Mapping Megaregions via ACS commuting data

Two researchers have created a map of megaregions in the US based on commuting data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The results are covered in both the popular press and in PLOS One. The latter provides more details about how they constructed the maps – it wasn’t just via a mapping program.

How 4 Million Commutes Shape America’s ‘Megaregions’
Laura Bliss | Atlantic: City Lab
December 7, 2016

An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions
Garrett Nelson and Alisdair Rae
PLOS One
November 30, 2016

If you are so inclined the authors have made their data available for replication via Figshare.

[Additional Media Coverage]

Great Tweetstorm: Most important year in Economics?

This is from the blogger @undercoverhistorian. We had a previous post on the site she maintains. Below is an interesting set of almost 50 tweets – some illustrated – where she defends 1952 as the most important year.

twitter feed
Click here for tweetstorm

Risk Visualization Theater

How to better communicate election forecasts — in one simple chart
Justin Gross | Monkey Cage blog [Washington Post]
November 29, 2016

Most folks were surprised by the results of the 2016 Presidential election and this was in part due to some of the rosy forecasts by some of the poll aggregators, like Huffington Post. But, even when a site had a forecast with a 30% chance of Trump winning, most people have trouble understanding that a Trump victory was possible. The explanation:

But certain representations of probability are more readily grasped than others. In particular, we have trouble understanding risk in terms of the “percent chance” but we do better when simple raw numbers of different outcomes are depicted visually.

Solution: Show the risk as a “Risk Visualization Theater.” Below are the representations of forecasts of victory for Trump via FiveThirtyEight, NYT Upshot, and Huffington Post Pollster. The filled theater seats (in black) represent the chance of a Trump victory. Clearly, the chance of that event happening don’t look so remote in the far left depiction, but look very unlikely as one moves to the right.

Risk via a theater

Missing girls in China maybe weren’t missing after all

China has had a highly unbalanced sex ratio at birth for years leading to an estimate of 30 to 60 million missing girls. The traditional explanation was male preference, exacerbated by the one-child policy, which led to sex selective abortion and/or infanticide. New research presents evidence that maybe the missing girls were never missing after all.

Researchers may have ‘found’ many of China’s 30 million missing girls
Simon Denyer | Washington Post
November 30, 2016

Delayed Registration and Identifying the “Missing Girls” in China
Yaojiang Shi and John James Kennedy | China Daily
November 15, 2016

Quiz: Pet statistics

Pets include: birds, cats, dogs, horses, fresh & saltwater fish, reptiles, and “small animals”

Pet Statistics

Election day quiz!

Election Quiz

What Immigration Means to the U.S. Workforce

Ben Casselman writes in FiveThirtyEight about the ways immigrants help to keep the U.S. population young and keeps the labor force participation at a relatively high rate: Immigrants Are Keeping America Young — And the Economy Growing

Detroitography Mapping Seminar

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A 2-hour workshop on mapping data from Detroit is offered on Thursday, November 3rd on campus. Perhaps as useful is meeting the presenter who is the founder of Detroitography.com a group that is all about maps and geography of Detroit. And, that also means geographically-referenced data.

Useful Links
Workshop: Link to workshop
Website: Detroitography.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/detroitography
Detroit Opendata: http://detroitdata.org/

Quiz: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Creating a travel time polygon

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Using the TravelTime Search API to Generate an Isochrone
GIS Lounge | GIS contributor
July 9, 2016
Using the TravelTime platform and some simple code, researchers can map how far people can travel in 30 minutes by public transportation from a specific address. This is more realistic than radius circles because these don’t take into account roads, bus routes, etc.

The TravelTime platform includes several countries, including US coasts.