Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Predicting White Collar Crime

Many police forces now use predictive policing models to identify locations where crimes are most likely to occur. These models scientifically target non-white, low-income neighborhoods as criminal hot-spots and the inhabitants of these neighborhoods as delinquent criminals.

Using current predictive policing models poor neighborhoods with a large proportion of non-white inhabitants are identified and targeted for police action. The result is that police resources are unfairly wasted on these neighborhoods and law-abiding rich folk never get to see any nice police officers in their neighborhoods. However a new predictive policing application hopes to readdress this problem by targeting white collar crime.

The White Collar Crime Risk Zones map shows you where white collar crimes are about to be committed. The map uses historical financial crime data and risk terrain modelling to predict which neighborhoods across the United States are most likely to experience white collar crime. The map can even show you what the white collar criminal in each neighborhood probably looks like.

The White Collar Crime Risk Zones map was created by The New Inquiry who argue that,
"Predictive policing apps are designed and deployed to target so-called “street” crime, reinforcing and accelerating destructive policing practices that disproportionately target impoverished communities of color. Unlike typical predictive policing apps which criminalize poverty, White Collar Crime Risk Zones criminalizes wealth".
Disclaimer: The White Collar Crime Risk Zones map was made with tongue inserted firmly in cheek

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Geography of Death

FiveThirtyEight has mapped the mortality rates in the USA for all of the leading causes of death. 35 Years Of American Death provides a choropleth view of mortality rates in every U.S. county from 1980 to 2014.

The maps show some regional variations in the mortality rates for different causes of death. FiveThirtyEight highlight some of these regional variations in the article beneath the map. For example, 12 counties in rural Appalachia are among the top 20 counties with the highest mortality rates in the whole country. In the top 20 counties with the lowest mortality rates 18 of them are west of the Mississippi.

FiveThirtyEight are also using the mortality rates map to illustrate a series of articles examining the relatively high mortality rates in the Black Belt. The first of these articles examines how Patterns Of Death In The South Still Show The Outlines Of Slavery.

Aleppo in London & Berlin

The city of Aleppo has faced a colossal scale of damage since the start of the Syrian civil war. 65.61% of buildings in the Al Aqabeh neighborhood have been damaged by the fighting. In 18 of the city's other neighborhoods over 40% of buildings have been damaged.

While these figures are shocking it is still hard for those of us unfamiliar with the city to conceive of the scale of this destruction. That is why Berlin developer Hans Hack has created maps of London and Berlin in which these cities are shown with similar levels of damage to that seen by Aleppo. Reprojected Destruction is an interactive map which attempts to portray the scale of destruction in Aleppo by overlaying this destruction on two of Europe's most well known cities.

To create the London and Berlin maps Hans Hack used data from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). UNITAR used satellite imagery to work out the percentage of buildings destroyed in Aleppo. Reprojected Destruction uses the result of this research to present maps of Berlin and London in which the same percentage of buildings are shown as having been destroyed.

The geography of the destruction in Aleppo has also been partly reflected in the Berlin and London maps. The buildings shown in these two maps have mostly been randomly selected. However western neighborhoods in both maps are less damaged to reflect how the New Aleppo district has suffered little damage. Eastern neighborhoods in the European city maps also have a higher percentage of damaged buildings to reflect the fact that the east of Aleppo has been the most damaged part of the city during the civil war.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Diversity Map of the United States

A new interactive map hosted by the University of Cincinnati shows the racial diversity of every neighborhood in the continental United States. It can also show how racial diversity has changed in each of those neighborhoods over the last twenty years.

The Racial Diversity map uses census data to visualize the dominant racial group in each 30 meter by 30 meter square in the country for the years 1990, 2000 and 2010. It is therefore possible to show how racial diversity has changed (or not) in towns and cities across the country over the last twenty years. The map also allows you to view population density at the same level across the continental United States.

If you want to use the data to show the racial diversity or population density on your own maps you can download the data in GeoTIFF format (each download is limited to an area no more than 100000 km2).

French Presidential Election Maps

The independent Emmanuel Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen emerged as the winners in yesterday's first round Presidential election in France. The two candidates will now go on to the final election to be held in two weeks time.

Mapping the results by department (screenshot above) shows what looks like an east-west split in support for the two candidates. France 24's interactive map of the highest placed candidate in each department shoes that Le Pen was the most popular candidate in most of the eastern departments and Macron was the most popular in the majority of western departments.

However if you switch the map view to show the results by region then a slightly different picture emerges. When you look at who got the most votes in each region you see that Le Pen appears most popular in the north and along the Mediterranean coast. This is a picture which is supported by a choropleth map of Le Pen's support by department.

The Guardian's choropleth map of Le Pen's support shows that she certainly has more support along the Mediterranean coast and the Belgian border (which the Guardian says has long been her heartland) than in the rest of France.

If you want a more detailed view of how France voted in the first round of the Presidential election then you can click on France 24's interactive map to view the results by commune area.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Ecoregion Atlas of the World

The Ecoregions 2017 interactive map provides a guide to the world's 846 ecoregions. Using the map you can view the distribution of the different ecoregions around the globe and discover more about each individual ecoregion shown on the map.

Ecoregions are ecologically and geographically defined areas which have distinct natural characteristics, species and habitats. The ecoregions are colored on the map by the type of habitats that exist within them. If you hover over an ecoregion on the map you can view more details about its natural habitat and the biogeographic realm in which it exists.

The Ecoregions 2017 map also includes a number of other layers. These include a layer showing the global distribution of biomes, a layer showing the protected status of regions around the world and a 'realms' layer showing the Earth's eight biogeographic realms.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mapping the World of Fonts

IDEO has created an interactive map which organizes fonts by their visual similarities. The map provides designers with a tool to explore, 'understand and see relationships across more than 750 web fonts'.

IDEO used machine learning to organize different fonts into a 2D plane based on vision pattern recognition. This 2D plane of fonts organized by visual similarity was then turned into a fully interactive and searchable interactive font map. Using Font Map you can pan and zoom around this 2D plane of fonts exploring different font families by visual similarity.

You can select individual fonts on the map to view the font's name, its page on Google Fonts and a list of similar fonts.

You can read more about the convolutional neural network used to group the fonts and the algorithm used to turn the results into 2D plane on this How To blog post.  IDEO appear to have created their own custom interactive map interface for exploring the fonts organized by visual similarity. However you could easily achieve similar results using an existing mapping library such as Leaflet.js.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Making L.A. Safer for Pedestrians

If there is one city in the USA that really needs a Vision Zero initiative it is Los Angeles. Over 2,800 people have lost their lives on the streets of Los Angeles since 2003. Nearly half of the victims were pedestrians or cyclists.

Thankfully Vision Zero Los Angeles is here and it wants to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2025, To kick-start the initiative the city has released an interactive map of traffic fatalities. The map shows the location of all traffic fatalities in Los Angeles from 2003 to 2016. The map also shows the location of planned safety projects under the Vision Zero scheme.

One reason for mapping traffic fatalities is to identify traffic black spots. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has identified the Los Angeles streets with the highest concentration of fatal accidents, which they have dubbed the High Injury Network (HIN). Despite contributing only six percent to the city's road network the roads in the HIN have seen nearly two-thirds of all deaths and severe injuries to pedestrians.

You can view the location of the streets in the HIN on the High Injury Network Map. This interactive map identifies Los Angeles most dangerous roads. The map also shows the locations of schools which are on or near the HIN and links to the city's Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan.

You can view other examples of Vision Zero initiatives at Vision Zero Boston, Vision Zero New York and Vision Zero San Francisco.

L.A.'s Elevated Levels of Lead

Children in 323 neighborhood areas in Los Angeles County have lead levels at least as high as found in Flint, Michigan. Some have levels at least twice as high. Reuters has examined the results of more more than 15,000 tests on child lead levels taken between 2011 and 2015 by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The results of that analysis are worrying for L.A.'s children and parents.

In Lead's Hidden Toll Reuters examines the areas of Los Angeles with the highest levels of lead and explores some of the reasons why these levels might be high. The article is illustrated by an interactive map which shows the levels of lead found in children in each census tract area. You can click on each neighborhood on the map to view the number of tested children and the percentage found with elevated levels of lead.

Lead's Hidden Toll and the interactive map are part of Reuters' nationwide investigation, Off the Charts. The map not only show the levels of lead found in L.A.'s children, it also allows you to view the results of childhood blood lead tests in 21 different U.S. states.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The History of Music Around the World

During his long life the American musician Alan Lomax gathered together a huge collection of recorded folk music from around the world. You can now search and listen to the songs from Lomax's collection on the Global Jukebox. The Global Jukebox allows you to listen to music from around the world. giving you access to folk recordings not just from the Alan Lomax collection but from other well known international folk music collections.

There are many different ways to search and listen to folk music from round the world using the Global Jukebox interactive map. At its simplest you can click on the markers on the map to listen to examples of folk songs from that location. The Global Jukebox however also contains a number of curated journeys around the world of folk music. These journeys have been created by folk music experts to take you on a tour of the music from particular traditions and cultures.

If the curated journeys and lesson plans of the Global Jukebox are too structured for your liking then you can try the 'surprise me' button to listen to a random song. You can also select the 'Wander the Earth' option to be taken on a continuous random trip around the world's folk music.