Massimo Vignelli died yesterday at the age of 83. Fastco has a much better article than I think I could read, this image is from their piece but is of Vignelli’s transit map for New York. I wrote about an interactive piece several years back that allowed you to compare Vignelli’s map to the new system map for the MTA.
Over the last few weeks, tensions have been rising in the South China Sea. While most of the world has been focused on violence in Ukraine and Nigeria, fishing boats and other maritime vessels in the South China Sea have been clashing—thankfully without the use of guns or missiles. These clashes contribute to a growing fear that one day, one clash will spiral out of control and lead to something more than required paint jobs for fishing trawlers.
Thankfully, for those of you unfamiliar with who exactly owns what and what they think they own versus what they think others own—in short a mapped out version of the conflict—the New York Times has put together a nice map.
Today’s piece is hit and miss. It comes from the World Economic Forum and the subject matter is the use of Twitter across Africa. I think the subject matter is interesting; mobile communication technology is changing Africa drastically. The regional trends shown in the map at the core of the piece are also fascinating. Naturally I am left wondering about why certain countries. Does spending on infrastructure, GDP per capita, disposable income levels have any sort of correlation if even only on a national and not city level?
How Africa tweets
But what really irks me is the content that wraps around the map. First the donut chart, I think my objections to donuts—at least the non-edible kind—are well known. In this case, I would add—or sprinkle on—that the white gaps between the languages are unnecessary and potentially misleading.
Secondly, the cities are eventually displayed upside down. Thankfully the labels are reversed so that city names are legible. However, the continually changing angle of the chart makes it difficult to compare Douala to Luanda to Alexandria. A neatly organised matrix of small multiples would make the data far clearer to read.
In short, I feel this piece is a good step in the right direction. However, it could do with a few more drafts and revisions.
Last Friday, we looked at how one individual defined the state of Florida. Today, we look at how FiveThirtyEight attempted to get lots of people to define the Midwest.
Defining the midwest
Personally, as someone from Philadelphia I tend to side with the author of the article, Walter Hickey. He writes he’s “from New York, and [he] generally consider[s] anything west of Philadelphia the Midwest.” That’s pretty much the truth.
In the votes held this past weekend, the separatists in Donestk and Luhansk claim they received a mandate for independent states. However, according to polls conducted by Pew a few weeks back, most of Ukraine, with the notable exception of Crimea, wants to remain united as a single country. In fairness, this poll was conducted after Russia annexed Crimea but before the deaths of pro-Russian separatists in Odessa and Mariupol. (Anecdotally, those events have driven some to the separatist camp.) The map below is part of the Pew report. However, I have an issue with it that, again in fairness, might not be solvable given whatever raw data with which Pew was working.
Who wants secession? Only Crimea.
The map colours each oblast, roughly equivalent to a US state, according not to the results of the survey, but rather to which region the oblast belongs. For example, Kirovohrad is the same colour as Donetsk. Donetsk, however, is the epicentre of the unrest in Ukraine whereas I have at least seen no reports of unrest in Kirovohrad. Are they really reporting the same desire of unity or secession? Would the map not be clearer if each oblast was reported independently?
My guess is that results like these are clear to the Kremlin. And so I think while Donetsk and Luhansk will remain Ukrainian, Crimea will likely remain Russian.
Credit for the piece goes to the Pew Research Center’s graphics department.
One of the main arguments used by Vladimir Putin to support any possible intervention in Ukraine is the suppression of the rights of Russian language speakers. The Economist wisely decided to wholeheartedly endorse the underlying principle of Putin’s logic and redrew the world map accordingly. You should read the article.
Linguistic empires of the world
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s graphics department.
Today we dive into state-level politics north of Chicago, in the state of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an in-depth article looking at the political divide in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. While one could publish an article of that nature with just lots and lots of words, the Journal Sentinel chose to use maps and charts to support their arguments.
Comparing Milwaukee urban vs. suburban voting patterns
Credit for the piece goes to Craig Gilbert and Allan James Vestal.
Things remain tense in Ukraine, especially after the violence late last week in Odessa. But in many senses, Ukraine is limited in the operations it can undertake against the separatists, at least with its armed forces. A lot of this has to do with the tens of thousands of Russian troops, tanks, and aircraft now deployed along the border. Thankfully the Washington Post has taken the time to detail just what is known to have happened lately.
Things continue to deteriorate in eastern Ukraine. And along the other borders of Ukraine, NATO is boosting its presence with planes, ships, and soldiers. This graphic from Jane’s details the recent deployment of aircraft to the theatre.
Credit for the piece goes to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.