Maps Mania reported last month that the University of Virginia’s Racial Dot Map has been taken offline. The proximate causes: the 2020 census, which rendered the map obsolete (it was based on 2010) data; the increased complexity of the 2020 census’s racial data (more people IDing as multiracial or other); and insufficient resources to bring the map up to date given that complexity. But Maps Mania points to a number of new racial dot maps, such as CNN’s and Ben Schmidt’s All of US, which operate despite the caveats identified by UVa; plus see the following previous posts: Census Mapper: An Interactive Map of U.S. Population Changes; Mapping Racial Population Shifts in the United States.
More or Less in Common: Environment and Justice in the Human Landscape is the latest exhibition at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map and Education Center.
In More or Less in Common: Environment and Justice in the Human Landscape, we take a look at how questions of social justice and injustice are essential topics to confront when trying to understand the human landscape. These questions must also be at the center of our attention as we challenge ourselves to build better, healthier environments in the future. Through maps as well as photographs, images, and data visualizations, this exhibition encourages you to confront stories about how environmental conditions have sometimes served to worsen inequalities along lines of social division. At the same time, our shared environment offers the possibility to bring people together across differences and the inspiration to forge new kinds of common action.
This is a hybrid physical/digital exhibition that can be visited in person or viewed online. It opened on March 18 and runs until December 28. See the Boston Globe’s coverage.
Content warning: Some of these links contain disturbing images: I’ve marked them with a †.
More on the question of whether theatre maps accurately reflect the ground situation. Nathan Ruser’s maps have been used to argue that Russian forces are controlling roads rather than territory, but Ruser complains that his maps are being misinterpreted: they were never meant to show territorial control, just troop movements. See also this Twitter thread from Jennifer Cafarella, in which she explains the methodology and reasoning behind her team’s maps.
Where hot spots are literally hot spots. In a Twitter thread, Sotris Valkaniotis shows how military operations in Ukraine show up in Landsat spectral imagery: weapons fire turns up as hot spots showing “very high temperature in short-wave infrared band.”
A map of checkpoint traffic. More than two million Ukrainians have fled the Russian invasion. Overwhelmingly, they’re fleeing westward. This map shows how busy each border checkpoint is: Polish border crossings are extremely congested. [Kyiv Independent]
Meanwhile, Kenneth Field has been working on ways to map Ukraine’s refugees. Here’s his most recent iteration:
Update to my illustrative #Ukraine refugee map.
Adds more displaced grey dots to major populated areas.
— Kenneth Field (@kennethfield) March 8, 2022
Ukraine’s population density. More than 41 million people live in Ukraine. This map from Airwars shows the population density per square kilometre. Which shows how many people in an area are affected by a particular military strike.
Apple says Crimea is Ukrainian. Mashable: “Apple’s Maps and Weather apps now mark Crimea as part of Ukraine when accessed outside of Russia. It appears the company has quietly updated its stance on the territorial dispute.” Apple had marked Crimea as Russian in 2019, which pissed Ukraine off at the time. [TechCrunch]
Finally, this striking bit of art:
By Ukrainian tattoo artist Eugene Anatsky pic.twitter.com/qVybeGYAuE
— Olga Tokariuk (@olgatokariuk) March 5, 2022
At Worlds Revealed, the Library of Congress’s map blog, Tim St. Onge looks at, and provides the background on, a series of six maps prepared by Frederick E. Pierce for a report on living conditions in New York’s tenement housing in 1895, including a stunningly bizarre map of ethnic groups living in the city.
Pierce’s map of nationalities, however, is a more memorable, if confounding, centerpiece. Aiming to convey diversity among immigrant communities in New York, the map depicts the proportion of major “nationalities” in each sanitary district of the city. The result is a dizzying array of zigzag stripes and scattered points. As Pierce writes in his explanatory notes accompanying the Harper’s Weekly publication, the original map was produced in color and adapted to black and white for publication, but the reproduction “is almost as effective and quite as illustrative as the original.” Despite Pierce’s confidence, perhaps the average reader could be forgiven if they find the map to be more difficult to parse. In fact, the map seems to resemble more closely the dazzle camouflage, a design aimed at confusing the observer, used on British and American warships in the first half of the twentieth century.
Census Mapper maps the change in the U.S. population revealed by the 2020 census: the interactive map takes a county-by-county look at population growth (or decline) of the various ethnic/racial groups. [Maps Mania]
Guerrilla Cartography is running a Kickstarter to raise funds for its third atlas focusing on the basics of survival. Shelter: An Atlas follows Food (2013) and Water (2017), and will collect more than 60 maps exploring the idea of shelter in its various aspects—“from housing and homelessness to animal habitats and even psychological shelters we build around us.” Examples at the link. [WMS]
Geographer Christopher Winters maps car ownership—or rather the lack thereof—in The Geography of Carfree Households in the United States. In only a few census tract do more than 75 percent of the population go without owning a car. Not surprisingly, most of them are in New York, plus other densely populated cities: “New York has many more such households than any other urban area. It’s the one large place in the United States where only a minority of households have a vehicle available.”
As part of its extensive coverage of the 2020 census, the Washington Post maps the changes in the U.S.’s ethnic/racial makeup, and where it’s been changing.
Writing at The Conversation, geographers Derek Alderman and Joshua Inwood explore African American examples of “counter-mapping,” from maps made by the Black Panthers proposing new police districts to modern interactive maps of lynchings and police violence. “Black Americans were among the earliest purveyors of counter-mapping, deploying this alternative cartography to serve a variety of needs a century ago.” [Osher]
Previously: ‘Counter-Mapping’ the Amazon.
Last year I told you about Charles Booth’s London Poverty Maps, a book collecting and analyzing the maps produced by Booth’s block-by-block survey of poverty and the social classes of late 19th-century London. Somehow I missed the fact that there has been an online, interactive version of said maps for several years now. [Open Culture]
Previously: Charles Booth’s London Poverty Maps.
Charles Booth’s London Poverty Maps (Thames & Hudson, October) is a look back at Booth’s idiosyncratic and judgey block-by-block survey of poverty and the social classes of late 19th-century London (his maps described the “lowest class” as “vicious, semi-criminal,” for example). The final maps, hand-coloured, are famous in map terms: there was an exhibition back in 2011. The book adds preparatory maps, “selected reproductions of pages from the original notebooks, containing anecdotes related by Londoners of every trade, class, creed and nationality together with observations by Booth’s interviewers that reveal much about their social class and moral views.” Plus essays and infographics to put the whole thing in a modern context. Mapping London has a review.
Related: Map Books of 2019.
Data.Pour.Paris is a collection of interactive maps about the city of Paris. It’s a lot more interesting—and granular—than it appears at first glance, though. The traffic and real-time metro maps you might expect, but the map of street lights drills down to individual streetlights—and their wattage. Public order complaints are mapped individually, and there’s even a map of the 2018 Paris marathon that tracks the progress of individual runners. They’re the work of French engineer Benjamin Tran Dinh, and they’re neat. They speak as much to the availability of such data as the ability to map it. [Maps Mania]
Previously: Le Grand Paris en Cartes.
The HTC 2020 map is an interactive map of hard-to-count communities built for campaigns to increase participation in the United States’s 2020 census. Hard-to-count communities are populations that historically have a poor self-response rate: they return their census forms online or by mail at lower rates, requiring followup interviews by enumerators. The map shows response rates by census tract, and notes the demographics of each tract in terms of why the response rates might be low: lack of Internet access, or large numbers of people who are historically undercounted (poor, rural, people of colour). [NYPL]
CBC News: “A group of researchers at the University of Ottawa is using Google Street View to spot instances of gentrification in the city’s neighbourhoods. […] The program looks for patterns of improvements on individual properties, such as new fences, landscaping, siding or significant renovations.” Honestly not something for which I expected Street View to have a use.