A Random Generator of Random @mapmakerbot Maps

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

One of my favorite Twitter bot ideas is @mapmakerbot, which visualizes American demographic data each hour in the form of county-level maps. You can read the technical details here.

The bot, created by New York artist Neil Freeman, has posted thousands of maps this year. Some are interesting. Others not so much, as the author notes:

The bot creates maps of county-level data, grouped by quintile. The bot functions as an educational tool, and as a critique of a facile approach to official statistics and map-making. The bot’s functional but hardly insightful maps offer a veiled critique of the blind use of data to offer insight.

See for yourself. More than 1,000 maps, at random:

How Much Differently Do Men and Women Drink Alcohol — By Country

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Demographics, Uncategorized

A few months ago, I wrote about the novelty of a McDonald’s selling beer at one of its restaurants in South Korea — a first for the fast-food giant in Asia.

The story wouldn’t have been complete, of course, without the context of South Korea’s raging alcohol consumption. People who drink here do so more heavily than their counterparts in most countries around the world, especially when compared to fellow rich nations, according to a survey by the World Health Organization.

The country-by-country comparisons from that story are plotted below.

DC, Seoul Share Similar Climate — Until The Summer Rains Come

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: South Korea, Uncategorized, Weather

As I noted yesterday, we can expect similar weather here in Seoul as we experienced in Washington, D.C., where we lived until earlier this month. The two capital cities are located about the same distance from the Equator, along the 38th parallel north.

We’ll be in for something different this summer, however. That’s when the rains come. On average, Seoul gets about 35 inches of rain during July and August alone. To put that in perspective, our former home city, Austin, receives about the same amount annually. Seoul gets more rain in these months than most major cities in the American West, in fact.

Compare Austin, Seoul and Washington, D.C., in this chart:

The number of days with some rain also spikes a bit during the Seoul summer. Again, compare the cities:

The Viz On Paternity Leave

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

My wife Elise gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday, meaning it’s time for me to take a guilt-free vacation from the blog, which I’ve been neglecting already in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, here’s a parting viz, showing the interval between her contractions as we labored from home. They began around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, coming and going erratically until the late afternoon.

At that point the contractions came every three minutes, our baseline for going to the hospital (that’s also when we stopped collecting data, which admittedly aren’t perfect because we missed a few contractions along the way). Baby Eva came three hours later.

See you soon…

Mapping Apollo Missions

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

This is sad news:

Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 astronaut who became the first human being to set foot on another world, has died. He was 82.

Thanks to Google Moon, you can revisit Armstrong’s historic mission — and those of other astronauts in the Apollo series:

The site features lunar tours, models of vehicles and photo panoramas.

Check it out.

Mapping The Titanic’s Passengers

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Mapping software giant Esri has recently published “story maps,” self contained interactives in which maps anchor the narrative. The latest example uses symbols on a world map to show the destination cities of Titanic passengers. Larger symbols represent more passengers traveling to a specific destination. It also has a pie chart showing how many survived the disaster:

Using the top navigation bar you can toggle the maps to see how passengers in the various ticket classes fared. More than half of the first-class passengers survived, for example, while only about a quarter of the third-class passengers (think Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character) survived:

How Did This Year’s Oscar Ratings, Length Compare?

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

This year’s Academy Awards presentation seemed to drag on forever, but it wasn’t actually that long compared to past shows. The event last lasted 194 minutes, which is slightly longer than the average since the mid-1980s (183 minutes), but relatively short compared to the four-hour-plus show in 2002: 

About 39.3 million people tuned in for the show, a four-percent increase over the 2011. The best ratings since the mid-1980s came in 1998, when Titanic won best picture: 

Larger, interactive charts: Length, Viewers

Data source: Wikipedia | Download

Mapping with TileMill

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

I just returned from the NICAR journalism convention in St. Louis, where I helped teach hands-on panels for using TileMill, the open-source mapping application. This first map we made shows the murder rate per 100,000 residents in the nation’s largest cities: 

We also mapped the poverty rate: 

Download the data and code

Candidate Fundraising vs. Super PAC Spending in January

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

From Huffington Post

Reports about January’s fundraising numbers, released on February 20, have focused on two narratives: Mitt Romney’s limited fundraising and high burn rate and the role that super PACs are playing in an increasingly contested Republican primary. HuffPost decided to combine those narratives together to make a graphic of candidate and super PAC fundraising and spending in January.