The Twitter Languages of London

Last year Eric Fischer produced a great map (see below) visualising the language communities of Twitter. The map, perhaps unsurprisingly, closely matches the geographic extents of the world’s major linguistic groups. On seeing these broad patterns I wondered how well they applied to the international communities living in London. The graphic above shows the spatial …

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Mapped: British, Spanish and Dutch Shipping 1750-1800

I recently stumbled upon a fascinating dataset which contains digitised information from the log books of ships (mostly from Britain, France, Spain and The Netherlands) sailing between 1750 and 1850. The creation of this dataset was completed as part of the Climatological Database for the World’s Oceans 1750-1850 (CLIWOC) project. The routes are plotted from the …

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Deceptive in their Beauty?

  Finding ways to effectively map population data is a big issue in spatial data visualization.  The standard practice uses choropleth maps that simply colour administrative units based on the combined characteristics of the people that live there (see below). These maps are popular with cartographers for a couple of reasons. You get a clear sense that the …

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London Cycle Hire and Pollution

As a cyclist in London you can do your best to avoid left turning buses and dozy pedestrians. One thing you can’t really avoid though is pollution (although I accept cyclists probably aren’t much worse off than pedestrians and drivers in this respect). To illustrate this I have taken data for 3.2 million journeys from …

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The Power of Comparison: Just How Big Is It?

  If I said a country was 1594719800 metres squared it would mean a lot less to you than if I said it was about the size of Greater London (so long as you know about how big Greater London is). For this reason the media tend to report the extent of a flood in …

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The Best of 2011

As 2011 draws to a close it is worth reflecting on what, I think, has been a defining year for mapping and spatial analysis. Geographic data have become open, big, and widely available, leading to the production of new and interesting maps on an almost daily basis. The increasing utilisation of technology such as Google Fusion Tables has …

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Just how far can the Tube take you?

Transport for London have just released their performance data (link here) for the London Underground network. It is in the form of a really detailed file that contains, amongst other things, the “Peak Operated Kilometres” and “Peak Passenger Journeys” for the past 6 years or so. If you total the distances covered by the Tube …

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Naming Rivers and Places

A map doing the rounds at the moment (thanks to a plug from flowingdata) is Derek Watkin’s brilliant map of “generic” terms for rivers in the United States (above).The map shows how different cultural and linguistic factors have influenced the naming of geographic features in the US. For example French settlers named the streams they encountered “bayous”.

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Mapping GCSE Scores

In the UK, August is exam results month for 16-18 year olds. Every year, photos of leaping teenagers clutching their results are accompanied by reports of record attainment rates, debates around how challenging modern exams are and, more so recently than ever, concerns for the number of sixth form and university places. Back in March …

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Flattening the Earth

Flattening the Earth so that it can be easily drawn on a 2-dimensional surface is complicated. Over many years map projections have been developed to aid in this process, but they can only really estimate (albeit very accurately) the shape and dimensions of things on the Earth’s round surface. Whilst it is important to understand …

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World Transport Links and US Climate from The National Geographic over a Century ago

Following my previous post I have been digging around archive.org for interesting spatial/ geographical related resources. A search for “geographic” yielded a number of back issues of the National Geographic Magazine. They date back as far as 1888 and contain some great images and maps. There are some real gems to be had, such as …

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Mapping London’s Population Change 1801-2030

Buried in the London Datastore are the population estimates for each of the London Boroughs between 2001 – 2030. They predict a declining population for most boroughs with the exception of a few to the east. I was surprised by this general decline and also the numbers involved- I expected larger changes from one year to …

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