A study of the geographic forms in cartography

Cartographer Geraldine Sarmiento from Mapzen explores the drawing forms in cartography, such as lines, bridges, and buildings. What is the visual language of cartography? Let’s explore this question through the medium of drawing. After all, it is this abstract representation of place onto a surface of fewer dimensions that the act of cartography entails. Be sure to check out the Morphology tool to poke at the forms yourself.

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American Daily Routine

Sleep. Work. Play. The times and everything in between changes depending on who you talk to. Read More

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Mapping happiness

Gallup surveyed Americans about their well-being across various factors. National Geographic gets into some of the geographic breakdowns. While Gallup’s survey doesn’t attempt to explain why individuals feel the way they do, it does expose some commonalities among the lives of Americans. Respondents from the lowest ranked states were more likely to report worse physical and financial health: They were more likely to smoke, be obese, and have little interest...

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Statistical diversity in US newsrooms

If a news organization wants to talk about the world in a fair way, it needs points of view from a group of people who are representative of said world. Otherwise, bias comes to play no matter how hard you try. Google Trends looks at the how different groups are represented in major news organizations across the country. Tags: diversity, Google, news

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Gyroscope to automatically track your health data

I’m surprised I’m just now hearing about Gyroscope. It’s an app that automatically tracks your health data and then generates reports, both digitally and in print format. An “OS for the human body” it says. Might give it a go. Tags: app, health

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Map of Santa Rosa fires

Using both satellite images and ground surveys, The New York Times maps the damage due to the fires in Santa Rosa. Crazy. I live a couple of hours away from the area and I still could smell the smoke. See also Nicolette Hayes’ more personal map. Tags: fire, New York Times

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Dangers of CSV injection

George Mauer highlights how a hacker might access other people’s data by putting an equal sign in a CSV file, so that an import to Microsoft or Google Sheets runs a value as a formula, even if it’s quoted as a string. The attacker starts the cell with their trusty = symbol prefix and then points IMPORTXML to a server they control, appending as a querystring of spreadsheet data. Now...

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US electricity sources map

This interactive map from CarbonBrief shows how America generates electricity. Each circle represents a power source, color represents type, and size represents output. See also a more edited version from The Washington Post a couple of years back. Tags: electricity

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Darkness mapped in Puerto Rico

Three weeks in, much of Puerto Rico is still without power. Denise Lu and Chris Alcantara for The Washington Post map the lights at night, based on satellite composite data from NASA. With more than 80 percent of the island’s 3.4 million people still without power, residents have relied on portable generators as workers across the island try to repair the damaged electrical grid. In the days after Maria, many...

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Frequency trails chart explainer

Frequency trails, or currently better known as joyplots, is a visualization method to show multiple distributions at once. Taken individually, each distribution is shown as a density curve, and they overlap each other for a three-dimensional effect. Luis Carli provides an interactive explainer for the method. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it, but I think there’s something about the overlapping that sort of serves as a...

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