Where wind and solar needs to grow by 2050

Based on estimates from Princeton University’s Net-Zero America Project, Veronica Penney for The New York Times mapped where wind and solar energy need to expand to to reach the United States’ 2050 goals. Compared to what we need, there is a long way to go from where we are now.

See also Bloomberg’s angle, which used the same data but focused more on land area than on location.

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Official LEGO world map set

We’ve seen maps made out of LEGO bricks before, but LEGO is about to release an official world map set. And cartographers everywhere rejoiced.

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Posted by in Lego, maps, world

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Map shows you where a raindrop ends up

River Runner is a fun interactive map by Sam Learner. Click anywhere in the contiguous United States to drop some rain and, based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the map shows you where the rain ends up and the path it takes to get there.

This uses USGS NHDPlus data and their NLDI API to visualize the path of a rain droplet from any point in the contiguous United States to its end point (usually the ocean, sometimes the Great Lakes, Canada/Mexico, or another inland water feature). It’ll find the closest river/stream flowline coordinate to a click/search and then animate along that flowline’s downstream path.

When you think about it, it’s kind of nutty that something like this is even possible. [via Waxy]

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Four types of people who prevent full vaccination

The United States vaccination rate was rolling for a while there, but it has slowed down. Sema Sgaier for NYT Opinion talks about why that is, breaking it down to four general types of people who are hesitant or don’t plan on getting vaccinated:

After conducting a national survey of U.S. adults, we grouped people into distinct profiles based on their shared beliefs and barriers to getting the vaccine. This approach, borrowed from the marketing world, is called psychobehavioral segmentation. It will allow health officials to target their strategies in ways that ignore demographic categories, like age and race. In the United States, we used this approach to identify five distinct personas: the Enthusiasts, the Watchful, the Cost-Anxious, the System Distrusters and the Covid Skeptics.

The last two groups will be harder to convince, but for the watchful and cost-anxious, I hope they look at the numbers.

The risk of side effects is very low (especially when you compare to the everyday things we do to live), your risk of infection or hospitalization goes way down when you get vaccinated, and you don’t have to pay anything.

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Watercolor Maptiles by Stamen are now part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection

In 2012, Stamen Design released watercolor map tiles based on OpenStreetMap data. It was amazing to see, especially for a time when most online maps looked about the same. Now these watercolor map tiles are part of Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian design museum:

“Interactive digital works by their very nature subvert traditional museum collecting practices,” said Andrea Lipps, associate curator of contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt. “Watercolor Maptiles is itself a dynamic, living web-based map that is placeless; it exists on a browser and its assets are distributed across servers. By creating a duplicate version of the Watercolor Maptiles site and hosting it on Smithsonian Institution servers and domain, Cooper Hewitt has established a new acquisition model for the museum sector.”


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Climate normals mapped over time

Every decade the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases climate normals to provide a baseline to compare current weather against. NOAA just released the estimates for 1991 to 2020. As you might expect, and shown in the maps above, it’s getting hotter.

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Map of people moving during pandemic

It was only a matter of time before someone showed dots moving across a map to show migration during the pandemic. Again, using USPS change of address data, Yan Wu and Luis Melgar for the Wall Street Journal (paywalled) showed where people moved in the country.

As shown through other views, a lot of the movement wasn’t out of the ordinary, but in some areas — mainly San Francisco and New York — the pandemic appeared to motivate people a little more to move.

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Maps of land required to get to net-zero emissions

Princeton University’s Net-Zero America project analyzes and models the infrastructure required to get to net-zero carbon emissions nationally. Dave Merrill for Bloomberg highlighted the group’s estimates for land usage to build things like wind and solar farms, which, as you might imagine, will require millions of acres.

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Melting glaciers

Niko Kommenda for The Guardian used small multiples to show 90 of the largest glaciers in the world and how they have melted over many decades. The animation transitions between two time periods for each glacier, showing what was there earlier and what is left.

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States that gained and lost seats with 2020 count

The Census Bureau announced their state population totals, so we can see who gained and lost seats:

The tables aren’t accessible yet, but during the live conference, the bureau noted that the difference between New York losing a seat (which they did) and staying the same was only a difference of 89 people. It’ll be interesting to see these small deltas for all the states.

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