Tag Archives: maps

Germanwings Flight 4U 9525

Yesterday an Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, crashed in the French Alps with no survivors. This morning, I am showing the two best graphics I have come across thus far attempting to explain just what happened.

The first is from the New York Times. In a series of maps, it points out through satellite photography the roughness of the terrain and therefore the difficulty likely to be experienced by recovery crews. The final line chart plots the altitude of the flight, which fell from a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet to just over 6,000 feet in eight minutes. Overall, especially given the limited amount of information that we currently possess, not a bad piece.

The New York Times' explainer map

The New York Times’ explainer map

The second comes to us from the Washington Post. What I enjoy about this piece is that it combines the altitude chart with the map. This gives a bit context to the fact that despite being still 6,000 feet above sea level, the aircraft was in fact flying into the high mountains of the Alps.

The Washington Post's explainer map

The Washington Post’s explainer map

Credit for the New York Times piece goes to the New York Times graphics department. And credit for the Washington Post piece goes to Gene Thorp and Richard Johnson.

The UK’s Genetic Clusters

I always enjoy the combination of two of my interests: data visualisation and genealogy. So this BBC article that references a Nature article piqued my interest. It looks at the distribution of DNA across the United Kingdom and identifies different cluster areas. The most important finding is that the Celts, i.e. the people of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Cornwall are not a single genetic group. Another finding of interest to me is that the people of Devon are distinct from both Cornwall and Dorset, Devon’s bordering regions. That interest is because my New England ancestors largely hailed from Devon and Dorset.

The colours don't imply relationships, for what it's worth

The colours don’t imply relationships, for what it’s worth

Credit for the piece goes to the Nature article authors.

Tree Maps

Spring is the time for the blossoming of cherry trees. Philadelphia has its own cherry blossom festival, but Washington’s is even bigger. The Washington Post put together a small infographic about the the trees, the symbolism, and the reason behind the presence of Japanese trees in the capital of the United States.

But, mostly I get to say we have a good example of a tree map.

Tree map

Tree map

Credit for the piece goes to Samuel Granados.

Where to Catch Foul Balls

As we established yesterday, baseball is rumbling back to life with Spring Training. That means it is time to start buying tickets for games. But if, like me, you have never caught a foul ball or home run, you may want to sit in a location where you can optimise your chances. Where is that? Well, now we have an app for that, Ideal Seat, as covered by Time. It uses interactive maps of stadiums and data on where hit balls land to generate an average number of balls per game—an average of about 30 foul balls per game.

Safeco Field as a sample

Safeco Field as a sample

Credit for the piece goes to Ideal Seat.

Ukraine Retreats from Debaltseve

This is a short piece—it is only really an inline map—but it illustrates fairly well why Ukraine’s loss of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine last week is kind of a big deal. Basically, the now mostly abandoned city is a transport hub linking the two quasi capitals of the Novorossiya.

Rebel-controlled area

Credit for the piece goes to Gene Thorp.

The American Shopping Mall

This past weekend Al-Shabab, the Al Qaeda affiliate based in Somalia, threatened shopping malls in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This threat carries a certain amount of weight given the deadly attack Al-Shabab launched against the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya a few years ago.

So what to look at today? Well, a few weeks back a colleague sent me a link to a Bloomberg article about the American shopping mall. The article examines the makeup of stores, the people shopping, and the regionalisation in the food court(s). On a personal note, I was glad to see that King of Prussia received a mention.

Auntie Anne's in KoP? I'd rather Philly Pretzel Factory

Auntie Anne’s in KoP? I’d rather Philly Pretzel Factory

Credit for the piece goes to Dorothy Gambrell and Patrick Clark.

Lynchings

Let’s follow up yesterday’s good news story about measles with lynchings. The New York Times mapped and charted historical lynchings from 1877 to 1950 across 12 states in the South.

Locations of lynchings across the South, 1877–1950

Locations of lynchings across the South, 1877–1950

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

The Measles Outbreak

People, science is your friend. Vaccinations are not only for the benefit of yourself, but for others. Anyway, let us take a look at the measles outbreak through some graphics produced by the New York Times. It started in Disneyland. Because we had eliminated the disease about 15 years ago. Science, people.

Where the outbreak had spread as of 6 February

Where the outbreak had spread as of 6 February

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathan Corum, Josh Keller, Haeyoun Park, and Archie Tse.

Squaring Up London

Choropleths are not always a good idea. For example, look at election maps. Highly populated but geographically small cities appear as mere drops of ink on paper or pixels on a screen. Meanwhile, vast deserts appear gigantic empires. Nothing new there. But even within cities, these issues exist. London is one such city and one design studio has been working on a means of changing that. London Squared Map converts the boroughs of London into almost all squares of equal area. Each is placed in the appropriate space to represent geographic location. But to convey actual geography and familiarise the audience, not all squares are equal. Instead, just like the city itself, the squares are divided by a simplified shape of the Thames.

the London Squared Map

the London Squared Map

Credit for the piece goes to After the Flood.

Population Displacement in Ukraine

Ukraine continues to suffer the effects of a Russian invasion. Though we won’t call it that. This piece from Radio Free Europe looks at the displaced persons in the country. Unfortunately, it is not quite the best example of what to do.

Displacement in Ukraine

Displacement in Ukraine

The line chart looks at the cumulative number of displaced persons. But, a monthly growth or absolute number for that month would tell a different story. See below. Hint, it slowed down, and then got pretty bad again.

Monthly population change

Monthly population change

I am also not a fan of labelling every data point on the map. Maybe call out a few interesting ones, the outliers perhaps. But do we need to know to the person how many people are in Ternopil. Probably not.

Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of Radio Free Europe.