John Nelson

16 posts
Mortgages in terms of years of working life

Buying a house is often confusing and complex, compounded by a dollar sign followed by too many commas and zeros. So John Nelson broke it down to something more simple. How many annual salaries would it take to buy a house? He applied it to his own family situation and then expanded it to the country on a county level. Of course that’s not how mortgages actually work. It’s much...

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Shift in world’s night lights

NASA recently released composite images of the Earth at night based on 2016 data, which was a follow-up to similar images for 2012. John Nelson compared the two, specifically looking for new lights that came on (blue) and lights that went off (pink). The former, suggesting growth and the latter, suggesting decline. Full zoomable version of the Earth here. Tags: John Nelson, lights, night

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Glow map

John Nelson has a knack for making maps that glow, where the base map serves as a dark backdrop and the data of interest sort of lights up. In a recent talk, he calls it Firefly Cartography and explains its use in presentation and in education. A firefly map is to regular thematic maps the way that a lightsaber is to swords. Thematic layers that look like they are etched...

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Moving drought boundaries

Drought continues to trudge along. My grass is just about dead, save a few hearty patches clinging on to the last few drops in the soil. Sad state of affairs it is. Drought is not static though. The boundaries move and the levels change, which is what John Nelson mapped in an overlay of five years of drought in the United States, based on data from the Drought Monitor. We’ve...

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