Maps

33 posts
Simulation shows swirling of smoke, sea salt, and dust around the world

NASA. Data. Good. Tracking the aerosols carried on the winds let scientists see the currents in our atmosphere. This visualization follows sea salt, dust, and smoke from July 31 to November 1, 2017, to reveal how these particles are transported across the map. The first thing that is noticeable is how far the particles can travel. Smoke from fires in the Pacific Northwest gets caught in a weather pattern and...

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Bomb contaminants where you live

Lena Groeger, Ryann Grochowski Jones and Abrahm Lustgarten, reporting for ProPublica with a searchable map of sites in need of bomb cleanup: The military spends more than a billion dollars a year to clean up sites its operations have contaminated with toxic waste and explosives. These sites exist in every state in the country. Some are located near schools, residential neighborhoods, rivers and lakes. A full map of these sites...

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High-detail landscape using lidar data

Lidar, which is like radar but with lasers instead of radio waves, can provide high-detail surveys of the land. The state of Washington is using the tool for beautiful results. In 2015, the Washington State Legislature mandated that the Department of Natural Resources, Washington Geological Survey collect, analyze, and publicly distribute detailed information about our state’s geology using the best available technology – lidar. The main focus of this new...

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High-detail landscape using lidar data

Lidar, which is like radar but with lasers instead of radio waves, can provide high-detail surveys of the land. The state of Washington is using the tool for beautiful results. In 2015, the Washington State Legislature mandated that the Department of Natural Resources, Washington Geological Survey collect, analyze, and publicly distribute detailed information about our state’s geology using the best available technology – lidar. The main focus of this new...

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Global cycling and running heatmap

A few years back, cycling and running app Strava mapped the paths of its users. Now with a lot more data and the challenges that come with that, Strava provides a more fine-tuned rendering of where the world cycles and runs. Beyond simply including more data, a total rewrite of the heatmap code permitted major improvements in rendering quality. Highlights include twice the resolution, rasterizing activity data as paths instead...

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A daily high-resolution image of Earth

Planet monitors Earth with hundreds of satellites, and after six years, they’ve built out their pipeline to piece together a full image on the daily. At Planet, we’ve been pursuing Mission 1: to image the entire Earth’s landmass every day. I couldn’t be more excited to announce that we have achieved our founding mission. Six years ago, our team started in a garage in Cupertino. Mission 1 was the north...

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Google maps street-level air quality using Street View cars with sensors

Google equipped their Street View cars with air quality sensors and sent them around several California areas. We’re just beginning to understand what’s possible with this hyper-local information and today, we’re starting to share some of our findings for the three California regions we’ve mapped: the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and California’s Central Valley (the Street View cars drove 100,000 miles, over the course of 4,000 hours to...

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Cities projected to be under water by 2100

Using Climate Central sea-level rise estimates, The Guardian plots and maps the potential consequences of a 3.2-degree rise in temperature by 2100. One of the biggest resulting threats to cities around the world is sea-level rise, caused by the expansion of water at higher temperatures and melting ice sheets on the north and south poles. Scientists at the non-profit organisation Climate Central estimate that 275 million people worldwide live in...

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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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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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