One Racial Dot Map Closes, Several New Ones Appear

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.

Mapping Daylight Saving Time

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.

Map of optimal time zone boundaries (Andy Woodruff)
Andy Woodruff, Axis Maps (Twitter)

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.

See also CityLab’s coverage (now subscriber-only), which is pretty Woodruff-heavy.

Crossings: An Exhibition at the Newberry Library

Crossings: Mapping American Journeys, is an exhibition at Chicago’s Newberry Library that explores cross-country journeys of various kinds.

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 on the Board of Geographic Names

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]

Previously: Secretary Haaland Takes Action Against Derogatory Place Names.

COVID-19 Deaths in the Post-Vaccine Era

Maps from the New York Times showing in which U.S. counties COVID deaths increased or decreased after vaccines became widely available.
The New York Times

The New York Times looks at the death rates from COVID-19 after vaccines became widely available. Along with analyses of racial and age groups, there is this on the geographic front: “Where people are dying of Covid-19 also has changed since vaccines became widely available. Death rates fell in most counties across the country, and in about one in five counties, the death rate fell by more than half. But in about one in 10 counties, death rates have more than doubled.”

How Redistricting Is Changing the Congressional Map

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.”

Previously: A Redistricting Roundup; The Washington Post Examines Proposed Congressional District Maps.

Secretary Haaland Takes Action Against Derogatory Place Names

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.

Previously: Maine Reviews Registry Containing Racist Place Names; Racist Place Names in Quebec, Removed in 2015, Remain on Maps; Washington State Senator Seeks Removal of Offensive Place Names; Review: From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow.

A Redistricting Roundup

The New York Times (screenshot)

Gerrymandering in Texas

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.”

Previously: The Washington Post Examines Proposed Congressional District Maps.

COVID-19 in the U.S. in 60 Seconds

Another time-lapse map of the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, this one from David A. West, who posted the above to r/dataisbeautiful on Reddit. This one shows new cases per capita on a county-by-county basis.

Previously: COVID-19 Spreading Across the United States.

The Washington Post Examines Proposed Congressional District Maps

The Washington Post (screenshot)

Redistricting—and gerrymandering—is one of the blacker cartographic arts. With the release of data from the 2020 U.S. Census, and the changes in state congressional delegations—some states gain a seat or two, some states lose a seat, others are unchanged—new congressional maps are being drawn up for the 2022 elections. The Washington Post takes a look at proposed congressional district maps in Colorado, Indiana and Oregon, and what their impact may be.

FCC Releases 4G/LTE Availability Map

Last month the U.S. Federal Communications Commission released an interactive map showing 4G/LTE cellular voice and data coverage in the United States from the four major providers. This is the first FCC map released under the 2020 Broadband DATA Act, which mandated better maps than the FCC has been producing in the past (previously). [The Verge]

Mapping ICU Capacity During the Delta Wave

New York Times map of ICU capacity in the United States
The New York Times (screenshot)

Thanks to a combination of low vaccination rates and the COVID-19 Delta variant, intensive care wards are filling up across the United States. The New York Times maps one of the more disturbing metrics of the pandemic: the percentage of occupied ICU beds by hospital region.