U.S. Wildfire Causes, 1980-2016

Jill Hubley has mapped the causes of wildfires in the United States from 1980 to 2016, based on Federal Wildland Fire Occurrence Data. The map toggles between main causes (human and natural) and specific cause; there’s also a chart ranking the causes.

The highest and lowest ranked causes are highlighted when the chart loads. These represent the cumulative ranking across all years. Lightning, a natural cause, often floats to the top, but that’s only because on the human side, the vote is split between more than twenty options. Lightning doesn’t predominate in all states, though. In Alabama, the number one cause is pyromania. In Indiana, it’s brakeshoes. In Minnesota, it’s field burning. There are a couple of overall trends, too. Smoking is going down as a cause, and powerlines are going up.

[CityLab/Benjamin Hennig]

Mapping the Alabama Senate Election Results

MCI Maps (Matthew C. Isbell)

The results of last week’s special Alabama senate election have been crunched and mapped. Matthew Isbell looks at some of the factors that contributed to Doug Jones’s upset win: education, race and voter turnout. Lots of county-by-county choropleth maps to mull over here. Meanwhile, the Washington Post is not the only one to map a salient point: Jones won the state but lost six out of seven congressional districts, thanks to the way those districts were drawn—a function of race, majority-minority districting, and gerrymandering.

Mapping the Chance of an Upset in Alabama

The Washington Post assesses Democrat Doug Jones’s chances against Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate election next month by mapping three factors: the extent to which Moore underperformed Mitt Romney in 2012 (Moore ran for chief justice of Alabama in 2012 at the same time Romney ran for president), the racial makeup of Alabama’s precincts and the 2016 precinct-level election results.

Guns and Voters

2016 Election: Exit Poll: Gun-Owning Households (SurveyMonkey)

We’ve seen a lot of maps correlating election results with other demographic or geographic data, but SurveyMonkey’s exit polling on the correlation between politics and gun ownership seems particularly stark, particularly in the context of recent events. In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, nothing predicted who you’d vote for more than whether you had a gun in the house. If only gun-owners voted, Trump would have swept 49 states; if only non-gun-owners voted, Clinton would have won at least 48.

“Over all, gun-owning households (roughly a third in America) backed Mr. Trump by 63 percent to 31 percent, while households without guns backed Mrs. Clinton, 65 percent to 30 percent, according to SurveyMonkey data,” the New York Times reported. “No other demographic characteristic created such a consistent geographic split.”

Mapping Mass Shootings

Soren Walljasper, CityLab

CityLab maps the geography of mass shootings in America since 1982, “both geographically and by number. ‘Mass shooting’ is defined as an incident during which four or more people are killed during a single attack in a public place, excluding the shooter. This is one of the more conservative counts—the data does not include shootings that took place during conventional crimes, like armed theft or gang violence.”

See also Vox’s collection of maps and infographics and Maps Mania’s roundup of gun violence maps.

Mapping Confederate Monuments

Politico

Politico maps the locations of Confederate monuments in the United States, and correlates their locations with where African-American populations are concentrated.

The majority of these symbols were dedicated between 1900 and 1920, when the South enacted Jim Crow laws aimed at resegregating society or discriminating against blacks. There was also a notable spike in new symbols during the height of the civil rights movement.

Among states with the highest proportion of African-Americans, Mississippi, whose population is 37 percent black, has more than 130 commemorations, while Louisiana, which is 32 percent black, is home to 91 symbols. Georgia, whose population is 30.5 percent black, has 175 monuments.

There’s an unstated implication there.

A Map of the Ideological Leanings of U.S. Congressmen

Maps on the Web

Based on data from GovTrack, this map displays the ideological leanings of current (at the time) members of the U.S. House of Representatives by their district. “The data is based of numbers from 0-1. If the congressman is a 0 he is the most liberal in the House. If a congressman is at 1 then he is the most conservative. If the congressman is a 0.5 they are centrist. […] The most conservative congressman is Jeff Duncan, a Republican from South Carolina’s 3rd District. The most liberal congressman is Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California’s 13th District.”

Mapping Amtrak Cuts

President Trump’s proposed budget would end funding for Amtrak’s long-distance passenger routes, leaving only the Northeast Corridor and state-funded lines. Maps of the lines that would be closed share the problems of Amtrak network maps in general. Take USA Today’s map from its 12 April article on the subject:

Like electoral maps that make large, less-populated areas look more important than densely populated areas, this map is somewhat deceptive: it distorts the extent of the cutbacks because it shows lines rather than trains. There are, for example, a lot more trains in the Northeast Corridor than run between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest (the daily Empire Builder). State-run services tend to have lots of lines and trains over short distances that are too small to see clearly on this map. Adding connecting services (which are usually bus routes) adds even more detail, and clutter, to a small map.

Cameron Booth, for his part, visualizes the proposed cuts by starting with his Amtrak Subway Map and greying out the lines that would be cut. This doesn’t solve the number-of-trains problem, but it does provide a clearer sense of what’s happening to the network.

Previously: Cameron Booth’s Amtrak Subway Map.

Mapping Great Lakes Pollution

President Trump’s budget proposes eliminating the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. That fact is no doubt what’s behind two publications posting maps earlier this month, only a couple of days apart, showing the environmental stresses on the Great Lakes basin.

Canadian Geographic reposted a map from their July/August 2013 issue:

Canadian Geographic

And the Washington Post included the following map in an article on the  proposed elimination of two EPA programs (including the aforementioned Great Lakes Restoration Initiative):

The Washington Post

[CCA/Maps on the Web]

Appraising the Eagle Map

Joseph and James Churchman, The Eagle Map of the United States, 1833. Map, 53 × 42 cm. David Rumsey Map Collection.

On a recent episode of the PBS version of the Antiques Roadshow, Chris Lane appraised a copy of the 1833 Churchman Eagle Map of the United States at $25,000. On the Antiques Print Blog Lane explains how he arrived at that number, which some have thought was a bit on the high side. [WMS]

Mapping Safe Washrooms

In response to measures like North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which restricts access to public washrooms by transgender people, crowdsourced online maps of safe washrooms—places with unisex or gender-neutral washrooms, or that let transgender people use the washroom that matches their gender identity—have been created: Refuge Restrooms has both a list and a map view; Safe Bathrooms uses Google My Maps. These maps seem like the modern-day equivalent of The Negro Motorist Green Book for trans people. [WMS]