Coming Down with Cartographia

It's a tradition:  In December, we share gifts. In January, we share illnesses. 

This year, in addition to a winter cold, I have taken on a new level of interest in the ever-expanding field of mapping or cartography. In some measure, this is because in the coming weeks I will be releasing mapping services that will interest placemakers – property investors, land use advocates, bankers, transit supporters – seeking to understand why some urban areas thrive and others stagnate. I've posted here before about GIS applications in Donjek projects, but my next steps will extend beyond my prior application of these tools.

For now, I am attaching two maps that I hope will interest you as they have me.  The first is a map I created online at Wordle, a free online tool to convert text to a graphic – the more oft-cited a word in the text, the larger its profile in the map. The map shown here is based on a Donjek report I drafted in recent weeks, and which will be available in final form shortly. You can guess its subject. See the collection of inaugural speeches in this "word cloud" form, provided by the New York Times.

The second is a map representing seven years of over 2,000 iterative changes made to the Wikipedia article on evolution, by 68 editors. The width of the graph bands indicates the number of words in the evolution article, and the colors indicate the identity of the author. The source of this map is Urban Cartography, a quirky and interesting collection.

Colorful pictures are all I can offer today – but I and my health will be back by the end of the week.