views not comprehensive.):

Most visitors use Firefox or Safari (only 25% use Internet Explorer). Windows users account for 70% with most the rest on the Mac, though a couple Wii, Playstation, and iPhone users. Almost everyone has at least a 17″ monitor with over 75% having a larger monitor size up to 1920 x 1200. Most everyone has some version of Flash Player 9 installed. Only 2% are on dialup (though 28% do not list their connection speed). All these stats are from Google Analytics, a very awesome free tool that Google uses to pump their ad sales.

A Map of Olympic Medals (NY Times)

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

[Editor's note: Supremely awesome animated and interactive Dorling cartogram based timeline showing which countries won how many Olympic medals going back to the beginning in 1896. The geography view is the cartogram. The Rank view is sized bubbles (circles) sorted by medals. Countries are color coded by continent. MouseOver has medal breakdown for the country that year. Click on a country and the full athlete details comes up below the map. Would be nice if the athlete breakdown travels along with the year slider and had an option to minimize. Thanks Laris!]

View interactive on the New York Times site . . .

Circles are sized by the number of medals each country won in past summer Olympic Games. Click on a country to display a list of its medal winners.

Graphic by: Lee Byron, Amanda Cox and Matthew Ericson/The New York Times

Related content on my blog about cartograms:

ny times dorling olympics

olympics rank