" A new online tool released by the Department of the Interior this week allows users to select any major stream and trace it up to its sources or down to its watershed. The above map, exported from the tool, highlights all the major tributaries that feed into the Mississippi River, illustrating the river’s huge catchment area of approximately 1.15 million square miles, or 37 percent of the land area of the continental U.S. Use the tool to see where the streams around you are getting their water (and pollution)."
It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West.
This is an excellent video for population and demographic units, but also for showing regional and spatial patterns within the global dataset (since terms like 'overpopulation' and 'carrying capacity' inherently have different meanings in distinct places and when analyzed at various scales). It is also a fantastic way to visualize population data and explain the ideas that are foundational for the Demographic Transition Model.
"These jarring moments expose how Google Earth works, focusing our attention on the software. They reveal a new model of representation: not through indexical photographs but through automated data collection from a myriad of different sources constantly updated and endlessly combined to create a seamless illusion; Google Earth is a database disguised as a photographic representation. These uncanny images focus our attention on that process itself, and the network of algorithms, computers, storage systems, automated cameras, maps, pilots, engineers, photographers, surveyors and map-makers that generate them.”
"[This map's] an unabashedly generalized interactive population density map inspired/stolen from a map by William Bunge entitled Islands of Mankind that I came across on John Krygier‘s blog. I thought Bunge’s map was a novel way to look at population density, and I’ve tried to stay close to the spirit of the original."
The green dots on this map representing Starbucks locations which are obviously clustered in major metropolitan centers. Cross-referencing this Starbucks address location with population data, Davenport explains his mapping technique: "By counting the number of people who live within a given distance to each Starbucks, we can measure how well centered Frappuccinos are to the US citizenry. In other words: draw a 1-mile circle around every store, then add up the % of the population living within the circles. Repeat for 2, 3, 4....100 miles." The result of this data is a fabulous logrithmic S-curve which explains much about the American population distribution.
More than 10 million Americans moved from one county to another during 2008. The map below visualizes those moves. Click on any county to see comings and goings: black lines indicate net inward movement, red lines net outward movement.
This is a clip from the TV show West Wing (Season 2-Episode 16) where cartography plays a key role in the plot. In this episode the fictitious (but still on Facebook) group named "the Organization of Cartographers for Social Justice" is campaigning to have the President officially endorse the Gall-Peters Projection in schools and denounce the Mercator projection. The argument being that children will grow up thinking some places are not as important because they are minimized by the map projection. While a bit comical, the cartographic debate is quite informative even if it was designed to appear as though the issue was trivial.
Questions to Ponder: Why do map projections matter? Is one global map projection inherently better than the rest?
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