USA Today reports that the country hasn’t been this “dry” in five years:
Still reeling from devastating drought that led to at least $10 billion in agricultural losses across Texas and the South in 2011, the nation is enduring more unusually parched weather.
The map uses the same data we at NPR used recently to map conditions in Texas, which endured the worst drought in its history last year. The map shows the full country, for context, and allows users to see an animated view week-by-week from summer 2010 to last month. Check it out.
The New York Times has posted a sad and troubling story about the horse racing industry:
[A]n investigation by The New York Times has found that industry practices continue to put animal and rider at risk. A computer analysis of data from more than 150,000 races, along with injury reports, drug test results and interviews, shows an industry still mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation and a fatal breakdown rate that remains far worse than in most of the world.
The story has a chart and map visualizing the rate of incidents at each track, showing how it varies by state:
Asians were the fastest-growing racial group in the United States from 2000-2010, growing by nearly 30 percent in most states, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau released today:
The population that identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, grew by 45.6 percent from 2000 to 2010, while those who identified as Asian alone grew by 43.3 percent. Both populations grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.
This map, made with ArcGIS, visualizes that population with a dot density map. Each dot represents 3,000 residents per county:
Since I get the day off, I figured I should repay our presidents by honoring their birthplaces with two maps made with Google Fusion Tables. This first map places points on their home towns (see larger interactive version):
Here’s the same data but aggregated by state and mapped with polygons. Darker shades represent more presidents (see larger interactive version):
Data source: Wikipedia
While we watch the GOP candidates vie for their party’s nomination, the Taiwanese (including some of my wife’s family) are voting in presidential elections of their own — a race that could affect the U.S. relationship with the island nation and China:
Taiwanese voted on Saturday for their next president and parliament, an election being closely monitored by China and the United States as they look for stability in the region at a time of political transition for both superpowers.
The votes will be tallied overnight, but I mapped the regional divide from the last election, in 2008, which propelled nationalist Ma Ying-jeou to power. His Kuomintang party has pushed for warmer relations with China. Four years ago, he defeated Frank Hsieh, of the Democratic Progressive Party, which favors independence from China and a distinct identity from the Middle Kingdom.
This map shows administrative areas won by both candidates. Ma’s party is stronger in the north, where business groups in large population centers like the capitol of Taipei generally prefer better relations with China:
This map shows the intensity of Ma’s support in 2008. Again, the regional divide is evident (he won with 58 percent of the vote, so the maps have different totals):
And here’s Hsieh’s vote:
We’ll see what happens in the morning in the contest between Ma and pro-independence DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen. Though Ma won easily four years ago, this year’s contest is too close to call. This time, a third-party candidate, James Soong, is in the race. He threatens to pull votes away from Ma’s party, as he did in 2000.
More maps tomorrow…
The data-driven real estate service Trulia.com has released another cool visualization — this time mapping the company’s growth in web traffic since August 2006.
The map illustrates where house hunters are looking for homes (property views) while the bar chart shows you how many people are visiting Trulia.com each month (monthly visits).
Via Sha Hwang, who’s posted plenty of his own impressive data visualization work here.
These maps, created by The New York Times four years ago to visualize the Republican results, might be interesting for reference as the returns come in tonight.
Mitt Romney, who lost to Mike Huckabee in 2008, carried the eastern and western portions of the state. Will he tonight? Huckabee carried the middle of the state, including Des Moines. Who will take them tonight? Paul won just one county. Will he improve on that total?
This map displays the raw vote total by county. Larger bubbles represent higher margins of victory. Huckabee won Polk County, which contains Des Moines, by 2,700 votes — one quarter of his victory margin. Who will win it tonight?
View the interactive maps (which also include the Democratic caucuses).
The Los Angeles Times has released a nifty interactive map and table of the recent arson fires in the City of Angels:
Since the morning of Dec. 30, a wave of intentional blazes has damaged property and left residents on edge. The fires range from the Westside to Hollywood and from the San Fernando Valley south to Lennox. Nine more fires were reported Monday morning. Officials have not confirmed whether some reported fires are related to the arson spree. The Times will update this map as more details become available.
I like how the fires are categorized by type — and that the Times’ data desk added a handy timeline to help readers visualize when the fires were set:
These maps capture the warm winter we’re experiencing in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. The top map shows the average temperature so far this December. The bottom map shows how that figure differs from the norm over the last three decades:
Source: National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center
Does this mean Santa isn’t real?
Via The Atlantic:
There are just over 526,000,000 Christian kids under the age of 14 in the world who celebrate Christmas on December 25th. In other words, Santa has to deliver presents to almost 22 million kids an hour, every hour, on the night before Christmas. That’s about 365,000 kids a minute; about 6,100 a second. Totally doable.