Where High-Speed Rail Works Best

Geography is about examining spatial variables and relationships, often to weed out answers to complex problems. America 2050‘s latest report, “Where High Speed Rail Works Best” (pdf) is a clear example of applied geography as it summaries the methodology used in planning a phased high speed rail network for the United States.

This paper offers one mechanism for assessing which potential high-speed rail corridors will have the greatest ridership demand based on population size, economic activity, transit connections, existing travel markets and urban spatial form and density. Defining the corridors in America that are most appropriate for high-speed rail service is critical to the long-term success of America’s high-speed rail program.

The authors evaluate 27,000 city pairs in the nation to create an index of city pairs with the greatest demand for high-speed rail service. The paper provides a list of the top 50 city pairs, which are primarily concentrated in the Northeast, California, and the Midwest, and provides recommendations for phasing corridor development in the nation’s megaregions.

An interactive web-map provides a quick view to the three-phase plan.

Interactive Map of U.S. Oil Imports Since 1973

RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute) provides a timeline-based interactive map depicting the U.S.’s historical imports of oil since 1973. Map controls can slide to specific dates and highlight five periods by major oil crises, including history briefs in the sideline. Map units can be displayed in oil or U.S. dollars. Map can also be put on auto-play. This is a well-done interactive map and interesting visualization of the flow of resources over time.

Rocky Mountain Institute is an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources (from the RMI website).

picture-5

Slate’s Interactive Map of Vanishing Employment Across the Country

Interactive Unemployment Map
In their Dec. 30, 2009 post, Slate poises the question “When Did Your County’s Jobs Disappear?” with a nicely done interactive map and timeline. Besides painting a dismal picture of the ongoing state of U.S. unemployment, this map does an equally fine job of integrating space, time, and demographic data.

Visualizing the Grid: Interactive Web Map

NPR has produced a new interactive map of the U.S. energy grid and power sources. Included are several roll-over maps to see percent energy production by different states and by fuel type. It also includes an informative display of anticipated renewable (solar and wind) fuel sources incorporated into the grid over the next few decades. The maps are intuitive, well designed, and data sources are cited in the map’s footnotes. This is a good example of interactive map design for public education. It should serve as a terrific resource for educators to help students understand power production, renewable power supply, and power distribution in the U.S.
Visualizing the Grid

The interactive map is produced for NPR’s series, “Power Hungry: Re-Envisioning Electricity In The U.S.,” including over a dozen articles. One could easily imagine this series and maps being worked into the curriculum in middle through higher education, inviting students to explore questions about location, energy, and the future. From the site: “The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines. Aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption, has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation’s electrical systems.”

The Organic City

 

The Organic City is an interesting and successful application of community blogging (using WordPress) and flash-based mapping (Worldkit). Created in 2006 by the combined efforts of Seamus Byrne and Sarah Mattern, students in CSU East Bay’s Multimedia Graduate Program.

Organic City is a collaborative digital storyworld centered on the downtown Oakland areas surrounding Lake Merritt. The interactive map is a gateway to location-based stories told by local community members. The map is annotated with storypoints. Roll your mouse over a storypoint to display the title and author of a story. Click on a point to read a story. You can navigate the map using the in (+) and out (-) magnifying glasses and the directional arrows.

Using Storybase Filters
You can also access stories in the storybase by using the filters on this page. You can view stories by genre, title, author, or date. You can also use the search form in the menu bar above to filter the storybase by keywords.

Lakeshore Nature Preserve (WI)

Beautiful example of interactivity – clean map interface and intuitive design.

This map was created at the UW-Madison Cartography Lab by Rob Roth, Andy Woodruff, Joel Przybylowski under the supervision of Professor Bill Cronon and Professor Mark Harrower. Melanie McCalmont assisted with info window text and image production. Production: May-November 2006

SaveSave

SaveSave