Thursday, April 30, 2009

USA Today Projects Employment in 2010

Thanks to Paul Overberg at USA Today, he clued me into a very comprehensive map the newspaper published showing the projected job growth through 2010. The job forecasts can be displayed by metro area or by state.

You can click on the map of the metro areas and see, by quarter, the projected employment picture, both the number of jobs and percent change from previous quarter. Click on the list of metros and the metro is highlighted on the map.

Jobs and employment can be segmented by industry sector and likewise illustrated geographically.

As usual, USA Today always seems not only to have the best research but the graphic "eye" by which the location-based data can most easily be portrayed.

Keep up with the news folks! H1N1 is Spreading

The mainstream media is now behind in their coverage of the H1N1 (i.e. Swine Flu) coverage. Maps are not being updated with the latest outbreaks. None of the media outlets I cited in yesterday's blog post has kept up with the locations of the latest outbreak. HealthMap however is doing a good job.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Media Mapping in Full Swing to Track Swine Flu Pandemic

As the World Health Organization moves to alert level "Phase 5 " for the H1N1 Swine Flu, various media outlets published interactive maps of the outbreak. Here is a list of the mapping websites that the media outlets have created:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New York Times Maps the "Geography of the Recession"

Recently, I posted a link to maps by the Wall Street Journal about how they mapped the unemployment rate by state and they provided some useful metric from past years. However, the New York Times has taken it a step further by mapping the unemployment numbers by county. What the NYT has done exceptionally well is to "tab" through by metro, rural or manufacturing areas plus highlighting those counties where the "housing bubble" burst! A tool tip provides the county name, unemployment rate and one-year change. In looking for some spatial correlation among the data, the most surprising comes by looking at the one-year change map. I would not have expected to see such a high change in the south. The shift in manufacturing jobs southward and the accompanying increase in population density has certainly contributed to the higher unemployment picture of the "new south."

Wall Street Journal Plots Pirate Attacks

Some of the more recent pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have been mapped by the Wall Street Journal. The interactive map provides a location and mouse-over tool tip about the details of the pirate's latest escapade.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Newly Available Study on GIS in Journalism

I received information about a newly released report from LSU and authored by Ben Wasike is entitled "The diffusion of GIS in journalism." The abstract is as follows:
"The purposes of this study were to determine the likelihood of reporters to adopt Geographical Information Systems and to predict the future of the diffusion of GIS in the journalism industry using the diffusion of innovations theory. The study used two data collection methods: in-depth interviews and a Web survey. The indepth-interviews revealed factors that will influence the diffusion of GIS, including the availability of map data, competition between media agencies, the ease of getting management to buy GIS once its functionality has been demonstrated to them, and the general use of secondary GIS products. The Web survey showed that 63% of the reporters were aware of GIS but only 11% of the reporters surveyed currently use GIS. OLS regression showed that men were more likely to adopt GIS than women, while younger people were more likely to adopt GIS than their older counterparts. The results also showed that reporters who used other technologies in their work were more likely to adopt GIS on a trial basis."

Friday, April 3, 2009

CNN and the Overexposure of Google Earth

Last night while viewing a segment on CNN, they displayed the location of an event. In this case is was the lockdown at Radford University in Viriginia due to an off-campus fatal shooting whereby the suspect fled onto the campus grounds. During the report, in order to orient the viewer with a geographic perspective, CNN used Google Earth, as they do on so many occasions.

First, of course I appreciate the supporting element of geography to report the story. What is unnecessary is to use a satellite image to identify the location of the incident. Showing the terrain and vegetation is overkill and confusing. A simple map is all that is called for. With today's tools, the map can even be more cartographically pleasing than ever before. However, the use of a satellite image is of no more use to the viewer than it would be if you show an icon of a gun to depict that the event involved a shooting. It's overkill.

Moreover, I suspect that CNN seems to think that by showing a satellite image that it conveys some sense of "real-time." It doesn't. As we know, most of the imagery is two years old or older. Sure, the general public doesn't know this but let's just say the "geographically literate" understand better than most, and that population of viewers is growing every day.

And finally, the image used by CNN encompassed the entire state of Virginia. If you want to place the viewer at the scene, use an aerial image with better proximity to the event.

So, CNN, take my advice...use a more simplified map; augment with better, more accurate street network information; add an aerial image if you like and if you want to place the viewer at the scene, use Google StreetView if you can better locate the event details.