State Transportation Facts and Figures

A screenshot of motor fuel use per capita from RITA’s State Transportation facts. Connecticut ranks 43rd out of 51 (Washington, D.C. is included).

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation has released an interactive application, entitled State Transportation Facts and Figures, that allows you to explore transportation statistics by state. The statistics included fall under 7 categories:

  • Infrastructure
  • Fatalities and Injuries
  • Distracted Driving 
  • Freight Transportation
  • Passenger Travel
  • Economy and Finance
  • Energy and Environment

The data can be viewed as a map, bar chart, pie chart, or scatter chart, or, by clicking the various drop down menus of the application, you have the option of downloading the source data in addition to printing the various figures.

To view data for Connecticut, click here.

Mapping Natural Gas Drilling in Pennsylvania

NPR’s map of natural gas drilling in the state of Pennsylvania.

NPR has created an interactive map of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. To find information about a specific site, click on one of the points on the map to view a pop up window with the name of the site, who operates the site, the location of the site, and the number of times the location has been cited for violations of environmental regulations. The page also displays additional information including total number of wells by county and by operator.

Clicking on a point on the map displays a pop up window with more information about the site.

The Atlas of Economic Complexity

The Atlas of Economic Complexity examines the connections of the global economy.

The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity is a fascinating look at the global economy. The Center for International Development at Harvard University, The Harvard Kennedy School, and Macro Connections at MIT have collaborated to create a project that includes both a detailed report and a dynamic set of interactive visualizations regarding countries’ varying economic complexity. The report includes an economic complexity index ranking in which Japan ranks first (the US is ranked 13th).

A map of Economic Complexity Index rankings from the Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity.

The aforementioned visualizations can be created at The Observatory of Economic Complexity, which allows you to generate a number of different economic charts and maps. For example, you can choose to show imports or exports, different products, and years. In addition, you can view charts as animations (from the years 1962-2009). Below are a few examples of these with the focus being on beer imports in the United States:

A map of beer imports around the world.
A Tree Map of beer imported to the United States.
A Stacked Area Chart of beer imported to the United States.

Converting JP2000, JP2 files to other formats

There is a host of good reasons why archives like to preserve their images as JP2000 or JP2 files.  The two biggest reasons are the compression saves a large amount of space and the visual quality is excellent after the compression takes place.

What is a JP2000?

The downside to these file formats (depending on who you are) is that they are not very accessible in terms of software that can view or edit.  This is especially true if you are a dedicated user of non-apple personal computers.

So what do you do when you find an amazing map on the Library of Congress site that you download as a JP2000?  Not much, unless you find some third party software that can handle this file type and convert it into a much more accessible format.  This is where the Freeware IrfanView steps up and helps us all out.

Library of Congress Map Collection Site

IrfanView is a free image viewer that allows for light editing of images as well as converting file formats.  If you do use IrfanView be sure to download the optional plugins so that you can convert your JP2000 files to something more useful to you.

1. After loading a JP2 or JP2000 file you can see the basic and clean layout of the image viewer.

2. To convert the file simply navigate to the File drop-down menu and choose Save as… Note the many file types available and options within each file type.

3. That’s it!  You’ll also notice a batch conversion option in the File menu which will perform the same operation with a few more options.  It’s also helpful if you have a large amount of images you’d like to convert!
Indeed there are a host of viewing software packages available, so if this platform does not suit your taste I’m sure you will find others!  I have had good experience with this platform because its lightweight, converts files with ease, and the batching feature is a must with large digital image collections (really helpful when you work at a Map and Geographic Information Center).  So at the very least give it a try when Photoshop won’t read your JP2000 file to get you out of a jam.  
Cross posted MT and G

USGS Historical Topographic Maps

Nearly 90,000 high resolution scans of the more than 200,000 historical USGS topographic maps, some dating as far back as 1884, are now available on-line from the US Geological Survey. The Historical Topographic Map Collection includes published U.S. topographic maps of  all scales and editions, and are offered as a georeferenced digital download or as a printed copy from the USGS Store.

Additional states (including Connecticut) will be added soon! For additional details and to access these maps visit:

The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World Released

The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World was published this month. Although some political lines have been redrawn in the last four years since the previous edition (i.e. South Sudan), the most glaring differences, according to Ben Jarvey of Onearth, are the results of climate change. Jarvey cites differences in Greenland’s coastline because of receding ice (including a new island), receding seas in the Middle East (Aral and Dead Seas), and the collapsing of ice shelves in Antarctica as the major changes. For more climate related content, visit the Climate Resource Exchange Blog.

The 34th Americas Cup

The America’s Cup World Series is already underway and the competition has already met in Cascais, Portugal and will meet again at Plymouth, United Kingdom September 10th – 18th.  Below is the course map and the venue map, should you be lucky enough to attend:

Map of Plymouth Course via Americas Cup
Plymouth Venue Map via Americas Cup

If you’re not so lucky but still want to follow races and some great footage check out the Americas Cup YouTube Channel.  Watch the below clip showcasing  the new cataraman style of boats:

More to come on the Americas Cup as it progresses!

Get MicroData from the DataFerret!

DataFerret is a tool that mines and extracts data from 4 main types of data:

  • MicroData
  • Aggreagate or Summarized Data
  • Longitudinal Datasets
  • Time Series Datasets

This tool is very easy to use and may be helpful to user of PUMS data.  The program has the ability to export custom tables in a number of different formats and has the ability to create maps.

Check out the following links to get some more background information on the DataFerret and how to make use of this tool:

Here is a sample map of Average Income by PUMA’s in Connecticut, no GIS needed.

ACS 2005-2009 PUMS Data for Average Income

United States Airway Maps – Ford Motor Company ~1928

MAGIC has a unique map collection that has recently been digitized and is now available for public viewing over the internet.  The series is titled “United States Airway Maps – Ford Motor Company 1928” and consist of airway navigation maps from city to city in the United States from ~1927-1933.  Currently, the collection exists on the Internet Archives (Link), but stay tuned as MAGIC is working on migrating the collection into their standard delivery mechanisms (Flickr, Historical Map Collection, etc…).

Below is an embedded copy of the title map.