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Original author: 
Nathan Yau

Dangerous travel

As summer rolls around here on this side of the planet, CBC News mapped countries to avoid in your travel plans, based on foreign travel advisories from the Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Naturally, Canada isn't colored on the map because the map was made for Canadians, but I think it's safe to assume that they'd be colored green too and most, if not all, of the advisories apply to those of us here in the United States. [Thanks, John]

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what the internet looks like

In a collaboration between PEER 1 Hosting, Steamclock Software, and Jeff Johnston, the Map of the Internet app provides a picture of what the physical Internet looks like.

Users can view Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet exchange points, universities and other organizations through two view options — Globe and Network. The app also allows users to generate a trace route between where they are located to a destination node, search for where popular companies and domains are, as well as identify their current location on the map.

I can't say how accurate it is or if the described mechanisms are accurate, but it sure is fun to play with. The view above and a globe are placed a three-dimensional space, and you can zoom and rotate as you please. There's also a time slider, so you can see changes to the Internet over the years.

Get it for free on iTunes.

A CNNMoney segment of the app in action:

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We've all seen rain maps for a sliver of time. Screw that. I want to see the total amount of rainfall over a ten-year period. Bill Wheaton did just that in the video above, showing cumulative rainfall between 1960 and 1970. The cool part is that you see mountains appear, but they're not actually mapped.

The hillshaded terrain (the growing hills and mountains) is based on the rainfall data, not on actual physical topography. In other words, hills and mountains are formed by the rainfall distribution itself and grow as the accumulated precipitation grows. High mountains and sharp edges occur where the distribution of precipitation varies substantially across short distances. Wide, broad plains and low hills are formed when the distribution of rainfall is relatively even across the landscape.

See also Wheaton's video that shows four years of rain straight up.

Is there more recent data? It could be an interesting complement to the drought maps we saw a few months ago. [Thanks, Bill]

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Following their animated and narrated visualization on political contributions over time, VisPolitics maps Boston political donations in MoneyBombs.

This video of the Boston metropolitan area reveals the geographic distribution of political donations made by individuals throughout 2012. We identify two types of temporal bursts of campaign contributions. We call both "moneybombs" because they reveal a temporal clustering. The first type occurs when many small donations are given on the same day to a candidate. We call this a grassroots moneyb omb. The second are bursts of extremely large donations, that take advantage of campaign finance laws and allow individuals to donate more than the traditional $5,000 limit. We call this the Joint Committee moneybomb.

Like in the first project, the narration provides a clear view of the data in front of you. There are also videos for just presidential donations and Republican and Democratic donations.

[Thanks, Mauro]

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I'm not sure how I missed this, but PBS's America Revealed, which has apparently been running since last month, is the American version of the popular Britain From Above. Four episodes have aired so far on transportation, electricity, and manufacturing, along with a making-of episode. Here's a clip from the transportation episode.

The series airs on Wednesdays at 10/9c. Although it looks like the full series ran already. It wouldn't make much sense to go over the making-of in the middle. On the upside, four episodes are available online.

Had I known this existed, maybe I wouldn't have subjected myself to the monstrosity of a show in United Stats of America.

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TileMill is a tool that makes it easy to create interactive maps. Soon they will be adding some new features that will treat maps more like images in terms of modifying the look and feel. This will allow you to apply blending to polygons and GIS data.

AJ Ashton made these examples that are quite compelling, beautiful, and just touch on the possibilities. I can envision many different types of data being drawn with blending techniques as opposed to simply flow diagrams and the like. It will be interesting to see what comes out of these new features.

[via @bonnie]

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Plane crash

Live flight tracking site FlightAware shows destinations and current routes. It's everyday stuff for the most part, but around noon time today, a plane was circling above the ocean and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

CNN reports:

The Air Force, which had dispatched fighter jets to monitor the twin-engine Cessna 421, reported it crashed about 12:10 p.m., said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher O'Neil, a Coast Guard spokesman. The aircraft had been circling over the Gulf about 200 miles south of Panama City, Florida, another spokesman, Chief Petty Officer John Edwards, told CNN.

The plane took off from Slidell, Louisiana, en route to Sarasota, Florida, with a single pilot on board, a Federal Aviation Administration source told CNN. It had been circling at an altitude of about 28,000 feet.

Whoa.

[via @DataJunkie]

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Using hand-recorded shipping data from the Climatological Database for the World's Oceans, history graduate student Ben Schmidt mapped a century of ocean shipping, between 1750 and 1850. The above map animates a seasonal aggregate.

There aren't many truly seasonal events, but a few stand out. There are regular summer voyages from Scotland to Hudson's Bay, and from Holland up towards Spitsbergen, for example: both these appear as huge convoys moving in sync. (What were those about?) Trips around Cape Horn, on the other hand, are extremely rare in July and August. More interestingly, the winds in the Arabian sea seem to shift directions in November or so. I also really like the way this one brings across the conveyor belt nature of trade with the East.

The bobbing month label is distracting, but its position actually does mean something. Since seasonality (i.e. weather) plays a role in travels, the label represents noontime location of the sun in Africa. Okay, I'm still not sure if that's actually useful.

If you really must, you can also watch the century of individual shipments during a 12-minute video.

By the way, Schmidt used R to make this, relying heavily on the mapproj and ggplot2 packages. (Bet you didn't see that coming.) I think he created a bunch of images and then strung them together to make the animation.

[via Revolutions]

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Mapping Wikipedia

TraceMedia, in collaboration with the Oxford Internet Institute, maps language use across Wikipedia in an interactive, fittingly named Mapping Wikipedia.

Simply select a language, a region, and the metric that you want to map, such as word count, number of authors, or the languages themselves, and you've got a view into "local knowledge production and representation" on the encyclopedia. Each dot represents an article with a link to the Wikipedia article. For the number of dots on the map, a maximum of 800,000, it works surprisingly without a hitch, other than the time it initially takes to load articles.

This is part of a larger body of work from Mark Graham and Bernie Hogan, et. al, which focuses mostly on the gaps, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa.

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the sidelines. Despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world.

[via FloatingSheep]

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8-bit Google Maps

If you go to Google Maps right now, there's an option in the top right corner for a Quest view. Click on that, and get the world in all its 8-bit NES glory. And great news: The map adventure is coming to an NES console near you. Just put in the cartridge, connect to the Internet via dial-up, and you're off to the races. See the world like you've never seen it before.

Google explains in the video below.

Update: There are also a lot of Easter eggs. [via]

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