The U.S. as Seven Mega-Regions

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In a piece for the New York Times, Parag Khanna—author of the forthcoming book Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization—argues that super-regions and urban clusters, rather than the 50 states, should be the focus of future planning.

First, there are now seven distinct super-regions, defined by common economics and demographics, like the Pacific Coast and the Great Lakes. Within these, in addition to America’s main metro hubs, we find new urban archipelagos, including the Arizona Sun Corridor, from Phoenix to Tucson; the Front Range, from Salt Lake City to Denver to Albuquerque; the Cascadia belt, from Vancouver to Seattle; and the Piedmont Atlantic cluster, from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C.

Federal policy should refocus on helping these nascent archipelagos prosper, and helping others emerge, in places like Minneapolis and Memphis, collectively forming a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables: a United City-States of America.

Note that this isn’t quite the same as, say, reimagining the U.S. as fifty equal states or Pearcy’s famous 38-state thought experiment: this is an argument against using state boundaries for planning purposes. (The EU has similar regions for similar purposes, I believe.) Makes for a very interesting map, though. [Tim Wallace]

1916 Frost Maps

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In 1916 frost maps that show the average dates of the last spring and first fall killing frostSlate’s Rebecca Onion sees the history of climate change, given the growth in the length of the growing season since then. (Trying to find a modern-day example for comparison; frost maps don’t appear to be updated as rigorously as, say, hardiness zone maps.) [Slate Vault]

USGS Earthquake Forecast Maps Now Include Human-Induced Earthquakes

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For the first time, USGS forecast maps that measure the potential damage from earthquakes in the coming year now include human-induced earthquakes, such as those caused by hydraulic fracking. (Oklahoma looms large for that very reason.) Maps for the western U.S., where a different methodology is used, presume that all earthquakes are natural in that region. [Max Galka]

Lead Exposure Risk Map

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Vox’s lead exposure risk map takes a nationwide look at a crisis some might have thought was limited to Flint, Michigan. “The areas where kids are at highest risk of lead exposure—an estimate calculated using government data about the surroundings—are scattered all across the country.” Lead exposure data is hard to come by, so exposure risk is calculated based on Washington State’s methodology, which uses age of housing and poverty as risk factors. [Mapbox]

Women in Cartography (Part 3)

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Emma Hart Willard, “Ninth Map or Map of 1826,” in A Series of Maps to Willard’s History of The United States (New York, 1829). Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

CityLab’s Laura Bliss has a second post on women and cartography, this time focusing on the work of 19th-century women cartographers, geographers and educators in the United States. The Library of Congress’s map blog, Worlds Revealed, focuses on the work (and maps) of one of those women, Emma Hart Willard.

Previously: Women in CartographyWomen in Cartography (Continued).

Cartastrophe on Decision Desk HQ’s Election Cartograms

michigan-primary-cartogramOn Cartastrophe, Daniel Huffman points out the problems in Decision Desk HQ’s interactive cartograms for the U.S. presidential primaries, which maintain a state’s shape but resize the counties as the results come in. “Unfortunately, in so doing, they shuffle the counties around any old which way. The Lower Peninsula of Michigan has 68 counties in reality, the Upper Peninsula has 15. But Decision Desk HQ has shoved most of the counties into the Upper Peninsula, which now has 58, vs. 25 that remain in the Lower Peninsula,” Huffman writes. “This means that we can’t really see spatial patterns, which is sort of the point of having a map.” [via]

The Cartography Behind Super Tuesday

Further to my last post, here’sNew York Times article on the technology behind their Super Tuesday election map.

There was a time, not too long ago, when our Super Tuesday map would have been impossible to put together and display. Even earlier in the digital era, a complete vote-totals map wouldn’t have been available until every ballot was counted at the end of the night. (Not to mention that in the print-only era, no map would be available until two days after the vote, and then often only in black and white.)

The New York Times Maps the U.S. Presidential Primaries

The New York Times graphics department invariably does first-rate work, and their interactive maps of the U.S. presidential primary and caucus results are no exception. You can zoom in, you can get results by county or congressional district (depending on the state), you can choose to view margin of victory (see screencaps below) or each candidate’s vote share.

The Democratic candidates as of March 9:

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And the Republican candidates:

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The Facebook Primary

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FiveThirtyEight maps the Facebook likes of the U.S. presidential candidates: “If Facebook likes were votes, Bernie Sanders would be on pace to beat Hillary Clinton nationwide by a nearly 3-to-1 margin and Donald Trump to garner more support than Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio combined. Anything seems possible this year, but, still, be careful how you interpret these numbers: Facebook likes are not votes.” They ain’t kidding—Ben Carson?! [via]

Super Tuesday Results by County

Of the maps of the Democratic and Republican U.S. presidential primary and caucus results I’ve seen so far, I rather like the county-by-county maps done by Reddit user Mainstay17. Here’s one for the Democrats that includes the results from the Super Tuesday states:

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And here’s the equivalent map for the Republicans:

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(Before you start, errors have already been pointed out in the Reddit comments here and here. Presumably there will be updates.)

Paula Scher: U.S.A.

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Paula Scher, U.S. Geography and Climate, 2014. Acrylic on hand-pulled silkscreen, 36¾″ × 54⅛″.

U.S.A., a new exhibition of Paula Scher’s map art, opened last week at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York. From the press release:

For this exhibition, Scher has created a body of large-scale cartographic paintings focusing on the United States. Paintings as tall as seven feet depict the country swirling in torrents of information and undulating with colorful layers of hand-painted boundary lines, place names, and commentary. Different sets of data—population demographics, transportation flows, geography, and climate—are employed to make connections and establish patterns. While the information can in no way be interpreted as literal fact, the expression of it demonstrates a personalized understanding of the diversity of the United States.

The exhibition runs until March 26. More on the exhibition from Slate and Mental Floss. The New Yorker has a new profile of Paula Scher, a renowned graphic designer who’s been painting these distinctive maps in her spare time.

scher-mapsA book of her map art, Paula Scher: MAPS, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.

Previously: New Paula Scher Exhibition; Paula Scher: The Maps.

Mapping Gentrification

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Governing used interactive maps to measure the gentrification of the neighbourhoods of Boston (above) and 49 other cities as part of their report on gentrification in the United States last year. “While it has become much more prevalent, gentrification remains a phenomenon largely confined to select regions, not yet making its way into most urban areas. In the majority of cities reviewed, less than one-fifth of poorer, lower priced neighborhoods experienced gentrification. If all city neighborhoods are considered—including wealthier areas not eligible to gentrify—less than one of every ten tracts gentrified. Cities like Detroit, El Paso and Las Vegas experienced practically no gentrification at all.” [via]

‘We Are One’ in Colonial Williamsburg

We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence, an exhibition by the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center (it ran from May to November last year) is going on tour. First stop: Colonial Williamsburg. From March 2016 to January 2017 it will appear at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia. From the press release: “More than 30 unique objects from Colonial Williamsburg’s collections will be included in the exhibition, which were not shown when it initially opened at the Boston Public Library in May 2015. […] Many of the objects from Colonial Williamsburg’s collection to be seen in We Are One are on view for the first time or are rarely exhibited.” [via]

Previously: Mapping the American Revolution.