Mapping a New America

The United States of America consists of 50 states and hundreds of cities. In Sunday’s edition of the New York Times Parag Khanna argued for the switch of priority away from the state-level and to effectively the city-level. We have clusters of cities that dominate and drive the national economy.

The classic case-in-point is Bowash, the megapolis of interconnected cities from Boston to Washington, where there is a plan to extend Baltimore’s MARC public transit train to Wilmington, Delaware. If that were to happen, one could take public transit from the northern suburbs of New York City to Washington through Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. But today, those decisions must be taken as many as six different states. What if it were handled by a single, regional body?

The Great Northeast
The Great Northeast

The above map looks at what a New America could look like, as grouped into seven different regions and their urban clusters.

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

Where’s the Cold Weather?

I prefer colder weather to warmer weather. I like to feel a bit of chill on my skin rather than a bit of warmth. This makes me that asshole who says “it’s great out today”, when the temperature is 5ºC (41ºF). (I also enjoy grey, cloudy days, but that’s a different matter entirely.) Anyway, thanks to a friend of mine I could take a look at some temperature maps of the contiguous United States.

High temperatures between 32º and 60ºF
High temperatures between 32º and 60ºF

The Pacific Northwest or the coast of the Mid-Atlantic and New England would be great along with the desert and the mountains. But, don’t deserts get hot? Because the whole point would be to not live somewhere too warm. So here’s a map of the number of days where I prefer to sit inside and crank the air conditioning.

Way too hot
Way too hot

Basically I should avoid the South, the deserts and the plains states of the Midwest. Chicago looks borderline uncomfortable. (And from experience, summers typically are.)

Credit for the piece goes to Christopher Ingraham.

Merging Alaska Airlines and Virgin America

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America made some news the past few days when they announced Alaska would purchase Virgin America for $2.6 billion. I mapped out the flight routes of the two carriers to see where they overlapped. You can see the results in my piece for the blog today below.

A brief look at the merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America
A brief look at the merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America

Credit for the work is mine, except the underlying map, which I sourced from Brigham Young University Geography Department.

China’s New Islands

Okay, so the title might be a bit hyperbolic, but the point that China has spent the last few years expanding minor reefs into major military installations still stands. This New York Times piece is a few months old at this point, but through a combination of maps, photography, and diagrams, it illustrates what has been going on in the South China Sea.

Fiery Cross Reef
Fiery Cross Reef

The screenshot above is of the first still in a short time lapse video introducing the article If you do not have the time to read the entirety of the piece, just watch the video. A lot can happen in one year.

Credit for the piece goes to Derek Watkins.

The Cherry Blossoms Are Coming

It’s cherry blossom time in Washington. So the Washington Post has a nice piece—appropriately coloured—looking at where the different varietals are within and near the Tidal Basin.

Where the cherry trees are
Where the cherry trees are

Credit for the piece goes to Emily Chow and Dakota Fine.

How Trump Could Get to 270

Trump won Arizona last night. And that is a big deal, despite losing Utah. He was never expected to win Utah. And while he Arizona was expected, the magnitude of his victory there was…big. If you replicate even something close to that in a demographically similar state like California, he can rack up some big delegate numbers.

But the big story these days is the anti-Trump movement, largely centred upon either Ted Cruz or tactical, state-by-state voting to force a contested convention (which as a political nerd would be just fantastic). Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, however, wrote an article that I largely agree with that a Trump nomination might actually give the Republicans a better shot at the White House than Ted Cruz. The whole article is worth a read.

285 votes
285 votes

Credit for the piece goes to Chris Cillizza.

How Moderate is John Kasich

Last night contained one victory for John Kasich. The Ohio governor outlasted all but Trump and Cruz and therefore represents the only establishment candidate. He also supposedly represents the moderate wing of the Republican Party. But within an article on FiveThirtyEight is a map showing how he may not be as moderate as he claims. Kasich has signed legislation creating difficult conditions for clinics and so many have closed.

Abortions and clinics
Abortions and clinics

Credit for the piece goes to Ella Koeze.

Tracking Super Tuesday

On Tuesday I tracked the results primarily with the New York Times and the Washington Post. I really enjoyed the Post’s coverage as they designed a homepage for the night’s results. The results were placed at the centre of the content, as you can see in the screenshot below. Below the map and table, content updated on the right with links to more static content on the left.

The results hub Tuesday night
The results hub Tuesday night

The map and table above naturally updated throughout the course of evening. I found their decision to move states from one table to the other when the race was declared a brilliant little decision. When reinforced with a small checkmark, the movement from the lower table to the final table at the top gave a real sense of progress—maybe momentum—to the victories of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Final results table and map
Final results table and map

Overall, this was a very helpful site for me to follow the results streaming in Tuesday night.

Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.

Super Tuesday Time

Super Tuesday is the first test of an American presidential candidate’s ability to run—and win—a semi-national campaign. Unlike the one-off primaries or caucuses in places like Iowa or New Hampshire, for today, each candidate has had to prepare for votes in 11 states. And these states are as varied as Alabama to Texas to Massachusetts to Alaska. Consequently, Super Tuesday also means lots of delegates are at stake.

So before the results are announced, let’s look at Bloomberg Politic’s piece that is basically a delegate counter with explanations. (Because right now super-delegates are not at stake.) In the interactive graphic side, we have a counter for every pledged delegate.

The Republican landscape before the voting
The Republican landscape before the voting

I think in the big box up top, the only missing element is some visual measure of just how far each candidate remains from the magic number. In the Republican case, that is 1237 delegates. Below that, however, I really love the tiles that summarise the individual state results, both in delegates and vote share. (After all, some states are entirely proportional, some semi-proportional, and some none-at-all/winner-take-all.)

Credit for the piece goes to Alex Tribou and Jeremy Scott Diamond.