Mapping ‘My’ DC

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Social Media

Steven Lehrburger, a software engineer in New York, announced just now that he’d updated his cool web app, It allows Foursquare users to visualize their checkins with heat maps.

Here’s an example from last January, when I still lived in Austin:

With the new version live, I mapped more than 900 checkins. Here’s where I go in Washington, D.C. (I live at 12th and Kearny in northeast, and I work at 6th and Massachusetts in northwest, so that explains the red spots in the upper righthand corner and downtown).

Below is a national view. This makes sense, as I’ve spent most of my time in D.C. and Austin since I stopped using Gowalla (*tear*) in favor of Foursquare. What’s strange, though, is that I’ve never been to Vancouver.

Thanks for the update, Steven.

Mapping LA Fires

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Crime

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: 

Real-Time UARS Tracking

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

As you may have noticed, a large NASA satellite is expected to crash into the earth sometime this week, but fortunately not in DC, according to the Post’s Joel Achenbach: 

This just in: Washington will be spared when the NASA satellite UARS crashes to Earth. So will Manhattan. Indeed, the entire East Coast of the U.S. looks safe as I examine the projected crash map.

This isn’t class warfare, it’s just physics.

You can watch the 20-year-old satellite, which right now is moving (at about 4.7 miles per second) over the South Pacific, with this service

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.

D.C. Homicides

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

The Washington, D.C., official data catalog is a rich source for information about the nation’s capitol. Users can download dozens of free GIS products as well as datasets related to city functions (311 service requests, permits, etc.) in relatively clean tables.

For today’s visualization I downloaded some 31,000 serious crime incidents in 2010, and then uploaded them to Google Fusion Tables, a free online database manager with powerful querying and visualization tools. The data were already geocoded, so I filtered the table for homicides and made this simple map (click the photo to see a full-screen interactive version): 

View an interactive map with all crimes, not just homicides. 

Sources: D.C. Data Catalog, Google Fusion Tables | Raw Data: CSV