Redesigning the periodic table might seem a quixotic quest, but it could soon take on a new urgency. We are already on the trail of element 119. Where it will go, and how the table will morph to make space for it, remains to be seen.
Slate:This map, issued by the Council Against Intolerance in America in 1940, shows the ethnic groups living in the United States, offering a picture of their geographical locations, typical employment, and religious commitments.
The map omits state boundaries, opting instead to show the mix of ethnic groups by area. For heavily-populated areas, such as the Northeast or Chicago, pop-out keys framed with line drawings of people engaged in typical industries show the diversity of urban citizenry.
Altas Obscura:“Maps of this kind were not particularly common and especially not at this scale,” says Ian Fowler, the director of Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine, who notes that the physical map itself is quite large. “While this map does borrow stylistic elements from pictorial maps produced during the 1920s and ‘30s, it is very unique in its emphasis and display of information.”
The Council Against Intolerance, a New York group active from the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, was founded by left-leaning Jewish author James Waterman Wise. Wise is notable for having warned of the dangers of Nazism in several books as early as 1933. — Slate
Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected. This map depicts the main trading arteries of the high middle ages, just after the decline of the Vikings and before the rise of the Mongols, the Hansa and well before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope.
Credit for this map goes to Martin Månsson who posted this on /r/MapPorn, which has some interesting discussion.
The map also depicts the general topography, rivers, mountain passes and named routes. All of which contributed to why cities came to be, and still are, up until modern times.
The Silk Road is not just one, but many roads that leads through all of Asia, from Constantinople in the west, through Central Asia and the Himalayas, to Liangzhou in the east. During this time, the Chinese Song dynasty was in its height and it was one of those Chinese dynasties that were open to foreign trade and invested in commerce and infrastructure. Foreign trade was mostly concentrated to the southern ports were both Jews and Muslims had their own communities.
Urbano Monte’s remarkable 430-year-old map of the world — An important and extraordinary manuscript world map drawn up on a north polar projection to form the largest manuscript map of the world at 9 by 9 feet. […] This printed version was published in 1604 on 64 plates, and is the only printed copy known.
The high middle ages were a time when the stars aligned in terms of commerce for many areas of the world. In central Europe many German and French cities initiated annual trade fairs, some of which are still active today – most notably in Frankfurt.
A visual experiment that evaluates the evolving graphic symbolism of the United States, True Colors is a collection of flags generated from the 2016 American Community Survey. Each flag is based on data specific to its state, and provides information at a glance.
District of Columbia
Most existing flags share the same common visual cues: stripes, circles or polygons, and stars. You’ll find these familiar components in the flags of True Colors as well but their color, size, shape, and position are all determined by data.
Population – background
Housing – stripe
Economy – foreground
Education – star
Each layer of the flag corresponds to subjects that provide an informative snapshot of life in that state. The background visualizes population, the stripe shows housing, the circle or polygon represents economics, and the star indicates education.
Diglû consists of 440 characters and 404 pictograms developed for the analysis and mediation of archaeological finds. It was developed as a research project of the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research as a part of the doctoral thesis of Fabienne Kilchör.
A lineal typeface designed with 6 weights and 844 pictographic symbols Diglû is a substantial subset of the Unicode standard focused on one specific area of application.
Diglû will be made available through the independent type foundry Extraset.ch, where other pictograms serving different niches will be developed.
“I constantly write things on this blog like “I’m not sure about this part…”. I try to not be falsely modest (when I do actually know something, I try to just state it without hedging), but when I don’t know something, I say so.”
The open source AGM2015 provides fundamental data for experiments, assists in strategic detector placement to determine neutrino mass hierarchy, and aids in identifying undeclared nuclear reactors.
“The open access availability of these antineutrino maps represents the next generation of cartography and gives important insights into the basic understanding about the interior of our planet.” Shawn Usman — NGA R&D
“This is what Earth would look like if you could see its glow of neutrinos–from natural radioactivity mostly, but lightly dotted with nuclear reactors. Amazing map. [⋮] Continental rocks are enriched in uranium and thorium, so the continents “glow” in antineutrinos.” — @coreyspowell
The Guardian:The civil rights pioneer and scholar is most famous for his book The Souls of Black Folk, but his use of data to show inequality is still profound today
Original illustration (left) created by WEB Du Bois, and updated version (right) by Mona Chalabi
Mona Chalabi has updated WEB Du Bois’ visualizations with recent data, while staying faithful to the design of the original illustrations.
I thought about DuBois while drawing these. Not just his outstanding craft (how did he manage to get those lines so straight? Those labels so neat?) but how he would feel to look at data 117 years later about the “present condition” of black Americans.
“Yes, the fact that black illiteracy has fallen to 1.6% does seem like progress. But even as late as 1979, illiteracy among black Americans was still four times higher than it was for white Americans.”
“The story is bleak. [Today] For every dollar a black household in America has in net assets, a white household has 16.5 more.”
“At first glance, this looks like another story of progress. It’s not.”
“All of the cities in the project had the same requirements: they had to fit in a 120px circle (with 10px of padding), the lines had to be 3px wide with a minimum of another 3px between the next parallel line, and all diagonals had to be 45-degrees.” — Peter Dovak
Two cartograms from Benjamin Hennig’s Views of the World website showing how the US voted in the 2016 election and how the UK voted in the EU referendum earlier this year.
US Presidential Election 2016:The population-centric perspective of this map shows that Trump’s success has largely been in the more rural areas, while Clinton won more of the votes in the urban areas that stand out in the cartogram. An analysis by the Economist showed that “80% of voters who have over one square mile (2.6 square km) of land to enjoy to themselves backed Mr Trump.” […] However, despite having received more votes from the electorate, Clinton is not the winner of this election. Since the president is not directly elected, but by an electoral college of electors that the voters technically vote for, the presidential election is an indirect one and the outcome of the popular vote does not always reflect the outcome of the election.
The EU Referendum:17,410,742 people of the United Kingdom’s 65 million population voted for leaving the European Union. These are about 26.8% of the UK’s resident population, or 37.4% of the electorate in this EU referendum. It also equals 51.9% of the valid votes cast.
Benjamin Hennig is a geographer whose work looks at social inequalities, humanity’s impact on Earth, global sustainability and new the development of concepts for analysing, visualising and mapping these issues.
To decide which words to include in the dictionary and to determine what they mean, Merriam-Webster editors study the language as it’s used. They carefully monitor which words people use most often and how they use them.
216 positive emotions that have no direct English translation — University of East London psychology lecturer Tim Lomas has corralled some of the most striking non-English words about emotions for Westerners to appreciate. While the words describe phenomena experienced and celebrated by many cultures, no easily-expressible equivalents exist in English.
Three theories of how liberals and conservatives think, compiled by Nicky Case.
I’m posting this in large part because I like the format. It’s more interesting than just a text screenshot or tweetstorm when posted on social media, and it looks good in a blog post. I also appreciate that it’s explicitly public domain to encourage sharing.
It’s not a proper infographic, it’s not an essay and it’s certainly not a comic, but it is a little of all of these things.
The symbols, designed to instantly communicate the essence of a sport, are in some ways quite literal. Cycling features a bicycle, equestrian a horse, basketball, well, a basketball. Yet designers invariably infuse these illustrations with elements that reflect the culture of the host city.
The evolution of ten Olympic event pictographs from 1964 to present
“Many of the pictograms you see are designed to represent the country or city where the Olympics are happening,” says Joel Grear of Malcolm Grear Designers, who created the pictograms of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. — Wired
“This infographic distills the Art of Security. Dissimilar from the Art of War in the information security world we will never know our enemy and our battle is not one that can be won. So how can we ensure that we don’t lose that battle?”
The Atlas of Prejudice is “the official stereotype lab of Yanko Tsvetkov, a bestselling author, prolific cartographer, and leading international bigotry professional with a taste for salacious political incorrectness and unconventional historical studies.”
Joel Carron recently analyzed 67 years of Lego sets and wrote up his findings in a detailed blog post full of interactive graphics, including this fact about the top ten Lego block colours over the years…
Top ten Lego block colours by decade
Legos have gotten darker, with white giving way to black and gray. The transition from the old grays to the current bluish grays (or “bley”) is a hot-button topic for many Lego fans.
MIT Technology Review:Scientists at the Computational Story Laboratory have analyzed novels to identify the building blocks of all stories.
Sentiment analysis was used to map the emotional arcs of over 1,700 stories. Then data-mining techniques revealed the most common arcs.
“We find a set of six core trajectories which form the building blocks of complex narratives”
Their method is straightforward. The idea behind sentiment analysis is that words have a positive or negative emotional impact. So words can be a measure of the emotional valence of the text and how it changes from moment to moment. So measuring the shape of the story arc is simply a question of assessing the emotional polarity of a story at each instant and how it changes.
The six basic emotional arcs are these:
A steady, ongoing rise in emotional valence, as in a rags-to-riches story such as Alice’s Adventures Underground by Lewis Carroll. A steady ongoing fall in emotional valence, as in a tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet. A fall then a rise, such as the man-in-a-hole story, discussed by Vonnegut. A rise then a fall, such as the Greek myth of Icarus. Rise-fall-rise, such as Cinderella. Fall-rise-fall, such as Oedipus.
Back in 1995, Kurt Vonnegut gave a lecture in which he described his theory about the shapes of stories. In the process, he plotted several examples on a blackboard. “There is no reason why the simple shapes of stories can’t be fed into computers,” he said. “They are beautiful shapes.”
Mazin: “Of all of these, this one truly is the dumbest. It’s bad science that provides clickbaiters something to say, but it teaches you nothing. It is the emptiest of noise.”
The Shapes of Stories, a Kurt Vonnegut infographic — Kurt Vonnegut believed that a story’s main character has ups and downs that can be graphed to reveal the story’s shape. The shape of society’s stories, he said, is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.
The U.K. and Europe can’t exactly go their own ways once their divorce is finalized. On trade, customs, defense and the global flow of capital, the European Union and its cross-channel neighbor will continue doing business after Brexit. The question is, how?
“The Norway model (also employed by Iceland and Liechtenstein) is getting a lot of attention as a potential path for the U.K. But while that would preserve most economic ties, it would also retain many features of EU membership that the British people rejected, such as free movement of labor and paying into the European budget. That’s the dilemma for policy makers.” — Bloomberg
Sources: Joel Kotkin (boundaries and names of 7 mega-regions); Forbes Magazine; Regional Plan Association; Census Bureau; United States High Speed Rail Association; Clare Trainor/University of Wisconsin-Madison Cartography Laboratory.
Parag Khanna, New York Times:
To an extent, America is already headed toward a metropolis-first arrangement. The states aren’t about to go away, but economically and socially, the country is drifting toward looser metropolitan and regional formations, anchored by the great cities and urban archipelagos that already lead global economic circuits.
The 21st century will not be a competition over territory, but over connectivity — and only connecting American cities will enable the United States to win the tug of war over global trade volumes, investment flows and supply chains. More than America’s military grand strategy, such an economic master plan would determine if America remained the world’s leading superpower.
Hans Conrad Gyger (1599–1674) was a painter, mathematician, surveyor and cartographer in Zurich. Gyger was the first to systematically survey a larger area in Switzerland. This resulted in the map “Grosse Landtafel des Kantons Zürich“ (Great Land Board of the Canton of Zurich; 1664–67).
With his map Gyger reached a fundamental progress by displaying mountains – until then drawn in template-like side views – as elevations of mass. Thus continuous mountain ranges and valleys seen from oblique forward became apparent, not unlike today’s bird’s-eye-view-maps.
His map of the Zurich area took 38 years to survey and paint, and is considered as one of the most beautiful cartographic works of that time. Because of its high military importance the map was kept secret, and, unfortunately, had no influence on contemporary cartography. Not until 200 years later were shaded relief maps of comparable quality and beauty produced.
“In 1668, Hans Conrad Gyger submitted an outstanding cartographic masterpiece to the government of Zurich. […] Gyger depicted the topography in a naturalistic manner with illumination emanating from the southwest. The map is east-oriented. It was drawn and painted with gouache and pen.” — reliefshading.com
Mapping the Online World — an atlas redrawn according to the number of registrations within each country’s internet domain* — whether .uk for the UK, .de for Germany, .cn for China, and so on.
On a map of the world scaled to the most popular top-level domains, the Pacific island of Tokelau reigns supreme.
Wired:With more than 31 million .tk websites, the tiny New Zealand territory has more domain registrations than any other nation or territory in the world. It might measure just four square miles and have little over 1,400 residents, but Tokelau’s .tk dwarfs the rest of the world.
Domain map of the world
‘Online Europe’ is so much larger than geographic Europe because of the high rates of internet adoption by countries in this region. The UK, for example, is only the 21st largest country in the world by population, and the 78th by area. But in terms of internet use, it’s right at the top of the table.
Domain map of Europe
The USA, on the other hand, is an anomaly. Despite having high levels of internet use, e-commerce and online innovation, there are comparatively few registrations under .us, its official country-code domain. Americans and American businesses tend to prefer .com, which at around 123 million registrations is the world’s most common domain.
Probe the solar system from Mercury to Pluto with this stellar schematic of space exploration! From the Luna 2 in 1959 to the DSCOVR in 2015, this color-coded chart traces the trajectories of every orbiter, lander, rover, flyby, and impactor to ever slip the surly bonds of Earth’s orbit and successfully complete its mission—a truly astronomical array of over 100 exploratory instruments in all.
A scale model of the Solar System — On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.
Richard Kreitner (writer), Steven Melendez (map): The above map is the result of a painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature. It includes every place-name reference in 12 books about cross-country travel, from Mark Twain’s Roughing It (1872) to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (2012), and maps the authors’ routes on top of one another. You can track an individual writer’s descriptions of the landscape as they traveled across it, or you can zoom in to see how different authors have written about the same place at different times.
Bangor Daily News:Jill Pelto, an artist and scientist, recently completed a project as part of her honors thesis that explores the issues of human-induced climate change she has studied with her father over many years of study.
“I call it environmental art,” she said. “The way I use it is specifically to communicate particular issues.”
Increasing forest fire activity
Annual glacier mass balance data
Jill Pelto made it her mission to show others the facts through unique watercolors and screen prints that illustrate the effects of climate change by integrating scientific data with her own unique artwork.
“I incorporated a graph with data points and used some sort of illustration to give a narrative about what the piece was about,” Jill Pelto said. “A lot of scientists don’t know how to communicate their research. … Since I’m involved in both the science world and the art world, I think I have a unique ability to bridge those.”
Decline in ocean pH
Climate Central:Her father, Mauri Pelto, is a glacier researcher who has worked in Washington’s North Cascades for decades. Glaciers there have been receding at an alarming rate, including a huge drop in 2015 following the hottest year on record for the region. The warm year also caused a large portion of precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow, further shrinking glaciers across the region.
Summer trips to the region have been a family affair since Jill was in high school and they’re what piqued her interest in making climate impacts clear.
The Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated servers (relays) that allows people to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor’s users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, thus allowing both organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.
Mental Floss:Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, a story set in a lushly imagined post-apocalyptic Nordic world, has drawn the antidote to the boring linguistic tree diagram.
‘Sundberg takes this tree metaphor to a delightfully lavish extreme, tracing, say, how Indo-European linguistic roots sprouted a variety of modern-day living languages including Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Italian — and, of course, our Language of the Future.’ — Open Culture
Barnes creates a detailed two-page spread for each match he commentates for BBC Radio Newcastle. The notes are divided into two color-coded segments: The left-hand page contains background information on Sunderland’s opposition—the club’s starting XI from its last fixture, previous results, and stadium details—while the right-hand side is updated in real time as the action happens.
NBC Sports’s lead football commentator Arlo White devised his system of note-taking from watching other commentators in action. He cites legendary commentator Barry Davies as a personal hero—and his notes, which White was once shown at Wembley Stadium, as an inspiration. “They were beautifully handwritten, detailed and meticulous,” he said.
“Behind every great football match is a great commentator, and in front of every commentator is a set of notes. BBC Radio Newcastle’s Nick Barnes and NBC Sports’ Arlo White have some of the best—and most unique—in the business.” – EightByEight magazine