Category Archives: social affairs

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.

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

Web Cartography without Flash

Recently I found some interesting examples on how to build an interactive map without Flash but using HTML5 and JavaScript instead. This seems to open new possibilities to visualize free and open data. Avoiding Flash would also be more congruent with the open source idea.

1)   –   via

The migrationsmap code is available on github!

2) American Migration Map for Forbes   –   the editor Jon Bruner describes on his blog how he created the map.

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Filed under social affairs, Tools and Programs, Tutorial

Data visualisation – design competition by

There is still a week left in a design competition by It started with a Tweet by information designer David McCandless on data about black students at Oxford and other UK universities.

See the details of the competition here.

A post on the guardian’s datablog was also inspired by this data.

Here is a video of a TED talk by David McCandless on data visualisation:


I had a look at the data and the links provided on the competition website and have come up with some visualisations of relations in the data that seemed most interesting to me:


Popular JAC2 subject groups in 2010 by white applicants aged 20 and younger

Popular JAC2 subject groups in 2010 by black applicants aged 20 and younger:

Data Sources:

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Filed under Education, social affairs

Thematic Mapping with OpenStreetMap

OSM user SK53 shows on his blog what potential exists in the OSM-data. Together with population related Super Output Areas from the British Government an interesting map on the pub density in the UK has been developed. The data quality of OSM however is not consistent throughout the UK but nevertheless I think some interesting relations can be seen in the map. The focus map on London shows how the pubdensity is concentrated in the center and is relatively low in the suburbs.

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Filed under Oddity, social affairs, Tools and Programs

Mapping the Measures of America

The website 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

Monitoring the social indicators in Europe: SIMon

SIMon is an online visualisation tool that allows access to time series data of social indicators in Europe. It is developed and maintained by GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences. The user interface was designed by Kognito Gestaltung.

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Filed under social affairs, Tools and Programs

Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day, a special day of action to point to the Gender Pay Gap. The following map shows the situation in Europe in 2008. Visualised are the employment rate for women and the Gender Pay Gap. There are remarkable differences between the European countries, however a pattern can hardly be identified. Striking is the high employment rate for women in the scandinavian countries. Considering the depicted countries Norway is leading with 75.4%. In Iceland it is 79.6% but recent data about the Gender Pay Gap is missing here. In contrast Malta has an employment rate for women below 40%.  The smallest Gender Pay Gap is found in Italy (4.9%), the largest in Estonia (30.3%).

The unadjusted Gender Pay Gap represents the difference between average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees and of female paid employees as a percentage of average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees. The population consists of all paid employees in enterprises with 10 employees or more (Eurostat).

The employment rate for women is calculated by dividing the number of female persons aged 15 to 64 in employment by the total female population of the same age group. The indicator is based on the EU Labour Force Survey. The survey covers the entire population living in private households and excludes those in collective households such as boarding houses, halls of residence and hospitals (Eurostat).

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Filed under Labour, social affairs