March 18, 2010

This Week in Maps

Here are some interesting maps I saw this week:

Remember the map of american hamburger fiefdoms from a while back? Weather Sealed has a follow-up graphic with a couple landscapes enlarged for a better look at things. At some point, what was a map morphs into artwork composed of colored blogs...but I don't discriminate against abstract blob-based artwork.

Staying on Weather Sealed, I found a illuminating look at the different touch patterns of typing styles. It is hard for me to imagine anything else besides the typical touch typing profile - having keyboards since age 6 or whatever and being taught typing in elementary school tends to ingrain some things in one, I suppose. The post illustrates the most common styles of typing, and the movements most associated with them. It's cool.

Maps don't always have to display data geospatially - the U.S. Department of State is currently running an innovative project called Opinion Space. You answer five questions about foreign policy issues (they're not terribly difficult, don't worry. Also, you can't really be wrong.) and the combination of your opinions get mapped in comparison to >12,000 other responses. Left/right, hawk/dove, your answers are mapped in a sort of vacuum. This (in theory, at least) allows for a more honest discussion of issues, and it is fun to see where your data point falls.

Last week, I linked to a newish mapping group called Their latest map has been my favorite so far. The trio has mapped references to Christianity on Google Maps. On a global scale, they map references to Catholic, Protestant, Pentacostal, and Orthodox denominations. They then write about how that probably overstates Catholicism, as references to smaller protestant denominations are less numerous. However, in a U.S. map they list 10 different types of references. It's a colorful, revealing map.

Finally, if you were a video game character in 1982 New York City, this is what you'd be holding while you tried to find Times Square.

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