[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: