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Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 in Featured Maps, Visualisation | 4 comments

The Best of 2011

The Best of 2011

As 2011 draws to a close it is worth reflecting on what, I think, has been a defining year for mapping and spatial analysis. Geographic data have become open, big, and widely available, leading to the production of new and interesting maps on an almost daily basis. The increasing utilisation of technology such as Google Fusion Tables has made it easier than ever to map data. Sadly the number of bad maps is on the increase as a result (largely thanks to the web’s preference for the Mercator projection and push-pins) and I hope things will improve (over to you Google!) next year. To inspire another year of mapping, and in no particular order, here is the spatialanalysis “Best of 2011”. The maps here have been popular, engaged users, innovated, and raised the bar for cartographic standards. I bet I have missed some so feel free to link to your best map in the comments section. Paul Butler’s Facebook Connections Map This just sneaks in as it was produced in December 2010....

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Posted by on Nov 28, 2010 in Surnames | 0 comments

Surnames for the Big Chill

Surnames for the Big Chill

Thanks to the jet stream, many parts of the UK have just had the coldest November night on record. During these extreme weather events we become especially interested in weather maps and, of course, the #uksnow map is busier than ever. In such times we often talk about Jack Frost, but what about Mr Blizzard or Ms Snow?  I have produced a map to show the places you are most likely to find them. If you like the cold perhaps you can thank them; if you don’t, ask nicely and they may be able to arrange some warmer weather. For Carto-Nerds: This map has not been adjusted for the underlying population density of Great Britain, which is why it closely resembles a map of urban areas. The underlying spatial units for the density analysis are Output Area centroids which have been roughly standardised for population. Taking the relative frequency of the name therefore makes little difference (I have tried it). There are some more involved ways of accounting for...

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2010 in Featured Maps, Surnames | 1 comment

Halloween Surname Map

Halloween Surname Map

Just for a bit of fun, I have produced a map of the places you are most likely to meet someone with a “scary” surname. I have only thought of a few off the top of my head (Bat, Death, Devil, Fear, Fright, Ghost, Halloween, Skeleton and Witch), but it looks like the Bristol area is a popular place for scary names. Happy...

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Posted by on Aug 20, 2010 in Featured Maps, Surnames, Visualisation | 3 comments

Surname Diversity in Great Britain

Surname Diversity in Great Britain

As part of my PhD research I recently produced the map below (high res. version) that shows the diversity of surnames in Great Britain. I wanted to demonstrate that surname diversity is not uniform across Great Britain. For example towns and cities (especially London) have relatively high surname diversities compared with rural areas because more migrants and single people live in them. Wales has a very low surname diversity due to its past naming conventions. The measure used is calculated by dividing the number of surnames by the total population of each Output Area (OA). There are over 200,000 OAs in Britain. Urban OAs are very small despite accounting for a large proportion of the total population, so I have scaled the size of each OA by their population (the map is therefore a cartogram). This creates the somewhat bloated appearance of Great Britain, but serves to emphasise the increased surname diversity (due to more single people and migrants) in towns and cities. The correct shape of Great Britain...

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