Category Archives: Maps

U.S. gun deaths by county, 2004–2010

Mark Graves has put together this map based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing the average number of gun deaths per 100,000 county residents from 2004 through 2010. What really struck me is how NYC is among the areas with the lowest rates in the country. Brooklyn (Kings County), for example, has a rate of 4.79 per 100,000 residents over those seven years. I could only find the rate for 2010 for Germany, which was 1.24. Assuming that the above map actually shows the sum for those seven years from 2004 to 2010, as it suggests, Brooklyn would actually have a lower rate than Germany (7 * 1.24 = 8.68, assuming that the rate in Germany was more or less stable over those years). I certainly did not expect that.

Needless to say, the rates in other areas are much worse. And don’t even get me started about any of those nonsense arguments against stricter gun control laws.

View the full screen map here. Kudos to Harvey for pointing me to this.

Which countries should be able to handle the strain in the European migration crisis?

Greg and his colleagues over at the NY Times published a piece a few days ago, entitled Which Countries Are Under the Most Strain in the European Migration Crisis?. The bar charts published there had a nice perspective on the refugee numbers, showing the number of refugees per 100,000 inhabitants for each country:


This chart shows that Germany is not really carrying the biggest burden in the current surge in asylum applications, as many people in Germany seem to think. Unfortunately, this was a little bit hidden behind the raw refugee numbers, so you had to explicitly click to get to that view. All the news – both good and really, really, bad – from Germany and the rest of Europe about how these countries and their citizens deal with large number of refugees made me wonder: who is actually carrying the biggest financial burden at this time? I had a hunch that Germany should be among the countries who can most easily afford taking on refugees.

I took data from the World Economic Outlook Database and the refugee numbers from the NYTimes article to find out whether my gut feeling is correct. In an (admittedly very simplistic) approach, I just normalized the total number of refugees by the estimated gross domestic product for 2015 for each of the countries. This is what you get (show full screen):

It clearly shows that from a financial point of view, the (raw) high number of refugees coming to Germany is much less problematic than in other countries. In bar charts, this looks as follows:


While asylum applications per billion dollar GDP is not a very intuitive unit, the last chart does show that the biggest financial burden is currently on countries that are struggling financially anyway. And it also shows that countries like Germany, France, and Sweden should be able handle the financial side of this crisis relatively easily, despite the fact that they do take on the highest numbers of refugees.

Some notes about the data: The NYTimes article had Serbia and Kosovo combined, so I also added up their respective GDPs; they still show up as individual countries on the map, but the numbers they show are the total for both of them combined. You can also download the raw data and the R script to generate the graphs.

Update Sep. 4, 2015: The NY Times has a new article out that also looks at a fair distribution of refugees in Europe, taking into account previous agreements as well as economic factors.

In Search of the Longest Subway Ride

This is a pretty cool project by WNYC: They are trying to figure out what the longest ride on the NYC subway is that you can get with a single swipe. You can transfer as often as you want and visit stations repeatedly, but every line segment may only be visited once. They have built a small website that is trying to crack that problem brute force in the browser:

A bit like a traveling salesman who really doesn’t want to go home.


The Racial Dot Map: One Dot Per Person for the Entire U.S.


Very cool map by Dustin Cable at University of Virginia:

This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. The map displays 308,745,538 dots, one for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census. Each dot is color-coded by the individual’s race and ethnicity. The map is presented in both black and white and full color versions. In the color version, each dot is color-coded by race.

[Via Citylab]

Phantom Terrains →

Very cool project by Frank Swain, Daniel Jones, and Stefanie Posavec:

The map below visualises the wireless network landscape on a walk around BBC Broadcasting House. Stronger network signals are shown as wider shapes; the colour of each shape corresponds to the router’s broadcast channel (with white denoting modern 5Ghz routers), and the fill pattern denotes the network’s security mode.

Beneath the map is an audio recording of part of the same walk, as heard through the Phantom Terrains sonification interface. The sound of each network is heard originating from the router’s geographical location, producing clicks whose frequency rises with the signal strength — akin to a layered series of Geiger counters. Routers with particularly strong signals “sing” their network name (SSID), with pitch corresponding to the broadcast channel, and a lower sound denoting the network’s security mode.



NYC Hurricane Evacuation Zones Map

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 13.22.03

This Leaflet map of the NYC hurricane evacuation zones is one of the small projects we completed during our training course on Free and Open Source GIS at Hunter College last week. Carson (who prepared this example – credit where credit is due!) and I had an awesome crowd and had a a really great time teaching this class.

Note that I have simplified the actual zone shapes a little bit to make the GeoJSON file more digestible, so please use the NYC Evacuation Zone Finder in case of an actual storm.

The map that shows where America came from →

Interesting map over at the Daily Mail that shows the ancestry of every county in the US. I did not know the bit about Germans:

By far the largest ancestral group, stretching from coast to coast across 21st century America is German, with 49,206,934 people. The peak immigration for Germans was in the mid-19th century as thousands were driven from their homes by unemployment and unrest.

The majority of German-Americans can now be found in the the center of the nation, with the majority living in Maricopa County, Arizona and according to Business Insider, famous German-Americans include, Ben Affleck, Tom Cruise, Walt Disney, Henry J. Heinz and Oscar Mayer.

Indeed, despite having no successful New World colonies, the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the United States in the 1670s and settled in New York and Pennsylvania.

Germans were attracted to America for familiar reasons, open tracts of land and religious freedom and their contributions to the nation included establishing the first kindergartens, Christmas trees and hot dogs and hamburgers.