Traffic is always a problem in every country where lots of people live. The noise, pollution, and physical danger to motorists and the poor shlubs trying to cross the street can be daunting. That’s why the good folks at Nissan have proposed solving this problem with a simple solution – a better traffic light. They haven’t gotten the thing built yet, but they’re collecting a ton of data to figure out how to make it better. It seems to me that today’s traffic lights are pretty sophisticated, so I’m a tad skeptical that Nissan can bring anything radically new to the table. But Nissan has proven me wrong in other areas before, so here’s hoping they can make a positive impact!
Part two of our two part expose of the World’s Great Subways is this great article detailing the Top 11 Underground Systems in the World. If you’ve every had a hankern’ to travel the world to see it’s underground wonders, this is the site for you. Rather nice pictures of each of the Underground systems as well as a few movies give you a feel for what you can expect on your world tour. I have to say I was rather surprised at some of the amenities of these undergrounds – heated seats, ecologic cleaning systems, architectural wonders… most impressive.
O.K., I lied slightly… it wasn’t a two part expose, I just found a couple of interesting articles about Underground transportation systems I wanted to share…
NPR’s Day to Day featured a piece on a GIS project conducted by Amy Hillier of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Prof. Hillier’s research mapped low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia that lacked places to buy healthy food. Her work helped to push through a new initiative to provide subsidies for building supermarkets in neighborhoods that are underserved.
Our friend Dr. Ken Martis, who we interviewed back in November on episode 68, sent us this link to the new Electoral Geography website that has just launched. Alexander Kireev seems to be the main person/contact at the site. I haven’t had time to look at the site in depth, but what I have seen is pretty nice. There’s a LOT of good data there for anyone doing anything with elections around the world. They seem to be following a “beg, borrow, or steal” philosophy as far as the data (which I wholly support!), so you might have to do a little massaging to get into a form you can easily use for analysis. The site would be perfect for any comparative studies in the field. It also features an articles section and a forums for discussion. I hope both geographers and political scientists use the site to try to collaborate more.
The site is still in beta and Alexander is encouraging people to send suggestions, so take a look and let them know what you think!
CORRECTION: Alexander Kireev’s co-creator Alexey Sidorenko made a comment pointing out that he is also keenly involved in the electoral geography website. My sincere apologies to Alexey for leaving him out in the original post, especially considering the great work the two of them are doing for the electoral studies field.
The Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) is a joint British and Kenya effort to create an updated map of global malaria endemicity, the first update in 40 years. According to the website which was launched back in May: “The main objective of this project is to develop a detailed model of the spatial limits of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax malaria at a global scale and its endemicity within this range.”
MAP has already collected some data and provide links to static maps of malaria for some countries that can be downloaded as .kmz files and viewed in Google Earth. Their hope is have a complete dataset that can be released by 2009, in addition to a series of map products showing global malaria risk.
Via Yahoo! News
The good folks over at Modern Life is Rubish have posted a fairly interesting map. They’ve figured out which countries have the most IP address per person and which have the least. The map shows the general distribution and the two charts below show the top 10 most and least per capita. It’s a fairly stark reminder of the “Digital Divide”, I think.
How happy is your country? To help answer that question, psychologist Adrian White of the University of Leicester has produced a map (link does not contain any maps) that ranks countries on how happy they define themselves. Interestingly, the US doesn’t rank in the top 20, lending credence to the notion that money can’t buy happiness. Canadians, predictably, are fairly happy at number 10. Apparently there isn’t much rotten in the state of Denmark, as they’re the happiest of them all!
I just wish the article had included the map itself…
Just got an email from Michael of the Ottawa County, Michigan GIS office. He pointed out their online election mapping of results as they are submitted. There will be a map for each race to show how each precinct falls in the county. I am sure there are a couple of other groups doing this, I just haven’t heard about it yet…If you know of a good election mapping site be sure to add it to the comments.
Hot off the press is the new Historical Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections 1788-2004, by J. Clark Archer, Stephen J. Lavin, Kenneth C. Martis, and Fred M. Shelley. It is so new, in fact, that it is not even available on the publisher’ site (CQPress) or Amazon yet, but we had a chance to sit down with Kenneth C. Martis today, who just happens to be a distinguished Geography faculty at our own university, WVU.
Dr. Martis kindly provided us with his own advance copy of the book for a little while to preview it. The book combines summaries of each presidential election, including major candidates, percentage of popular and electoral college vote, and a brief written discussion of the issues and results of the elections. But what really sets it apart are the maps, of course. The atlas includes 55 color map themes to cover each election, with popular vote mapped to the county level and the electoral vote at state level. Dr. Martis’ previous work, including historical atlases of U.S. Congressional Districts and political parties in Congress, have become seminal works in the field of U.S. electoral geography.
It should be available for purchase shortly, and we will update you with links. For those interested in U.S. political geography, the Historical Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections is definitely a book you should check out.
An interesting milestone is about to happen in the US. Somewhere on or about October 17th, the US population will have surpased 300,000,000 people. The US is the third most populous country on the planet (behind China and India). The last big milestone was 200 million, which we hit in 1967, and then 100 million back in 1915. So our rate of increase is, well, increasing. Of course there’s no way to know for certain if October 17th is the lucky day, but its a safe bet by years end, we’ll have hit lucky number 3 million!