Saturday, March 25, 2017

Alpine Ski Resorts in Danger

Climate scientists at the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Switzerland estimate that the Alps are likely to see a huge drop in snow levels by the end of this century. They suggest that snowfall in the Alps could drop by between 30 and 70 percent by the year 2100. This could have serious consequences for many of Europe's most popular ski resorts.

Der Spiegel has mapped out the effect of global warming on European ski resorts based on the Institute's findings. Their interactive map Snow in Ski Resorts shows how 988 ski resorts in the Alpine region could be effected by falling levels of snowfall. The Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research predict that by the end of the century heights below 1200 meters will see very little snow. Under this scenario around one-fifth of Alpine ski resorts will have to survive with no natural snow in the very near future.

The Alpine resorts below 1200 meters are marked in red on Der Spiegel's map. The yellow markers on the map show ski resorts which have ski runs both above and below 1200 meters. This means that some parts of these resorts may still get some natural snowfall by the end of the century. The ski resorts shown in green are those which are entirely above 1200 meters. These are the resorts which should be least effected by falling levels of snowfall.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mapping Global Warming

Every year the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issues a report on the state of the global climate. The WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2016 (PDF) reports that 2016 was the warmest year on record. The statement also reports that globally averaged sea-surface temperatures were also the warmest on record; global sea levels continued to rise; and Arctic sea-ice extent was well below average for most of the year.

This year the WMO has released a summary of some of the annual statement's findings on the global climate in the form of an Esri Story Map. The Highlights of Global Climate 2016 map not only provides a summary of some of the annual statement's main findings it also visualizes global warming anomalies around the world using an interactive map.

If you click on the map you can view how much temperatures rose at that location in 2016. As you scroll through the Highlights of Global Climate 2016 the story map also takes you on a tour, providing a summary, of the temperature anomalies in each of the major regions of the world.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A World Map Without Highways

During the 2012 London Olympics the streets around my home were closed to traffic. For over a month I got a wonderful glimpse of a world without noisy, polluting combustion engines. As I walked around the car free streets I would often imagine what the neighborhood would look like if all the tarmacked roads could be replaced with green grass and flower beds. Unfortunately once the Olympics were over the streets were reopened and I never got the chance to replace all those ugly roads.

If the idea of a world without highways appeals to you then you will probably like No Highways NYC. Jeff Sisson's new site allows you to see what your local map would look like without all those ugly highways. The name of the map is a bit of a misnomer as it actually works for any location in the world (not just New York!).

Use the map's search facility and you can view the map for any location in the world with the 'highway' layer removed. This is possible thanks to Mapzen's ability to add or remove different map elements. This allows No Highways NYC to provide a handy little button which allows you to view the map with or without highways.

If the thought of a world without cars and highways makes you uncontrollably angry then ignore Jeff's map and head over to the Connectivity Atlas instead. Here you can view a world map which consists only of roads.

Street View in the Year 2050

Select a location on the Earth 2050 3D globe and you can get a little glimpse into the future. Kaspersky Lab has brought together some of the world's top scientists and futurologists to provide an insight into how the world might look in the year 2050.

Using the Earth 2050 futuristic looking 3D globe you can explore how various locations around the world might look in the future. Many of the locations featured on the globe even have Street View scenes providing 360 degree panoramas predicting the location in the year 2050.

If you have your own prediction about the world in 2050 you can add it to the map. Kaspersky Lab even provide instructions on how you can create your own future Street View panoramas. If you don't have your own predictions about the future you can still contribute to Earth 2050 by voting on whether you agree or disagree with the individual predictions shown on the map.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Noisy America Map

Nearly one in ten Americans live with road and aviation noise that is as loud as a noisy garbage disposal (80 decibels or more). You can find out what noise levels are like where you live on the Department of Transportation’s new National Transportation Noise Map.

Using the National Transportation Noise Map you can view a heat map of road and aviation noise levels for your town or city. The map essentially visualizes the likely exposure of locations to aviation and highway noise. Therefore the map clearly reveals the location of the busiest roads and the location of noisy airports.

I bet you can easily pinpoint the location of  Los Angeles International Airport on the screenshot above. I bet you can even spot where the runways are and in what direction they run. If you want to check your guess you can turn off the noise layer on the National Transportation Noise Map and view the area on the map's satellite imagery layer.

The Building Age Story Map

I really like building age maps. Multi-colored building footprints nearly always make really beautiful looking maps. But building age maps don't just look good. They also have interesting stories to tell about where a city's oldest buildings still exist in the city's streets.

Most building age maps leave the users themselves to find these stories in the patterns of the colored building footprints on the city map. One way to improve a building age map therefore would be to pick out some of the implicit stories in the history of a city's buildings in the map itself. You could do this by creating a story map from a city's building age map.

This is exactly what CBC has done with their Montreal Building Age map. Using the Montreal is 375 years old, but how old are its buildings? interactive map you can view the age of all Montreal's buildings. However the map is also used to explore the architecture and history of thirty of Montreal's most emblematic buildings.

As you scroll through the Montreal Building Age story map CBC pick out some of Montreal's most interesting buildings on the city's map. The text panel is then used to show photos of the highlighted buildings and to explain each building's historical & architectural importance.

The result is that CBC's map is much more than just an aesthetically pleasing building age map of Montreal. It is also an interesting introduction to the history of Montreal itself and a guide to where you can still find that history on the city's streets.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Geography of Murder

In 2015 there were over 13,000 gun murders in the United States. Those murders weren't distributed equally throughout the country (even if you normalize the data for population). In fact 26% of gun homicides in 2015 took place in just 1,200 neighborhood census tracts, home to just 1.5% of the population.

The Guardian has used data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) to plot the locations of 2015 gun homicides down to the census tract level. In the article Want to fix gun violence in America? Go local The Guardian uses a series of maps to show the neighborhoods in different cities where gun homicides most frequently occur. It then uses census data to determine factors which are common to many of the 1,200 census tracts where gun homicides are most common.

The Guardian's maps show the distribution of gun homicides within cities. The city maps also show the levels of educational attainment, poverty and the percentage of the population which is black in each census tract in the city. From mapping 2015 gun homicides The Guardian says that gun violence "falls heaviest on neighborhoods already struggling with poverty, unemployment, and failing schools. The unequal burden of violence is also marked by intense racial disparities".

You can read more about the data used in The Guardian's maps in Mapping US gun murders at a micro level: new data zooms in on violence. You can also download the data if you want to try visualizing 2015 U.S. gun homicides for yourself.

Comparing New York Neighborhoods

You can learn a lot about New York's neighborhoods on DATA2GO.NYC. The DATA2GO.NYC mapping and data tool allows you to access federal, state and local data concerning the economic well-being of all of the city's neighborhoods. Using the tool you can view information in many different areas, such as educational attainment and average incomes in each New York neighborhood.

Using the DATA2GO.NYC interactive map you can view information on over 300 different indicators, in areas such as education, demographics and the economy. If you select an indicator from the map's drop-down menu you can view a choropleth view of that data on the city map. If you select any of the neighborhood's on the map you can also view how it compares to all other New York neighborhoods for the selected indicator on an accompanying chart view.

The DATA2GO.NYC mapping tool can provide a real insight into individual neighborhoods across a range of different indicators. It also allows you to compare how individual neighborhoods compare to the rest of the city across these same indicators.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Worldwide Waste Map

The University of Leeds and the International Solid Waste Association have created an interactive map which explores & visualizes issues around municipal waste management across the globe. The Waste Atlas includes information about landfills, dumpsites and waste management in 164 different countries and 1,779 different cities around the world. Using the map you can compare and contrast the amount of waste generated by different countries & cities and how well they manage that waste.

Using the atlas you can compare the waste management data of countries around the world. Select a country on the map and you can view details on its annual waste generation and data on waste collection & recycling rates. If you click on the City Data link in the map menu you can view the same data for 1,779 cities around the world. As well as the map view Waste Atlas includes a number of static maps and charts which also visualize data about waste management in countries & cities around the world.

Mapping the History of Latin America

HGIS de las Indias is a historical-geographical information system for Latin America. The map provides a way to explore and discover information about the historical geography of Latin America from 1701 to 1808.

HGIS de Las Indias includes a number of map layers which allow you to explore historical data on the interactive map. These layers include a collection of 19 georeferenced vintage maps of Latin America, which can be overlaid on top of the modern map of the area.

The map also includes a number of historical data layers. For example it includes data from historical censuses carried out in the region during this period. Other layers allow you to view historical shipping & mail routes in Latin America and information on eighteenth century universities and publishing companies.