Mapping D.C. Building Heights

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: DC

I posted yesterday about residential buildings in Seoul and South Korea. Here’s a quick look at the buildings in my previous city, Washington, D.C. Darker shades represent taller buildings:

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:

Monitoring D.C.’s Growth With Landsat

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Demographics

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Landsat system, a group of satellites that offer scientists a continuous view of the earth.

“The data from the satellites provide a permanent, objective record of land conditions and are routinely used to measure and monitor changes brought on by natural or anthropological events and actions,” according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which operates the system in partnership with NASA.

Here’s an example. Four decades ago, the system took this color infrared image of the Washington, D.C., area. “The red tones represent forests and large grassy areas. The light tones indicate cleared fields and the highly reflective impervious areas of urban development,” according to USGS:

Landsat also captured this image earlier in 2012. “A comparison of the two images illustrates the significant growth in the greater D.C. area,” the agency said:

More about the Landsat system here:

WaPo Census Map

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

The Washington Post has an excellent county-by-county interactive map that visualizes three decades of U.S. Census Bureau data. The page opens with a national view of the population in 2010 by race/ethnicity, but also allows several other views by decade.

Here’s the national view, with colors representing which group has a plurality in each county, and shades indicating the concentration: 

More recent data shows other information collected last year by the bureau. This view, for example, is a national look at the percentage of residents who are married with kids in the home (notice Utah and South Texas — counties with the nation’s highest birth rates — have a greater proportion of these residents):

And, finally, if you zoom in, the map displays data at the block group level. Here’s D.C., which as I’ve noted is quite segregated:

Guest Post from Mrs. Hu-Stiles

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

I’ve been living here in Washington, DC, by myself for the last month, and exploring the new city in between the out of town trips for work. In between all the Metro rides to DCA, I’ve tried to remember and make note of the places I’ve been, so that when my husband (finally) moves to town we can go to some spots together (finally).

To plot where I’ve been, I created a personalized Google Map and made notes on each place. It’s a very simple data visualization, but I’m not the pro in the family. Check it out:

View Elise Hu-Stiles’ Washington, DC Spots in a larger map

Click on the map to view it larger, and click on each plot point to read more about the place.