Skip to main content

At a glance: How soon can I get there?

A new map of Travel Time to Major Cities - developed by the European Commission and the World Bank - captures this connectivity and the concentration of economic activity and also highlights that there is little wilderness left... accessibility is relevant at all levels, from local development to global trade and this map fills an important gap in our understanding of the spatial patterns of economic, physical and social connectivity.
The creators of this map went beyond simple considerations of road mileage and cities' distance from the coast to calculate a more complex measure of "friction surface" — in other words, how long it really takes to cover a given mile of terrain. Among the other factors that add to travel time (i.e., friction) are topography, national borders (the crossing of which can cause delays), and land cover. (Check out the data sources page to see where all that information originated, and what the data's parameters are.)

Kudos to the mapmakers for the aesthetic choices, too. The coloration is coherent and seamless, yet the viewer can easily distinguish among the zones. The gradual transitions from one zone to the next are clear.

This is a very thoughtful project that goes beyond careful data selection to incorporate practical considerations as well — thereby creating a very useful tool.

Travel time to major cities: A global map of Accessibility — European Commission Global Environment Monitoring

[Via enrevanche]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Recommended: a new review "zoo"

"A Tour Through the Visualization Zoo" is a fantastic introduction to some attractive and sophisticated new visualization formats. The article and illos were put together by Stanford's Jeffrey Heer, Michael Bostock, and Vadim Ogievetsky. Heer is an HCI/visualization genius whose journal articles I've been following with interest; Bostock is the whiz behind the D3 archive of javascript code for visualization.

Run, don't walk. It's great.

Blast from the past: a 1974 data treatise by Edward Tufte

Back in 1974, Yale poli-sci professor Edward Tufte published a slim volume called Data Analysis for Politics and Policy (Prentice-Hall, $3.95). The book in its entirety is available for free download (PDFs) at Tufte's website, accompanied by a contemporary review from the Journal of the American Statistical Association. More than 30 years later, the review amuses me with its restrained praise of the perspective that would eventually make Tufte a Major Figure (and a minor fortune):
Tufte puts residual plots to good use to gain understanding of a data set, and he shows how finding outliers gives the analyst hints about the inadequacy of a statistical model... The discussion of graphical techniques in general is quite good... A brief but compelling discussion of the "value of data as evidence," with regard to the interpretation of nonrandom samples, is presented. If you happen to have a spare 48MB lying about, DAPP's worth a download.

[via Sofa Papa]