Income Inequality

On the lighter side of things we have today’s post on income inequality. Always a lighter subject, no? Thanks to Jonathan Fairman for the link.

Herwig Scherabon designed the Atlas of Gentrification as a project at the Glasgow School of Art and it was picked up by Creative Review. It displays income as height and so creates a new cityscape of skyscrapers for the wealthy and leaves lower income residents looking straight up. His work covered the US cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The image below is of Chicago. I probably was living in a cluster of mid-rise buildings despite living in a five-story building.

A look at Chicago
A look at Chicago

Credit for the piece goes to Herwig Scherabon.

Two Tales of One City

Dickens is not my favourite, but that felt an appropriate title for today’s piece from the Washington Post on Chicago residents’ opinions on, well, Chicago. Turns out there is a notable demographic split on how residents feel about various things in the city.

Some of the issues
Some of the issues

Credit for the piece goes to Emily Badger.

Water Level on Lake Michigan

Today’s a little piece for those of you who follow me from the Chicago area. It turns out that in the last 30 months, the water level of Lake Michigan has risen three feet. Despite what some people think, Lake Michigan is not an ocean—I have overheard conversations in my neighbourhood about people who went “swimming in the ocean today” and want to show them a map that points out the Atlantic is almost a thousand miles away—and is not under the same threat as the coast via melting icecaps. The Great Lakes are instead impacted by other regional and cyclical patterns, e.g. El Niño. This article by the Chicago Tribune makes use of this small but clear line chart in its discussion of those very factors.

Water levels for Lakes Michigan and Huron
Water levels for Lakes Michigan and Huron

Credit for the piece goes to the Chicago Tribune’s graphics department.

How Different Temperature Profiles Make Different Precipitation Types

I apologise for the lack of posts over the last two weeks, but I was on holiday. Naturally, I have returned just in time for some snowstorms in the Midwest. But today’s piece comes from WGN and it explains how the type of winter precipitation that falls depends not solely on ground temperatures. Rather, temperature profiles in the upper atmosphere can make all the difference between rain, sleet, and snow.

How temperatures create different precipitation types
How temperatures create different precipitation types

Credit for the piece goes to Steve Kahn and Jennifer Kohnke.

Chicago’s Minimum Wage

Today’s piece is a photo I snapped of the cover of a relatively recent edition of the RedEye, a free, daily tabloid distributed in Chicago. The city of Chicago decided to raise the minimum wage in the city. And this photo of a stack of quarters depicts just how many quarters that increase will be over the next five years.

The minimum wage in Chicago
The minimum wage in Chicago

I find I usually do not enjoy data photos, for want of a better term. But here we have an obviously editorially driven graphic, but one that uses real materials to represent the data. In other words, we are not taking one quarter to represent one dollar per hour. One quarter means one quarter per hour. And the segmentations merely break out how much that will increase over the years. With minimal annotation, the photo is clear and direct.

Credit for the piece goes to Lenny Gilmore.

FAA Fire in Aurora

Last Friday a fire in an FAA centre in one of Chicago’s suburbs shut down air traffic in the Chicago area. You know, not a big deal. So the Chicago Tribune made a small graphic to show just how much of a difference a closure of air space can make.

Air traffic shutdown
Air traffic shutdown

Credit for the piece goes to the Chicago Tribune’s graphics department.

The Cycling Gender Gap

Here in Chicago this week is Bike Week and today Bike to Work Day. So today is a great day for some work from Buzzfeed that highlights the gender gap in cycling (at least in three US cities). To be fair, the data for the statement comes only from urban bike share programmes. But it does hint at a disparity all the same.

Chicago's cycling gender gap
Chicago’s cycling gender gap

Credit for the piece goes to Jeremy Singer-Vine.

Chicago’s Disappearing Middle Class

President Obama has made a big deal recently about income inequality. The story in short is that the rich in the country are getting rich; the poor are getting poorer; and the people in the middle are fewer in number. Here in Chicago, this has meant that over the last few decades, many of the former middle-class neighbourhoods have been gutted of, well, the middle class. Daniel Kay Hertz has created a series of maps to show just how drastic the change has been since 1970.

Chicago's disappearing middle class
Chicago’s disappearing middle class

Credit for the piece goes to Daniel Kay Hertz.

Speeding on Chicago’s Tollways

The Illinois Tollways will be raising speed limits starting 1 January. Part of that process includes researching current driving habits and patterns. This graphic by the Chicago Tribune looks at some of the results. While the map part is necessary to show the routes themselves and the limits on those routes, the more interesting part is the dot plot below.

Illinois Tollway speeds
Illinois Tollway speeds

Credit for the piece goes to the Chicago Tribune’s graphic department.

Rebuilding Chicago’s Red Line

For those of you who read this blog in Chicago know very well that the Red Line, Chicago’s busiest subway line, is undergoing major construction as the transit authority rebuilds much of the line. But what exactly does that entail?

Earlier this year the Chicago Tribune looked at that and with a series of illustrations, explained the different steps of the process. This first section details the steps taken to rip up the rails.

Dismantling the existing rail lines
Dismantling the existing rail lines

Credit for the piece goes to Jemal R. Brinson and Kyle Bentle.