The alliteration failed at that last word, but it gets the point across. No mater how you may want to define infrastructure, the term always includes transit. In the Boston Globe, an opinion piece proposed how the city and region of Boston could improve upon the city’s mass transit options.
And they made a map.
The map is an interesting one. It uses thick purple lines to indicate the commuter rail branches—not the metro/subway lines. The problem is that the outside of those lines then encodes the suggested improvements. An orange outline indicates where tracks should be electrified—Boston still uses diesel engines for some of its commuter rail transit. But the problem is that the dark purple dominates the graphic. If, however, the purple were entirely replaced by an orange line, it would be clearer that the Providence needs electrification. (It’s actually already electrified, as that’s the same line Amtrak uses, but Boston’s transit service still uses diesel engines on the line.)
Similarly, the key to indicate upgraded tracks and signals is a blue line of similar “colour” to the purple. That makes it hard to distinguish between the two, especially when next to the green inline option, representing increased speeds.
The key flaw? A long-time wish for Boston transit lovers (or haters). Note how the system is divided into two, the two main hubs, South Station and North Station, do not connect. Connecting the two will require billions of dollars. But the benefits can be tremendous.
Philadelphia, for example, for decades had two rail hubs: Broad Street Station across from City Hall and Reading Terminal several blocks east along Market Street. Reading Terminal was the terminus for the Reading Railroad and Broad Street Station for the Pennsy, or Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1930, Broad Street Station was replaced by an underground station, today’s Suburban Station. But it would not be until 1984 when rail tunnels would finally be opened linking the western/southern Pennsylvania Railroad lines to the northern lines of Reading. But today you can take a train from a southwest suburb to the far northern suburbs without changing trains because of that connection.
Though the temperatures might not always feel it, at least in Philadelphia, summer is ending and autumn beginning. Consequently I wanted to share this neat little work that explores urban heat islands. Specifically, this post’s author looks at Massachusetts and starts with a screenshot of the Boston area.
The author points out that the Boston Common and Public Garden are two areas of cool in an otherwise hot Boston. He also points out the Charles River and the divide between Boston and Brookline. I would like to add to it and point out the Fens and the Emerald Necklace.
I wonder if a scale of sorts would help, though the shift from warm yellows and reds to cooler greens and blues certainly helps differentiate between the cooler and warmer areas.
Yesterday was Patriots’ Day, celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine—and in my research for this post, apparently now in Connecticut as of this year and Wisconsin of all places—with the date used as that of the famous Boston Marathon. Since I live in none of those states, I know it only because to my knowledge it is the only day we get morning baseball. As the Red Sox play in the morning with the Marathon runners passing through the neighbourhood mid-game-ish.
But yesterday was some wet weather along the East Coast and whilst the Red Sox game was postponed to May—no longer a morning game—the Marathon went on. One has to wonder, however, if those conditions affected the race—they almost certainly did—because this year’s winning times were the slowest in years. Thankfully FiveThirtyEight captured it in this graphic.
It makes nice use of colour to highlight the origin of the various runners and then highlights yesterday’s two winners: an American woman and a Japanese man. Those two nations have not won in a couple of years.
Overall a solid little piece that makes me sad I have to wait until 2019 for another chance at morning baseball.
Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.
Apologies for the long layoff, but life threw me a curveball or two. But in that time I did manage to go out to Boston and catch some of Big Papi’s last regular season games with the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Whilst there, I caught an advert for Boston’s new City Score, which updates the public on how city services are performing. Below is a screenshot from the site.
Not every datapoint needs to be visualised—sometimes a table does just fine. But, admittedly, what really drew me to the table was its design. For those of you unfamiliar with Fenway and the Red Sox, this table could fit in on the Green Monster with the same colours and type.
Credit for the piece goes to Boston’s design team.
If you guys have not yet figured out, I am a baseball guy. But that is pretty much my only sport. And so maybe you can help explain to me just what is going on in today’s piece from the Boston Globe. I think it is attempting to explain hockey formations for the Boston Bruins.
This past weekend, David Ortiz hit his 500th home run, a significant milestone in Major League Baseball attained only by a handful of players. This piece from the Boston Herald commemorates the feat—with too many photographs and embellishment for my liking—by putting his season totals on a timeline while putting Ortiz at the bottom of the 500+ home run club.
The following piece dates from April 2015 and was about the impact of defensive shifting on Ortiz, but it has a nice graphic on his home run output. It’s just outdated by most of this season. But, from a data viusalisation standpoint, I find it a far more useful and telling graphic.
Credit for the Boston Herald piece goes to Jon Couture.
Credit for the Boston Globe piece goes to the Boston Globe graphics department.
Happy Friday, everyone. Foul balls are the souvenirs of fortune at baseball games. (Home runs as well I suppose.) You can’t buy them, you can only hope to be one of the lucky few who catch one. So the Boston Globe ran an article with an integrated interactive piece that told the story of a select few foul balls caught by fans at ten games at Fenway. But from the data visualisation side, they plotted where each foul ball landed. But, the real gem is that they then had a few small multiples showing where various Boston hitters tended to deposit their fouls.
Credit for the piece goes to Stan Grossfeld, Rachel G. Bowers, and Luke Knox.
As Massachusetts and Maine celebrate Patriots’ Day, the Boston Red Sox are set to play their earliest game of the year with an 11.00 start time. (Yes, there is also a marathon today.) So after two weeks or twelve games, the question people want answered is what Red Sox do we get this year? FiveThirtyEight looked at what they called roller-coaster seasons of late, primarily using a box plot graphic to show just how much whiplash Boston fans have endured of late.
So who are the Red Sox this year? The cellar dwellers of 2012 and 2014? Or world champions like in 2013? Who knows?
Boston has finally had it. And by it I mean the snowfall that broke the record. And by record I mean the record for the most snowfall in a year. Well, at least since they started recording it in 1872. The Washington Post has a nice chart placing the season not just in context, but also showing how quickly the snow fell. Most of the snow has fallen only from 25 January onward. And winter is not yet over.
Boston and the rest of Massachusetts are attempting to dig out of the blizzard that struck them earlier this week. The Boston Globe has provided its readers with a step by step set of directions for how to best extricate people and cars from snowed in homes.
Credit for the piece goes to James Abundis and Javier Zarracina.