A book about the work of Emma Hart Willard (1787-1870) is coming out this month from Visionary Press. The book, Emma Willard: Maps of History, includes an essay by Susan Schulten (who also edited the book) along with reproductions of Willard’s maps, atlases and time charts (for example, the 1828 set of maps that accompanied her History of the United States, or Republic of America), which proved hugely influential in terms of using maps in pedagogy, as well as historical maps and graphical depictions of time. The book is part of a series, Information Graphic Visionaries, that was the subject of a successful Kickstarter last year. Outside of that crowdfunding campaign, the book can be ordered from the publisher for $95 (it’s on sale right now for $85). [Matthew Edney]
Bloomberg has the story on the Climate Shift Index, which maps the impact of climate change on daily temperatures in the U.S. It doesn’t quite work the way you’d expect at first glance: the index, ranging from -5 to +5, measures the calculated impact of climate change on the current temperatures. This video explains how it works, as does the FAQ.
Daylight saving time has been in the news again, with the U.S. Senate voting to make it permanent year-round. So it’s worth looking at maps that explore the impact of standard time and daylight saving time, and time zones in general, on the time of sunrise and sunset. And as far as the United States is concerned, that means looking at some maps by Andy Woodruff, who’s been exploring this question since at least this 2015 blog post. Which was supplanted in 2019 by this so-called gripe assistant tool to help you quantify your whining about the biannual change.
Finally, last week Andy produced the above infographic to illustrate your ideal time zone based on when you think your ideal sunrise and sunset is.
Here’s another video, this one associated with the Newberry Library’s Crossings exhibition (previously), that visualizes the stories of three enslaved people who made their way to freedom via the Underground Railroad. [WMS]
Maps, guidebooks, travelogues, postcards, and more from the Newberry’s collection recreate travelers’ experiences along the northern and southern borders of the US, across the continent’s interior, and up and down the Mississippi River.
These cross-country paths have been in use for centuries whether by water, railroad, car, or airplane. And they’ve remained remarkably consistent despite changes in transportation, commerce, and the people who’ve used them.
But not everyone has experienced travel and mobility equally. The same paths meant “discovery” to the European explorer, freedom to the enslaved, and loss and removal for Indigenous nations.
Crossings shows how centuries of movement—from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the American road trip—have forged deep relationships between people and places that survive to this day.
Crossings opened on February 25 and runs until June 25. Free admission; masks required.
The Atlantic’s David A. Graham looks at the history and painstaking deliberation of the Board of Geographic Names. “Usually, the public eye is far from the BGN, a member of the class of government bodies whose work you could go a lifetime without thinking about, even though it’s all around you. But the board now finds itself in the middle of the fiery national debate over racism and language. In recent years, the BGN has spent more of its time reconsidering offensive names than doing anything else, but the process typically takes months and is reactive by design, with names considered case by case upon request.” [MAPS-L]
The Washington Post looks at how redistricting has changed the U.S. congressional electoral map so far. “As of Dec. 15, half of the 50 states have settled on the boundaries for 165 of 435 U.S. House districts. […] The Washington Post is using the number of Trump and Biden voters within old and new district boundaries, according to data collected by Decision Desk HQ, to show how the districts have changed politically. As more states finalize their maps, we’ll add them to this page to give a fuller picture of what to expect in the midterms.”
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]
We’ve seen efforts to replace racist and offensive place names in the past, but in general they’ve happened at the state or provincial level. But on Friday U.S. interior secretary Deb Haaland took action at the federal level. She issued two orders designed to speed up the replacement of derogatory place names, the process for which to date has been on a case-by-case, complaint-based basis. One order declares “squaw” to be an offensive term and directs the Board of Geographic Names to change place names on federal lands that use the term; the other establishes a federal advisory committee on derogatory geographic names.
The New York Times and Texas Monthly look at the bizarre shapes in the new congressional electoral map of Texas, which gains two new representatives. Texas Monthly’s Dan Solomon: “Across the state, there will be one more majority-Anglo district than under the prior map, and one fewer majority-Hispanic one. The two new seats Texas was awarded for its booming population will be placed in Austin and Houston—and even though non-Anglo newcomers made up 95 percent of the state’s population growth the last decade, both districts will be Anglo-majority.” Kenneth Field has some thoughts. [Maps Mania]
Making Redistricting More Fair
A Surge of Citizen Activism Amps Up the Fight Against Gerrymandering (Bloomberg): “From North Carolina to Michigan to California, voting rights groups, good government advocates, data crunchers and concerned voices are finding new ways into the fight for fair representation, via informational meetings, mapping contests, testimony workshops and new technologies.”
Can Math Make Redistricting More Fair? (CU Boulder Today): “Clelland doesn’t advocate for any political party or for any particular redistricting proposal. Instead, she and her colleagues use mathematical models to build a series of redistricting statistics. These numbers give redistricting officials a baseline that they can compare their own maps to, potentially identifying cases of gerrymandering before they’re inked into law.”
Using Johns Hopkins University data, Nicholas Bauer has created this time-lapse map showing the spread of COVID-19 across the United States. This pandemic has been described as having waves; now you can watch them ripple across the continent. [Kottke]
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