Category: Political Geography


2012 Federal Budget: A Visual

You have to love Facebook because many times friends will post news articles that you might have missed. Everyone is talking about the new 2012 U.S. Government Budget that just came out. The New York Times has created a visual of the budget with different size blocks representing spending with a rollover to show the percentage of change from 2010. It is nifty to play with and gets across the big (or not) spending picture. The Washington Post uses a similar visual forrmat to show spending priorities from Reagan to Obama. Both visuals are interesting on their own but it is the surrounding budget articles that provide a good context for understanding their “rectangles”.

Visualizing The Mid-term Elections has a great writeup on four ways to visually follow the mid-term elections.  There are some of the standards on there, like the New York Times and the Washington Post, but there appear to be some new visualizations on some of those same standards.  If you’re a political junkie like me, it will be great to watch the race tomorrow using as many analytical tools and can be found.

And a friendly reminder from VerySpatial – Whatever your political bent, if you’re in the US and registered to vote, don’t forget to take time and hit the polls tomorrow!

US Broadband Rollout Receives Failing Grade, FCC Says

It’s been in several news sources, but I think ArsTechnica does the best job of discussing the issue.  The short of it is that thousands of people are still without access to broadband in the US.  The most interesting thing for me is that, when you get down to it, this is all a geography question.  The initial report from 1999 basically listed a county as having access if a single person had access.  The new method says that 1% of the population in the county has to have access to count, which is still a fairly loose metric.  However, even that one change made the report conclude the US is failing compared to even a decade ago.  Not this concerns access, not subscription, which is a critique some on the FCC have made about the report.  In addition to the geographic change, the FCC bumped up the standards that are now considered “broadband” (a welcome and long needed change, in my opinion).  That also is not without controversy from critics.  What I find oddly lacking in the reports I’m reading about the FCCs conclusion is a comparative international component.  The fact of the matter is that when the US is compared with most other industrialized countries, access, speed, cost per megabit, and adoption are sorely lacking.  Perhaps that should be factored into evaluating the US’s success in broadband deployment (or perhaps it shouldn’t – please discuss in the comments if you’re itching to give an opinion!)

Best US Government Blogs

Ran across this interesting post: the best government blogs and why they’re the best.  With the exception of NASA, none of these have a direct geospatial tie.  In fact, all but one of them are CIO’s of their respective organizations.  It sorta makes sense it would start there, but I’d like to challenge anybody in local, state, or federal government who has any stake in geospatial information to start blogging.  The points on what makes each of these blogs work are excellent starting points to use in your own blog.  I’d love to see more geospatial government blogs out there!

Broadband Penetration by Country

As many long-time listeners will know, I exceptionally intersted in broadband adoption world-wide.  The US has long been behind the ball on broadband adoption and this latest report does nothing to reverse that trend.  The US is ranked 20th, behind even places like Singapore, Denmark, and even Estonia, all places I’m sure most Americans wouldn’t peg as being so technologically advanced relative to the US.  What is exceptionally intersting about this study is that they claim past reports have been using the wrong metric; that in fact the household is the better study unit rather than per capita.

A VerySpatial Podcast – Special Episode 39

The VerySpatial crew sat down after a night of following election results online to talk about the different election maps. We talk about CNN, ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC News, and the NYTimes election maps comparing them for differences in content and cartographic representations.

Click to download mp3 version

Click to download aac version

BBC NEWS | US elections map: state-by-state guide

So the BBC is getting in on the SuperTuesday mapping action. They have a handy flash map that provides a great overview of what is at stake in each of the SuperTuesday states and some the expectations and trends going into these primaries. It’s a good thing that the Brit’s have such a good handle on US politics and are willing to make tools to help us be better informed 🙂

BBC NEWS | Special Reports | US elections map: state-by-state guide

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