Posts Tagged ‘us’

UK Addressing, The Non Golden Rules of Geo or Help! My County Doesn’t Exist (Yahoo!)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

489px-gray1824middlesex1

[Editor's note: Amusing and practical example of geographic taxonomy, topology with the example of England versus United Kingdom.]

Republished from Yahoo! Geo.
By Gary Gale, Head of UK Engineering, Yahoo! Geo Technologies

George Bernard Shaw once said the golden rule is that there are no golden rules and at Geo Technologies we understand that there is no one golden rule for Geo and so we try to capture and express the world’s geography as it is used and called by the world’s people. Despite the pronouncement on golden rules, a significant proportion of the conversations we have with people about Geo lend themselves to the Six Non Golden Rules of Geo, namely that:

  1. Any attempt to codify a series of geo rules into a formal, one size fits all, taxonomy will fail due to Rule 2.
  2. Geo is bizarre, odd, eclectic and utterly human.
  3. People will in the main agree with Rule 1 with the exception of the rules governing their own region, area or country, which they will think are perfectly logical.
  4. People will, in the main, think that postal, administrative and colloquial hiearachies are one and the same thing and will overlap.
  5. Taking Rule 4 into account, they will then attempt to codify a one size fits all geo taxonomy.
  6. There is no Rule 6, see Rule 1.

I codified these rules after a conversation last week, via Twitter and Yahoo! Messenger, with Andrew Woods, a US based developer who was, understandably, confused by the vagaries of the how addresses work in the UK. Andrew’s blog contains the full context but can be distilled into three key questions:

  • If the country is The United Kingdom, how come the ISO 3166-2 code is GB?
  • If the country is The United Kingdom, is England a country?
  • If England is a country, do I use it in an address?

As a US developer, Andrew is naturally fluent with the US style of addressing, with all of its’ localised and regional exceptions. This is a good example of both Rules 3 and 4 in the real world; most people in the US will use number, street, city, State and ZIP for specifying an address. But how does this transfer to the UK? What’s the equivalent of a State … England, Scotland or Wales? Let’s try to answer some of these problems:

Continue reading at Yahoo! Geo . . .

Book: The Big Sort (Bill Bishop)

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

littlebook

[Editor's note: I could not put down this fascinating book about post-WWII politics, religion, and culture in the United States of America. The lead author is a journalist by training and skillfully pulls together many threads into a coherent overview with first hand stories, maps, and graphics illustrating his points. If you are a geographer, sociologist, or political scientist make sure to check out his work.]

Republished from TheBigSort.com.

Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart

By Bill Bishop with Robert G. Cushing

This is the untold story of why America is so culturally and politically divided.

America may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote like we do. This social transformation didn’t happen by accident. We’ve built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood and church and news show — most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people don’t know and can’t understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this ground-breaking work.

In 2004, journalist Bill Bishop made national news in a series of articles when he first described “the big sort.” Armed with original and startling demographic data, he showed how Americans have been sorting themselves over the past three decades into homogeneous communities — not at the regional level, or the red-state/blue-state level, but at the micro level of city and neighborhood. In The Big Sort Bishop deepens his analysis in a brilliantly reported book that makes its case from the ground up, starting with stories about how we live today, and then drawing on history, economics, and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big-picture accounts of America in recent memory.

The Big Sort will draw comparisons to Robert Putam’s Bowling Alone and Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class and will redefine the way Americans think about themselves for decades to come.

Continue reading at TheBigSort.com . . .

Canada: Stop, border ahead + Obama must pass the telephone test (Economist)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

[Editor's note: The Economist continues their strong use of geographic-oriented photo editing (Canada) and illustration (Obama's night table light as a glowing globe).]

Republished from The Economist.

Canada’s relations with the United States: Stop, border ahead

May 28th 2009 | OTTAWA. From The Economist print edition

New border controls and protectionist bills have dashed Canadians’ hopes that the change of occupant in the White House would mean warmer relations

Photo by Christinne Muschi

WHENEVER Canadians grow anxious about heightened security at the United States border—as they are now because of America’s new requirement, from June 1st, for passports or other approved identification to be shown at entry points—their news media invariably invoke the twin towns of Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont. In these towns, the line that looks so neat on maps is a messy business, running through a factory, a combined library and opera house, and a number of homes. In some cases it lies between the bedroom and a morning cup of tea.

Continue reading at The Economist . . .

Lexington: Tough enough?

May 28th 2009. From The Economist print edition

Barack Obama must pass the telephone test

Illustration by KAL

FIFTEEN months ago, at the height of the battle for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton unleashed her most powerful weapon, a telephone call. “It’s 3am and your children are safe and asleep,” a voice intoned. “But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something is happening in the world.” Barack Obama might be able to give a pretty speech. But was he “tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world”?

The telephone has been ringing off the hook of late, as hostile governments tweak the new administration, to see what it is made of, and Republican politicians raise doubts about Mr Obama’s national-defence credentials. On Memorial Day North Korea tested a nuclear bomb, following up with a few ballistic missiles for good measure. (The North Koreans were kind enough to give the administration a heads-up, in case the Mr Magoos of the intelligence establishment missed the fireworks.) On May 21st Dick Cheney delivered a televised speech accusing the administration of unravelling “some of the very policies that have kept our people safe since 9/11”. The day before that, the Iranians tested long-range missiles.

Continue reading at The Economist . . .

Salt & Pepper Shaker Map of the United States (Krygier)

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

salt-pepper-map-side

[Editor's note: Useful map art, vernacular maps? Well, I don't need 50 salt and pepper shakers, but the collection is cool.]

Republished from John Krygier’s Making Maps: DIY Cartography.

A set of salt and pepper shakers, one each for the 48 contiguous U.S. states.

Read more at Making Maps: DIY Cartography . . .

Suddenly, a Wider World Below the Waterline (Economist)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

cfb955

[Editor's note: Nations around the world are laying claim to areas beyond their 200-nautical-mile limit to lay claim to underwater mineral riches like oil and gas, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic, as detailed in last month's National Geographic magazine. Note the use of Southern Ocean on this map for waters around Antarctica south of 60 degrees.]

Republished from the Economist. May 14th 2009
Related story: St Pierre and Miquelon – Squaring off for a seabed scrap

The scramble for the seabed: Coastal states have now made their bids for vast new areas of continental shelf

YOU never know what may come in handy. That is the principle behind the rush for the seabed that reached a climax of sorts this week with the deadline on May 13th for lodging claims to extensions of the continental shelf. When Russia sold Alaska to the United States for two cents an acre (five cents a hectare) in 1867, it thought it was parting with a useless lump of ice. After gold was discovered there, it began kicking itself. Now it is one of a host of countries eagerly laying claim to swathes of the seafloor that may one day yield huge riches. That is the hope anyway.

The rules for this carve-up derive from the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. These gave all countries that had ratified the treaty before May 13th 1999 ten years in which to claim any extension of their continental shelf beyond the normal 200 nautical miles (370km), so long as that extension was no more than 100 miles from the point at which the sea reached a depth of 2.5km, and no more than 350 miles from land. Any other country wishing to make a claim has ten years from the date on which it ratified the treaty. It must then, like all the states that have now made their claims, submit copious scientific evidence to show that the seabed in question is indeed continental shelf.

Continue reading at The Economist . . .

Jump Starting the Global Economy (Wash Post)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

globaleconver_040209

[Editor's note: Find the trends, group them together, and use that hierarchy (topology) as an access metaphor. And remember geography doesn't always need to mean map.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
Original publication date: March 29th, 2009.
By Karen Yourish And Todd Lindeman — The Washington Post.

The total amount of the stimulus packages approved by the G-20 countries amounts to $1.6 trillion. More than half of that comes from the United States.

Other maps and graphics that use grouping:

In Mottos We Trust? United Statements of America (StrangeMaps)

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

[Editor's note: Continuing series of word tag clouds as maps.]

Republished from StrangeMaps.
Orig published there Jan. 17, 2009.

The US goes by the motto In God We Trust (but only since 1956, when it replaced the ‘unofficial’ motto, E pluribus unum). A motto (from the Italian word for pledge, plural mottos or mottoes) describes a quality or intention that a group of people aim to live up to – a mission statement of sorts. As such, America’s newer motto has invited more controversy than the older one, since it seems to run counter to the principle of separation of church and state. Its introduction did seem to make sense at the time, what with the Cold War against those godless communists.

As demonstrated on this map, the 50 states making up the US each have their own motto too. The two-and-a-half score state mottos display a wide variety, of quotations, languages and underlying messages. English is the favourite language, but not even by half: only 24 state mottos are originally in English; Latin, once the language for all solemn occacions (and not just exorcisms), accounts for 20. Two mottos are in native languages, and French, Spanish, Italian and Greek account for one each. The system of checks and balances seems to work for mottos too: if the national motto is overtly religious, then only six of the state ones refer to God, either directly or obliquely. Most deal with secular rights, and the readiness to defend them. The Bible is tied with Cicero as the source for the most mottos (three), while classical literature has proven a particularly fertile breeding ground for inspirational quotes (mottos originate with Lucretius, Aesop, Virgil, Brutus and Archimedes).

Continue reading at StrangeMaps . . .

Global Forces Converge to Drive up Oil Prices (Wash Post)

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

[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.

Screenshots below and above. Download PDF.

Graphics reported by Brenna Maloney, graphics by Todd Lindeman — The Washington Post. Map by Renée Rigdon – The Washington Post.

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.

World Airline Traffic Visualization (?)

Monday, December 8th, 2008

[Editor's note: Continuing my theme of traffic flow visualization (1 | 2), here's a video by FlightSuite, NHAW, Technorama, and NASA showing animated world flight patterns in a 24 hour period as colored yellow dots traveling from city to city. I'd tell you more but I can't dig up any other information about this visualization. Tufte has a neat section on this topic. Thanks Seba!]

YouTube version that is SMALL first. View larger.

Different video that is US centric: