Posts Tagged ‘washington post’

Map: Top Secret America, A Washington Post Investigation (Kelso via WaPo)

Monday, July 19th, 2010

tsa_map_usa_blog_promo

[Editor's note: The government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex, and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it's fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping citizens safe. Discover the top-secret work being done in your community via our map and search relationships within this complex world on our network diagram. Monday's story focuses on the growth in Top Secret America since 9/11. Next up we cover the government's increasing dependence on contractors and delve into the Top Secret America neighborhood around Ft. Meade, Maryland. The map is constructed in Flash using the Google Maps API with custom map tiles for zooms 0 to 5. The government and company locations and work relationships are gathered from publicly available records. This project has been in the works for over a year, I hope you enjoy!]

Republished from The Washington Post.

A hidden world, growing beyond control

By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

Watch the intro video at The Washington Post . . .

Read the article . . .

Interact with the map . . .

Unemployment rate by county (Kelso via Wash Post)

Monday, December 7th, 2009

[Editor's note: Kudos to Kat Downs for wiring up this interactive, zoomable map of the United States showing unemployment rate by county. There's a slider to see data back in time. I did the base map using my map generalization skills honed on Natural Earth. Using data that is appropriately generalized for the display scale cuts down on file size and reduces lag before data display.]

Republished from The Washington Post. Dec. 3, 2009

unemploymentmap
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics; GRAPHIC: Kat Downs, Mary Kate Cannistra and Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso – The Washington Post, December 3, 2009

How Treasury spent its bailout funds (Wash Post)

Monday, December 7th, 2009

tarp_112809

[Editor's note: Todd's flow map of TARP spending. It's a charting beautify. I'm catching up on a couple week's of posts while Natural Earth was in its final stretch.]

Republished from The Washington Post. Saturday 28 Nov., 2009.

The Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, was designed to stabilize the financial system as well as aid homeowners and small businesses in the wake of the credit crisis. The Treasury Department has until the end of the year to renew the controversial program. Of the $700 billion that was authorized, $560.7 billion was planned for various programs. About $71 billion has been returned from financial firms and about another $10 billion has been paid in interest and dividends.

SOURCES: Treasury Department, reporting by The Washington Post

DAVID CHO, TODD LINDEMAN AND APRIL UMMINGER/THE WASHINGTON POST

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:

Disappearing Birds (Wash Post)

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

[Editor's note: "Habitat loss has sent many bird species into decline across the United States." This chart  shows the percent change in bird population since 1968, by habitat. I like three things about this chart: (1) it uses direct labeling on the green and red lines thus making it easy to understand for all and allowing color blind viewers access to the encoded information (see post) and (2) the chart segments out important thematic subtrends in the dataset. Also (3) I worked on a bird migration supplement (wall) map for National Geographic in 2004 and Cornell Lab of Ornithology has some of the coolest time-based mapping techniques around. See original artwork from the North America side of the supplement now thru May at NG Explorers Hall in DC.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
Graphic by Patterson Clark.  March 20, 2009.
SOURCE: www.stateofthebirds.org.

Related story by Juliet Eilperin.

Major Decline Found In Some Bird Groups
But Conservation Has Helped Others

Several major bird populations have plummeted over the past four decades across the United States as development transformed the nation’s landscape, according to a comprehensive survey released yesterday by the Interior Department and outside experts, but conservation efforts have staved off potential extinctions of others.

“The State of the Birds” report, a broad analysis of data compiled from scientific and citizen surveys over 40 years, shows that some species have made significant gains even as others have suffered. Hunted waterfowl and iconic species such as the bald eagle have expanded in number, the report said, while populations of birds along the nation’s coasts and in its arid areas and grasslands have declined sharply.

From the report: “Reveals troubling declines of bird populations during the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems. At the same time, we see heartening evidence that strategic land management and conservation action can reverse declines of birds. This report calls attention to the collective efforts needed to protect nature’s resources for the benefit of people and wildlife.”

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Fed Up by Food Prices, Many Grow It Alone (WaPo)

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Continuing the omnibus “Geography Matters” series:

Fed Up by Food Prices, Many Grow It Alone
Gardens Gaining Ground Nationwide

By Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 3, 2008; Page A01

NEW YORK — Just beneath an L train subway platform in Brooklyn, Tanika Gentry fingers the deep green leaves of a collard plant in the black soil of a community garden.

This is dinner.

Gentry, fed up with the spiking cost of food, recently decided to grow her own. Now she is reaping a harvest of collards, cabbages, tomatoes and pumpkins to feed her family.

“Once you have to choose between eating and fuel, there’s nothing greater than going back to the beginning and making your own,” said Gentry, 32, who home-schools her two daughters. “With the way things are going, it may be something a lot more people are realistically doing.”

From Atlanta to Minneapolis to Seattle, people are reacting to the stagnant economy and the high cost of produce by planting their own fruits and vegetables, say garden store owners, bulk seed sellers and industry analysts.

In the skyscrapered canyons of New York City, increasing numbers of people are growing their food on fire escapes, on rooftops, in back yards and in community gardens.

It is a phenomenon that has always ebbed and flowed with the economy, said Bruce Butterfield, the market research director of the National Gardening Association, who has been tracking it for decades. The biggest recent peak in homegrown food came in 1975, during a national oil crisis, he said, when 49 percent of U.S. households were growing vegetables.

Continue reading at Washington Post . . .

wapo gardenPedaling the Local Food Movement
Three D.C. Women Take a Three-Month Bike Trip to Montreal to Document Community Agriculture Efforts

By Adrian Higgins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 24, 2008; Page H01

Where do gardening, small-scale agriculture and the future of planet Earth converge? For three Washington women, it’s on a road less traveled, on byways unseen from the gotta-get-there, high-speed chaos of the interstate.

It has been a year since Lara Sheets, 26, Liz Tylander, 25, and Kat Shiffler, 24, climbed on their bicycles in Mount Pleasant and pedaled north, eventually to Montreal. Along the way they visited thriving inner-city gardens, innovative suburban farms and rooftop vegetable plots as they chronicled a grass-roots movement seeking to change the way we put food on our table.

The result is a low-budget documentary, “Garden Cycles Bike Tour,” which captures the spirit of their unusual 2,000-mile sojourn and the much larger movement that inspired it. The trip has also generated a Web site and blog, http://womensgardencycles.wordpress.com.

In the course of their three-month odyssey, the women found a community garden in the gutted ghettos of Baltimore, were run off the road by a truck in New Jersey, abandoned efforts to cycle across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York and got hopelessly lost in New England towns. They slept in the gardens of strangers, discovered new ethnic food and recipes and cemented their desire to change the world by growing vegetables.

Continue reading at Washington Post . . .

They Know Where You Are: Photos That Find Themselves (Washington Post)

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

[Editor's note: Two articles by Rob Pegararo, the Washington Post's tech guru today on using GPS with photos. The first on how to accomplish this with a standard digital camera that does not come with GPS. The second talks about the software and social websites that utilize the GPS coordinates embedded in the photo's EXIF data.]

From the Washington Post article:

By Rob Pegoraro; Thursday, July 31, 2008; Page D01.

Your computer knows what you did last weekend — but that’s okay because most of your other gadgets do, too. Your browser remembers your Web reading list, your cellphone saved your calls, and your MP3 player can recite the songs you heard.And most of us seem content to have all this sentient machinery memorizing our daily routines, so long as all the data stay with us. A little surveillance of ourselves can be fine if we, and nobody else, get to see the results.

Your digital camera may be the next gadget to upgrade its self-awareness. It already records when you take photos, and now it can inform you where you shot them as well. You won’t have to remember where you photographed each vacation shot; your photos will tell you.

This feat comes courtesy of a $129.99 device called the Eye-Fi Explore. It slips into a camera’s SD card slot like any other memory unit, but this two-gigabyte card includes a WiFi receiver that connects to a database of wireless networks to determine the location of your pictures.

Continue reading at WashingtonPost.com . . .

From Rob’s “Faster Forward” Blog:

The first time I inspected a photo “geotagged” with the Eye-Fi Explore card and saw that Eye-Fi’s software had not only placed the picture on the map within maybe 30 feet of the spot where I’d pressed the camera’s button, but also the copy uploaded to Flickr was tagged with the appropriate city and state, I thought “cool!”

But when I told my editor about this successful test, her reaction was more along the lines of “that’s kind of creepy.”

Technologies that do things you’ve never seen done before can be like that. As I wrote in today’s column, I found the Eye-Fi’s auto-location abilities more fascinating than frightening, but I can see how others might disagree. I was surprised, however, to see such limited support for geotagging in photo-album programs and the more than 20 picture-sharing sites Eye-Fi supports, including such popular sites as Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Kodak Gallery and Photobucket. Many of these applications either ignore the latitude and longitude coordinates Eye-Fi adds to the “EXIF” tags of photo files or don’t provide a clickable map in response to them. I expect this to change before too long.

Continue reading at WashingtonPost.com . . .

Big Daily’s ‘Hyperlocal’ Flop (Wall Street Journal)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

LoudounExtra.com Fails to Give Lift To Washington Post

By RUSSELL ADAMS June 4, 2008; Page B1

For believers in the power of rigorous local coverage to help save newspapers, the Washington Post’s launch of LoudounExtra.com last July was a potentially industry-defining event. It paired a journalistic powerhouse with a dream team of Internet geeks to build a virtual town square for one of Virginia’s and the nation’s most-affluent and fastest-growing counties.

The Washington Post saw LoudounExtra.com as a chance to re-engage local readers. Almost a year later, however, the Web site is still searching for an audience. Its chief architect has left for another venture in Las Vegas, and his team went with him. And while Post executives say they remain committed to providing so-called hyperlocal news coverage, they are re-evaluating their approach.

“It’s too early for us to put any kind of stamp on it as a success or failure,” said Jim Brady, executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, a unit of Washington Post Co. “We’re just going to keep experimenting,” he added.

Like hundreds of other hyperlocal sites launched in the past few years, LoudounExtra.com reflects a basic premise: Metro newspapers probably can’t compete with the Internet or cable TV in covering breaking national and international news, but they can dominate what happens in their backyards.

LoudounExtra.com offers detailed databases including every church, restaurant and school in Loudoun County, about 25 miles west of Washington, D.C. It embraces the idea that a high-school prom is as newsworthy as a debate over where to build a hospital, and that Little League deserves major-league attention. And it promises to let visitors to the site shape the news through blogs and photo and video submissions.

But LoudounExtra.com remains little more than a skeleton of the site its architects pledged to build. One reason: the team of outsiders didn’t do enough to familiarize itself with Loudoun County or engage its 270,000 residents.

The Washington Post, perhaps best known for exposing the Watergate scandal, is among the few American newspapers that boast a local, national and international audience. About 85% of the more than nine million monthly visitors to Washingtonpost.com live outside the Washington area. Many of them come to the site trolling for political and overseas news.

But the Post’s local readership has been its great strength: Though its weekday print circulation has plummeted by about 19% since 2000 to an average of about 635,087, it continues to reach a higher percentage of local readers online than many other big dailies. That encouraged the newspaper, which has won nearly 50 Pulitzer Prizes, to look to coverage of local American Legion meetings and T-ball games as a potential source of growth.
(more…)

New Job, Same Desk

Monday, May 12th, 2008

cairo online process


Starting last week, I officially turned my day-job attention to online web graphics instead of the previous focus on print maps and graphics (only done a few thousand of those!). I am still working for The Washington Post’s NewsArt department but will now be collaborating with my colleagues over at WPNI.com to produce interactive graphics from inside the Washington Post newsroom in downtown Washington DC.


Alberto Cairo has some interesting things to say about creating the same infographic for print and the web. (Flowchart above credit Alberto Cairo.)


I’ll still have some cartographic duties (like map editing and the weekly real estate value maps) but my primary focus will be on interactive maps and graphics.


Here’s my first week’s efforts:


Careless Detention: Medical Care in Immigrant Prisons

The latest from Pulitzer prize winner Dana Priest and Amy Goldstein, co-published with 60 Minutes.

  • Day 1: Flash map with HTML table below listing out the mouseOver data. The age and origin charting were dropped from the online presentation but the raw data is present in the table and mouseOvers. The map is auto plotting long-lat pairs out of a KML data file onto the Albers projected map and getting the mouseOver and name from the KML markers :)
  • Day 2: Satellite map as JPG of the print graphic.

Burma’s Cyclone Nargis

Breaking news, natural disaster, humanitarian crises in south-east Asia.

  • Day 1: in Flash with mouseOver behaviors directly linking text descriptions to map locations.
  • Day 2: in HTML with html image map on JPG linking down to table entrees about map locations.

El Anatsui: Gawu at National Museum of African Art

Monday, March 24th, 2008

el anatsui gawu art exhibitWhile screen-glancing at work last week I spotted Bill O’Leary’s photos highlighting Nigerian artist El Anatsui who has an exhibit thru September 2 here in Washington, D.C. The Post ran a story on the exhibit in Sunday’s paper (read that here, including slideshow).

I first became aware of El Anatsui’s art while in San Francisco before Christmas when I saw one of his large “Kente cloth” pieces on the second floor of the de Young Museum. It was constructed out of pieces of colorful scrap metal woven into a large wall tapestry that folded as it draped ceiling to floor.

The Smithsonian presentation of El Anatsui’s work has around a dozen pieces. The artist flew out and helped arrange them in the space; his artwork is flexible and each time it is shown it shows different characteristics. If you’re visit the District anytime this summer, this exhibit is worth checking out.

From the Smithsonian website where you can see more of his artwork:

Throughout his career Ghanaian artist El Anatsui has experimented with a variety of media, including wood, ceramics and paint. Most recently, he has focused on discarded metal objects, hundreds or even thousands of which are joined together to create truly remarkable works of art. Anatsui indicates that the word gawu(derived from Ewe, his native language) has several potential meanings, including “metal” and “a fashioned cloak.” The term, therefore, manages to encapsulate the medium, process and format of the works on view, reflecting the artist’s transformation of discarded materials into objects of striking beauty and originality.

The metal fragments that constitute the raw material of Anatsui’s work have had a profound impact on the West African societies that use, reuse and finally discard them. Several of his metal “cloths” are constructed with aluminum wrappings from the tops of bottles that once contained spirits from local distilleries. The three-dimensional sculptures are made of the discarded tops of evaporated milk tins, rusty metal graters and old printing plates, all gathered in and around Nsukka, Nigeria, where the artist has lived and worked for the last 28 years.

Drawing on the aesthetic traditions of his native Ghana and adopted Nigeria, as well as contemporary Western forms of expression, Anatsui’s works engage the cultural, social and economic histories of West Africa. Through their associations, his humble metal fragments provide a commentary on globalization, consumerism, waste and the transience of people’s lives in West Africa and beyond. Their re-creation as powerful and transcendent works of art–many of which recall traditional practices and art forms–suggests as well the power of human agency to alter such harmful patterns.

Continue on to the museum exhibit. . .