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Tuesday
Aug212012

Mapping Wildfires in Russia and Asia

Drought conditions and high temperatures throughout the world are causing problems with wildfires. There are presently several thousand wildfires burning throughout the world, which have resulted in millions of dollars worth of damage. NASA has made available a set of shapefiles that identify the locations of wildfires presently burning throughout the world. The shapefiles are nearly real-time with data available at time intervals of 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days. Click on the following link to Download the wildfire data

For this post I downloaded the wildfire data from Russia and Asia. Once the data are downloaded import them into Cartographica by choosing File > Import Vector Data. I provide an image below of the map of Russian and Asian wild fires. 

To enhance the fire map you can change the point symbols from circles to an actual fire symbol. To do this go to Google and perform an image search for "Fire". You will be able to find an image that can be dragged to the Layer Styles window. To open the Layer Styles window double click on the Russia and Asia fire layer in the Layer Stack. Then drag the fire image to the symbol box within the Layer Styles window. Once the image is added uncheck the stroke box. See my images below. 

Below is an image with the fire symbols.

A final map shown below was created using the Kernel Density function. To create a Kernel Density map choose Tools > (while holding down the option button) Make Kernel Density Map. Choose the Exponential (Negative) function and click Analyze. I provide an image of the Kernel Density window below.

My final map shown below is of the Kernel Density of wild fires in Russia and Asia. To change the color scheme choose Window > Show Color Palettes. Select the color scheme you would like to use and then click and drag it to the KDM layer in the Layer Stack. The color scheme I selected is a custom color scheme called Fire Ramp. 

Wednesday
Aug012012

Mapping the Olympic Medal Counts

We are continuing our coverage of the 2012 Olympic games in London, England, and we have an updated medalcount.csv file that can be used to map the distribution of medal counts around the globe. Download the medalcount.csv file. The medal counts are accurate up to 1:00pm on Wednesday, August 1. [Updated Final medal counts are available by downloading Final_Medal_count.csv]  Once downloaded, save the file as a .csv. This dataset can be used to create chloropleth maps and can be continually updated as the games progress. 

Download the World file from Geocommons  and then import the data by choosing File > Import Vector Data. View the previous Cartographica blog post, "Mapping the Distribution of Olympic Athletes" to see the problem with joining data Hong Kong data to the geocommons file. Essentially, Hong Kong is included inside of China on the Geocommons file rather than being an independent nation, in the post linked above I show you a way around this problem.

Join the medalcount.csv dataset to the World shapefile by choosing File > Import Table Data. This will bring up the Import File Window. Click on the Join tab in the top right pane, change the Target Layer to World, in the left pane, change the Map to option in the FIPS field to FIPS_CNTRY, and check the Key box. When ready click Import. The final dataset will then include the original data from the World file from geocommons and it will also include the data imported from the medalcount.csv dataset. As a result, there will be two country name columns (one from both files), the FIPS_CNTRTY column (from geocommons), and the Number of Athletes column and the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Total Medal Count columns. (from the medalcount.csv file). There are two country name columns in the final dataset because the geocommons and medalcounts.csv files each included a "country name" column that was not used in the joining procedure. The FIPS column from the medalcount.csv dataset is not imported because the FIPS column is used to match to the FIPS_CNTRY column from the geocommons World file. Since the medalcount.csv data are imported based on the identical match between the FIPS column and the FIPS_CNTRY column, it follows that if the FIPS column was imported it would be an identical match to the data in the FIPS_CNTRY column. See below for the set up. 

You can create a chloropleth map of the distribution of the medal counts by double-clicking on the World layer in the Layer Stack. Change the Based on menu to Gold, Click on the + button five times to add five categories, and then click on the Gear box and select Distribute with Natural Breaks (Jenks). To add a color scheme choose Window > Show Color Palettes and then click and drag a color scheme into the table within the Layer Styles Window. For this post I used a customized color scheme. To learn how to create your own customized color schemes see the our previous blog posts titled "Introducing 1.2: Color Palette Management". Also, see another of our blog posts titled "Using Color Brewer with Cartographica" for additional help in creating custom color schemes. I provide an image below of the Layer Styles Window below. See below for my maps. 

Wednesday
Jul252012

Mapping the Distribution of Olympic Athletes

The 2012 summer Olympics in London, England are here, which is very exciting for many athletes and fans of sports from across the globe. This year's Olympics will host athletes from more than 200 countries and will consist of nearly 40 sports. The games will run from July 25 - August 12; for a schedule of the events take a look at the schedule on the official Olympics website. To celebrate the diversity of the event we decided to build a dataset that contains the countries participating in the Olympics along with the number of athletes from each location.

The first step in mapping the distribution of olympic athletes is collecting a shapefile that contains all of the world's countries. To download a World shapefile go to this Geocommons webpage and click on the shapefile download button on the right side of the page. The file should only take a few seconds to download. Once downloaded save the file to your desktop.

To import the downloaded World shapefile choose File > Import Vector data. One problem with the World shapefile is that Hong Kong is included within China. In the 2012 Olympics Hong Kong is independently represented by more than 40 athletes. This problem is easily fixed by using the Add Feature tool in Cartographica. Zoom in to the area of China that contains Hong Kong. If you unfamiliar with where exactly Hong Kong is located use the Live Map Feature to locate Hong Kong. To add a live map choose File Add > Live Map (select Bing Maps with Roads and Aerial Imagery). Locate Hong Kong (its in Southern China, along the coast), and then zoom in. See my image below of Hong Kong.

To add Hong Kong to the World shapefile select the World shapefile in the Layer Stack and then choose Edit > Add Feature. Cartographica will enter Edit mode and will allow you to draw in the boundary for Hong Kong. To draw in the boundary hold down the option key and click to place control points. First Draw the boundary around the largest (non-island) area. After the points are placed hit the return key. See my image below for an example.

Because there are two islands included in Hong Kong we need to create two new features for each island with the ultimate goal of merging the three new features into a single feature. Using the same methods as above add the two new features. Notice in the data viewer there are now three new features. See the image of the data viewer below.

To merge the three features select each one as shown above in the data viewer, and then choose Edit > Merge Selected Features. The three features should collapse into a single feature in the data viewer, and when selected the two islands should be included in the new Hong Kong feature. To complete the addition of the new Hong Kong feature you can manually add the appropriate data into the data viewer. See my image below for the added data.

To continue to follow along with the blog, Download the Olympic Athlete dataset. After it is downloaded save the file as a .csv file. Join the Olympics dataset to the World shapefile by choosing File > Import Table Data. This will bring up the Import File Window. Click on the Join tab in the top right pane, change the Target Layer to World, in the left pane, change the Map to option in the FIPS field to FIPS_CNTRY, and check the Key box. When ready click Import. The final dataset will then include the original data from the World file from geocommons and it will also include the data imported from the Olympic dataset. As a result, there will be two country name columns (one from both files), the FIPS_CNTRTY column (from geocommons), and the Number of Athletes column (from the Olympic file). There are two country name columns in the final dataset because the geocommons and Olympic files each included a "country name" column that was not used in the joining procedure. The FIPS column from the Olympic dataset is not imported because the FIPS column is used to match to the FIPS_CNTRY column from the geocommons World file. Since the Olympic data are imported based on the identical match between the FIPS column and the FIPS_CNTRY column, it follows that if the FIPS column was imported it would be an identical match to the data in the FIPS_CNTRY column.

You can create a chloropleth map of the distribution of Olympic athletes by double-clicking on the World layer in the Layer Stack. Change the Based on menu to Number of Athletes, Click on the + button five times to add five categories, and then click on the Gear box and select Distribute with Natural Breaks (Jenks). To add a color scheme choose Window > Show Color Palettes and then click and drag a color scheme into the table within the Layer Styles Window. I provide an image below of the Layer Styles Window.

The next image shows the distribution of athletes from across the globe. To add the Legened in the bottom choose Window > Show Legend.

 

Tuesday
Jul242012

Cartographica 1.2.8 ready for Mountain Lion and Retina Display

ClueTrust is happy to announce today the immediate availability of Cartographica 1.2.8.   This release fixes a number of small bugs and includes compatibility and feature fixes for both the Retina Display MacBook Pros and Mountain Lion.

Full release notes are available on the macgis.com site.

The new Retina Display MacBook Pros are gorgeous, and we're happy to say that things are really looking good on those displays, and with the advent of Mountain Lion's new Gatekeeper system, we have increased security by implementing Apple's new signature system to show that Cartographica comes from us, so you won't be warned about Unknown software.

The update is available now for current users using Check for Updates… from the Cartographica menu, or by downloading at the download page (starts automatically).

Monday
Jul162012

Mapping Idea Tolerance in U.S. Cities

Richard Florida is the well-known author of the book "The Creative Class" which describes the rise and the importance of a socio-economic class of individuals that Florida believes drives economic and social development. According to a Wikipedia, the creative class is made up of two separate groups of workers that make up about 30 percent of the U.S. workforce. The first of these groups is the Super-Creative Core: This group comprises about 12 percent of all U.S. jobs. It includes a wide range of occupations (e.g. science, engineering, education, computer programming, research), with arts, design, and media workers forming a small subset. Florida considers those belonging to this group to “fully engage in the creative process” (Florida, 2002). The Super-Creative Core is considered innovative, creating commercial products and consumer goods. The primary job function of its members is to be creative and innovative. “Along with problem solving, their work may entail problem finding” (Florida, 2002). The second group in the creative class is the Creative Professionals: These professionals are the classic knowledge-based workers and include those working in healthcare, business and finance, the legal sector, and education. They “draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems” using higher degrees of education to do so (Florida, 2002).

Part of Florida's Creative Class philosophy is that those people who largely make up the creative class are most commonly found in cities. Because of this cities are central to economic and social growth and a hugely important moving forward in the future. In an article posted today in the Atlantic, Florida has used his team of experts to create a new index that measures how tolerant cities are of other people's ideas and innovations. The article, which can be found at this website, describes Florida's three T's of innovation which are technology, talent, and tolerance. His most recent article shows a chloropleth map of U.S. metros with color shades indicating levels of tolerance within each city. According to the article the tolerance index "ranks U.S. metros according to three key variables—the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index, which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial groups." See below for a screenshot of Dr. Florida's Tolerance index.

Unfortunately, the article does not provide a link to the Tolerance Index dataset, but it does provide a short list of the top 20 most tolerant cities in the United States. We can use this list of the top 20 most tolerant cities as an example of how to quickly create our own map from a list such as the one provided. The first step in creating your map of the 20 most tolerant cities is to use a spreadsheet application to create a dataset that you can import into Cartographica. This requires a bit of data entry, but it's fairly painless. Once the data are entered save the file in .csv format. I provide an image below of my spreadsheet.

To create the chloropleth map of the U.S. metros you need to have a basemap that contains the U.S. metro areas of interest. To download a shapefile containing the metropolitan statistical areas visit this U.S. Census Bureau webpage. Once on the webpage, under the Nation-Based Shapefiles, select Metropolitan/Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and then click on the Downloaded Selected Files button. After the file is downloaded import the file by choosing File > Import Vector Data. To provide more context to the map add a Live Map as well by choosing File > Add Live Map. Be sure the Metro Areas map is on top of the Live Map in the Layer stack. See my map below for the full set of U.S. MSAs.

To join the top 20 Tolerance Index scores to the MSA map choose File > Import Table Data. This will bring up the import file window. Select the Join tab in the top right, change the Target Layer to the US MSA Map layer, change the Map To option to Name, check the box under Key for the Metro field, and then click on the import button. I provide an image below to show the set up. 

Because the .csv file you imported does not have data for all of the MSAs in the MSA file you can use Cartographica's Filter Bar to identify only those cities for which we have Tolerance Index data. Click on the magnifying glass inside of the Filter Bar and then select the Tolerance Index Score field. Type in 0 in the filter bar, a small window will appear that allows you to choose selection criterion. Select the option "is greater than". This will select only those cities that have values greater than 0 for the Tolerance index score. Notice the number of MSA visible on the map is much fewer than the original map. See the map below for an example. 

Finally, use the identify tool to select all of the remaining MSAs and then choose Layer > Create Layer from Selection. This will automatically add a new layer to the layer stack that contains only the top 20 tolerance index cities. Rename the new layer "Top 20 Tolerance Index Cities". You can create your own cholopleth map of the top 20 cities by double-clicking on the Top 20 layer in the layer stack, click on the + button five times to add five categories and then select a classification scheme (I used Equal Interval) by clicking on the gear box. Add a color scheme by choosing Window > Show Color Palettes and then click and drag the color ramp to the table in the Layer Styles Window to add the color scheme. Also, you can add a legend by choosing Window > Show Legend.  I provide an example of my final map below.