Tag Archives: geography

Growth of Inland Cities

Some of the nation’s fastest growing cities are inland, away from the coast where housing prices are high. To support an article about the demographic shift, the New York Times created this map. Circle size represents growth over a six-year period while the colour of the bubble represents housing prices.

Fastest growing cities

Fastest growing cities

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.

Borehole Graphics

Long articles often mean lots of vertical space. But it is only every so often when an item can complement itself with a narrow, vertical graphic. The Los Angeles Times has just that in today’s piece, looking at the layers of sedimentation from a borehole.

What's in the borehole?

What’s in the borehole?

Credit for the piece goes to Thomas Curwen, Lorena Elebee, and Javier Zarracina.

The Siege of Sinjar

For those of you unaware, the United States became involved yet again in Iraq. This time, air dropping humanitarian supplies to Yazidi refugees near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. (Also, we have started bombing ISIS positions near Irbil, a large city in Kurdish-controlled Iraq.) In today’s post we have the Washington Post and its look at just what is going on around Sinjar.

Siege of Sinjar

Credit for the piece goes to Loveday Morris and Richard Johnson.

Do You Know Africa?

Beyond the fact that it isn’t a country? This week the White House hosted the US–Africa Summit. The Washington Post took the opportunity to quiz readers on their knowledge of African countries’ locations on a blank map. So this Friday, you get to take the quiz and post your results if you dare. A nice touch is that the map colours the countries by the number of guesses and then provides different colour outlines for your selection and the correct one—should you err.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

I messed up Burundi—I always confuse it and Rwanda—and only got a 98%. /humblebrag

Credit for the piece goes to Kevin Schaul.

Why Québec Was Important and How it Became English

When I was in Québec I had the good fortune to take photographs of multiple signs and graphics aiming to educate readers about various things. I have spent a bit of my weekend combing through my photographs to see what I can present.

The first in today’s post is simply why Québec was so important. It sat at the narrowest part of the St. Lawrence River upstream from the Atlantic and, most importantly, was defendable from a high, rocky terrain that fell into the river via a sheer cliff face. But why was all of that? Geology explains all (in this graphic). Cap Diamant, where la Citadelle de Québec resides, sits atop an outcropping of the Appalachian Mountains while a sedimentary valley separates it from the Laurentian Mountains. The St. Lawrence just happens to cut through it and voila, natural defensible territory. Or as Charles Dickens put it, the Gibraltar of North America.

The geology of Québec

The geology of Québec

The second is a quick series of graphics that basically explain why, despite the heavy French influence, Québec is a province of the majority English-speaking country of Canada, a former British colony. In short, the Battle of the Plains of Abraham (and to a lesser extent the Battle of Sainte-Foy.

In 15 minutes on the Plains of Abraham, a British infantry force under General Wolfe defeated a French infantry force under General Montcalm. Both generals died in the battle and just a few days later, the city of Québec surrendered to the British. This gave control of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence to the British. And with the British then entrenched behind the city walls, they were capable of withstanding any French siege.

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham

The second graphic explores the Battle of Sainte-Foy, which was a French victory over General Murray. The British then retreated to the defences of Québec, but the French forces failed to capitalise on their victory—and were in general too under-resourced. So the city remained in British hands while the Royal Navy destroyed the French Navy off the coast of France. And without supplies sent via the French Navy, the French were forced to surrender not just Québec, but Montreal and the whole of Canada to the United Kingdom. Fearing rebellion, London allowed Canada to retain its religion, language, and culture. Hence, a Francophone population in an otherwise English-speaking North America.

The Battle of Sainte-Foy

The Battle of Sainte-Foy

Credit for the pieces goes to unknown persons who designed the signage for various parks in Québec.

Understanding Museum Pieces in French

Yesterday’s piece was from the Musée de la Civilisation à Québec and looked at a bilingual exhibit on Greek and Roman mythology. The museum, of course, had many other exhibits. Today I want to show an interesting bit that explained why the museum, a modern construction dating to the late 1980s, incorporated an 18th century house called Maison Estèbe.

Maison Estèbe today

Maison Estèbe today

Well, the museum had a series of graphics with text explaining why. But they were only in French. But by some smart use of graphics and some thought as to how show the progression of time, the reader can piece together a good bit of the story.

Maison Estèbe

Maison Estèbe

Waterfront near Maison Estèbe

Waterfront near Maison Estèbe

Quay at Maison Estèbe

Quay at Maison Estèbe

And of course to make it abundantly clear, the excavation of Québec’s foundations also revealed longboats along the old shoreline, which when placed in front of a quay like below, just make perfect sense.

long ship

long ship

Credit for the pieces goes to the graphics department of the Musée de la Civilisation à Québec.

Ringwoodlite

Your author is still in Canada. So here’s a graphic from the Globe and Mail that explains the process by which ringwoodite is formed. Recent research shows that the water contained within the mineral makes the mantle beneath the surface of the Earth contain more water than all the world’s oceans.

Ringwoodite

Ringwoodite

But mostly, I’m still in Canada.

Credit for the piece goes to the Globe and Mail graphics department.

Impact of Climate Change

As someone who likes cooler weather, climate change sucks. Because that generally means warmer weather. Yes, yes, I know it means equally good chances for extreme cold temperatures and in general more extreme weather, but mostly I hate hot weather. So a new report by Risky Business Project, a group led by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, looks to quantify some of the impact.

But in short, nothing good is going to happen. And basically, I will never move to the South.

Impact of climate change

Impact of climate change

Credit for the piece goes to the graphics team behind Risky Business.