The Even More Wonderful World of GIS

Few things pique my interest like a convincing, scientific argument made using a map. People enjoyed The Wonderful World of GIS so much that I thought a sequel was in order. Here are five more geographical information projects that deserve to be shared.

What’s Wrong with Democracy in the United States

You might remember Dustin Cable from part 1. He created the Racial Dot Map to highlight auto-segregation in the United States. Now he’s created a new interactive map showing congressional votes for the Democratic and Republican parties. He uses this new map to demonstrate a frightening theory: instead of voters choosing lawmakers, lawmakers are gerrymandering voting districts, effectively ‘choosing’ votes in a way that renders them immune to political challenge. See What He Means.

 

The Nuke Map

We all know nuclear bombs are bad. But Alex Wellerstein shows us exactly how bad they are by allowing us to map the destructive effects of different nuclear weapons. From fireballs to air blasts and radiation, you can plot the bleak consequences of a nuclear war in your own neighborhood. Bombs Away.

 

California Drought, Visualized

California is in the grips of a severe, years-long drought. The United States Geological Survey has produced a beautiful website mapping the extent of the drought and detailing the gradual depletion of rainfall, snow pack, and reservoirs to critical levels. Learn About the Water Crisis.

 

Food Deserts

Water isn’t the only thing that’s scarce. We tend not to think about it, but distance to a supermarket is a substantial barrier to affordable, healthy eating. This is particularly true for low-income urban dwellers and families in remote areas. The United States Department of Agriculture has mapped these so-called “food-deserts”, where low-income Americans will almost certainly struggle to find affordable and nutritious food. Explore the Food Deserts.

 

New Horizons: Mission to Pluto

Why restrict maps to Earth? The New Horizons space probe has been speeding toward Pluto since 2006, and has now traveled over 3 billion miles. NASA brought New Horizons out of hibernation on December 6, 2014, and on April 9 it snapped the first color photo of the distant dwarf planet and one of its moons. New Horizons will make its closest approach on July 14, allowing the probe to produce history’s first high-resolution color photos of this enigmatic world’s surface. Explore New Horizons.

 

How About You?

While our focus at geoLOGIC is on using GIS in our imagery layers in an Oil and Gas context, it’s fun to take a look at some of the different ways that people are using this powerful technology. What are some of the interesting ways you've seen GIS applied to real-world problems?