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Posts Tagged ‘GIS’

Love this map!  Thanks Brandon M. Anderson!

Concentration of People in the City of Syracuse

Concentration of People in the City of Syracuse

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A newspaper in the suburbs of New York City needs armed guards after editors published a map of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties. Yes, this is a public database. A link from the AP story to the original publication by the Journal News reveals no maps currently. Perhaps they have been taken down or the server has been overloaded with the new interest?  The December story by the Journal News had been developed in response to the Sandy Hook shootings. Details can be found here. The AP provides a screen shot:

Pistol Permits in the NYC Suburbs

Pistol Permits in the NYC Suburbs

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Wow! 341,817,095 Dots!

Great new interactive map created by Brandon M. Anderson at the MIT Media Lab. Check it out here.

Census Dotmap of North America

Census Dotmap of North America

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March 2 seems very early for the rash of deadly tornadoes that hit the Midwest and South yesterday. Having spent most of my life in the South, I know the fear inspired by the tornado sirens and feel the pain of those who lose everything in the blink of an eye. I used to comfort myself by saying that I did not know anyone who had experienced a tornado firsthand, thinking that meant that the probability of encountering one myself would be extremely low. That changed when I lived in Georgia and found myself comforting co-workers after their homes were damaged by a twister. Luckily, though, property damage was the extent of their difficulties. Still, too close for comfort.

When there are reports of tornadoes hitting several different states as there were yesterday, I find myself wanting to see a map. Where is Henryville, Indiana? And what parts of Alabama, Ohio, and Kentucky were hit? Having searched with no luck to find yesterday’s storm tracks mapped, I contacted a friend with the National Weather Service. I was told that such maps only become available after NWS survey teams complete the field verification of all potential tornado tracks, which can take several days, but that a preliminary map would be available on the Storm Prediction Center website. The site has interesting maps, like the ones below, and also a downloadable GIS shapefiles on the Severe Weather GIS page. As the nation responds to this new round of catastrophes and our sympathies turn to those in need, we can also appreciate the efforts to study and understand this destructive phenomena.

Severe weather for March 2, 2012

Severe weather for March 2, 2012

Tornadoes 1950-2010, mapped by EF scale

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Place names on USGS topographic quadrangles offer insights into local history, but I rarely see anyone making use of the information contained in the names. This map is an exception. I missed this last fall when it apparently made the blog rounds, but here it is in case you missed it too.

US Stream Names Map by D. Watkins

Read more about this map on Derek Watkins blog.

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The SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT has produced some interesting maps using US and UK phone call and text data, and they suggest new ways to think about regional identity. Aaron Saenz, of the technology blog Singularity Hub, asks if these regions make more sense than our current delineation of states. Certainly for politics, marketing, and perhaps public policy, among other things, there are implications for the kinds of connections that these maps reveal. Best of all, the SENSEable City Lab is making their call and SMS data available here for you to make your own visualizations!

Who do you call or text? Image from Saenz, Singularity Hub, & MIT

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Susan Riya, Director of the New York State Water Resources Institute, shared the following map with the State of Upstate conference attendees in June. I have been thinking of this map ever since. The map was derived from the hydrologic landscape regions of the United States dataset published by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2003. It depicts the ratio of potential evapotranspiration (PET) to precipitation (PPT).

Hydrologic Landscape Regions of the U.S.

What is striking to me is the blue swath that runs from the tip of Maine to Louisiana as well as the lighter blue area along the Eastern Seaboard. I have called many communities in these two regions home; I know the landscape well. The map depicts current conditions, and I am eager to see similar maps that depict projected change. I know that New York State is expected to remain water-rich, and I suspect that much of the darker blue region will as well. But the area along the seaboard, especially the Southeast (portions of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia), has already been experiencing droughts, and I fear that the region might be much drier in the future. Personally, I think it would be heartbreaking to see the steamy lushness replaced by crunchy dryness! The other effect is that the cool, water-rich places will be very attractive to people escaping the heat and dry conditions. New York State – get ready for a resurgence in population!

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