Pages Menu
TwitterRss
Categories Menu

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Featured Maps, Spatial Analysis, Visualisation | 4 comments

Mapping Where We Live

Mapping Where We Live

Showing where we live is, of course, one of the oldest and most useful reasons to create a map. As we bask in the “Big Data” era, the trend for mapping population is increasing simply because there are more data points out there, the bulk of which are generated by people. Population distribution is important because, as xkcd wittily illustrates, if you were to map these points without accounting for it you often just get a population density map. Or worse still, you think you are creating a map that represents the whole world, but instead you only get the parts of  it where people are connected to the internet. Such maps are considered unsurprising by many (in spite of their hype) because simple maps of raw counts rarely offer surprising insights in the phenomena the map is trying to articulate. For examples of this there are some great maps (and data) of Wikipedia entries vs population density here. For this post, however, I want to ignore the many new datasets...

Read More

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Featured Maps, London, Spatial Analysis, Visualisation | 0 comments

Open Data as Art: Data Windows

Open Data as Art: Data Windows

Ollie O’Brien and I have just dropped off our invited artwork to the  10X10 “Drawing the City London” project run by the building design charity Article 25. We are amongst a number of (much higher profile) contributors who have donated works to be auctioned on behalf of the charity in November to raise funds for the charity’s projects. The works will also be exhibited beforehand (keep an eye here for details). In spite of an increasing range of more abstract art and print projects on the go,  Ollie and I chose to play to our strengths by producing several maps from the 2011 Census. These covered East London since it was the project’s area of focus this year. The resulting artwork is completely based on open data (and was almost entirely produced with opensource software (QGIS)), licensed under the Open Government Licence.   A single physical copy was printed directly onto white canvas (thanks to Miles Irving at the Drawing Office in UCL Geography). Let’s hope it catches the bidders’ attention!...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 27, 2013 in Featured Maps, London, Media, Slideshow, Visualisation | 0 comments

Crime Map of London

Crime Map of London

I was delighted to be asked to be part of the the Financial Times Magazine’s special graphics issue. It is a really great “celebration of visual culture” and includes an interview with Edward Tufte and work from Stamen. The map I produced takes the street-level crime data from the data.police.uk website and shows, the most frequent crime types across London. As the map shows there are some interesting patterns as the city becomes increasingly residential away from the centre. I was keen not to do a “murder map” or “stabbings vs guns” or any number of other variants on these themes because, although each incident is a tragedy, the chances of Londoners being affected by them are thankfully relatively small. The FT interactive team has also produced an interactive version from the data here. I really enjoyed working on the project and its great to see how it turned out. If its not to late, I would recommend you pick up a copy of this weekend’s FT to check out...

Read More

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in Featured Maps, Media, Slideshow, Visualisation | 0 comments

Updated: Colonial Shipping Routes

Updated: Colonial Shipping Routes

One of the most popular set of maps I produced last year showed English, Spanish and French Shipping between 1750-1800. I am pleased to say it has been revamped and published in a book entitled “The Infographic History of the World“. Valentina D’Efilippo did the redesign from the basic maps I created to put all three maps on a single page and James Ball provided the text. “A project looking at climate change in the world’s oceans gathered an array of location information from the logbooks of British (yellow), Spanish (red) and Dutch (green) ships between 1750 and 1850 – and James Cheshire of University College, London, assembled the first 50 years of that information into this amazing graphic. It tells us that all three nations were eager and frequent travellers between the old and new worlds for trade, but while Spain frequented both North and South America, the Dutch stuck largely to the South (and the Caribbean), and the British focused far more on the North.” If you...

Read More

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Featured Maps, Slideshow, Spatial Analysis, Visualisation | 8 comments

Mapped: London’s Fire Engine Callouts

Mapped: London’s Fire Engine Callouts

This map shows the geography of fire engine callouts across London between January and September 2011. Each of the 144,000 or so lines represents a fire engine (pump) attending an incident (rounded to the nearest 100m) and they have been coloured according to the broad type of incident attended. These incident types have been further broken down in the bar chart on the bottom right. False alarms (in blue), for example, can be malicious (fortunately these are fairly rare), genuine or triggered by an automatic fire alarm (AFA). As the map shows, false alarms – thanks I guess to AFAs in office buildings – seem most common in central London. Actual fires occupy fewer fire engines than false alarms and other services (such as road traffic collisions (RTCs) and flooding), but as one might expect they appear to be a greater part of the incidents attended in more residential areas. As this map demonstrates, the London Fire Brigade deals with a huge number of incidents, and it is great that they...

Read More

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Featured Maps, London, Slideshow, Visualisation | 2 comments

What’s so Great About a World Flight Paths Map?

What’s so Great About a World Flight Paths Map?

The stunning map depicting global flight paths produced by Michael Markieta has proved extremely popular (over 13k shares on the BBC when I last checked). The data used to create it (from OpenFlights) have been around for years and there have been many maps produced showing the same thing. So what is so great about Michael’s map?  My 3 reasons: 1. Projection I think this is the biggest distinguishing feature of the map. Map projections are extremely important for a number of reasons, but most of the time we are stuck with the Mercator projection (on nearly all web maps) which is pretty rubbish for visualising any kind of human phenomena. Without sounding too technical, Michael has opted for the Robinson (or is it the Winkel-Tripel?) projection. This has better proportioned the world in addition to offering a hint of curvature to give the impression that the flights have been draped over the Earth’s surface a bit like cobwebs. Estelle Lovatt described this on the BBC as the map “not...

Read More