Category Archives: Humanitarian

Maps of Emotions


Visualizing human emotions on a map and investigating the human relationship with space is a relatively new component in cartography. Simple static thematic maps dealing with this topic have been around for a while. A known example is the “Map of World Happiness” by White (2007). I am not very happy with the cartographic layout however. The colour grey should be included in the legend (representing “no data” I suppose). The color black in the Caspian Sea and other big lakes is irritating.

Map of World Happiness

Web scraping and mobile technology have brought new opportunities to dynamically map emotions. The World Emotion Global Trend website by Maurice Benayoun analyzes various live online sources and maps 64 emotions in more than 3000 places around the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-D80BdrSo0

A similar approach is the global Twitter Hearbeat – Tweetbeat – analyzing twitter messages for emotions and creating a heatmap from the data. See below the heatmap during the event of hurricane Sandy:

SGI Global Twitter Heatbeat

SGI Global Twitter Heatbeat

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Filed under Disasters & Emergency, Environment, Humanitarian, Natural Resources, Oddity, public opinion, social affairs

Fortress Europe


I had the topic refugees and Europe before when pointing to a map by Philippe Rekacewicz about the Schengen border. Now it is on the agenda again since the fortress Europe worries about the growing number of “intruders” and the lack of a consensus on how to deal with them (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13109631). The data journalism specialist OWNI has a nice interactive map on that topic:

http://owni.fr/2011/02/18/app-la-carte-des-morts-aux-frontieres-de-leurope/

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Filed under Humanitarian, Politics

Products of forced labour / child labour


ProductsOfSlavery offers an interactive map showing where in the world child labour or forced labour is present. Clicking on the country one gets an overview of the type of products concerned. Further it is shown where in the world the specific product is produced under these concerning circumstances.

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Filed under Humanitarian, Labour

Mapping the Measures of America


The website measureofamerica.org gives the opportunity to visualize the Human Development Index within the United States differentiated by gender, race or geographic area. However the values presented are the modified American Human Development Index. It seems like the calculation differs from the United Nations HDI making an international comparison difficult. The interactive map is well made and worth having a look.

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Filed under Humanitarian, social affairs

Are thematic maps objective?


I recently came back from the 58th German Cartographer’s Conference in Berlin. A highlight was a speach given by the French cartographer Philippe Rekacewicz who is working for the United Nations Environment Programme and the French newspaper Monde Diplomatique that is translated in many languages. The title of his speach was “Drawing the world: cartography between science, art and manipulation”. Rekacewicz indeed has returned to drawing the world on paper with pencil for the sake of not being limited by the visualization capabilities that a digital system offers. Using this basic way of visualisation the emotion comes into his work as it is the case in a handmade piece of art. This way the work is of course subjective as Rekacewicz states – it reflects the cartographer’s view on the world or how he would like to visualize it making maps a possible tool for manipulation. However the maps he shows are based on real data making them a part of the scientific domain as well.

Many of Rekacewicz’s work can be found in the Atlas on Globalisation from Monde Diplomatique. Unfortunately it is only available in French and German. Some people critisize it for not being neutral. But being neutral was probably not the intention. As said before a map is just one point of view. We cartographers are would-be emperors we draw borders and move mountains when we desire.

Below is a map from Monde Diplomatique that I find very impressing. It shows the European measures to seal itself off from immigrants. It is probably based on one of the typical pencil sketches by Rekacewicz that I added for comparison. The sketch reflects some of the author’s anger when producing that map. The Schengen-border is drawn as a (bloody) red line including number of deaths through attempts of crossing the border. More on the topic can be found here.

mondediplo.com

Visions cartographiques - Les blogs du Diplo 2006

I was able to find a video of an earlier speech by Philippe Rekacewicz on the web:

6(0) ways… – Electric Palm Tree from archis on Vimeo.

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Filed under Cartographic principles, Humanitarian

Interactive maps and info graphics – future interface design


This nice video shows what future interfaces in emergency management might look like. I like the design and interactivity of the maps and graphics. This seems to be the way to go.

The video features work from http://precisioninformation.org/.

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Filed under Environment, Humanitarian