Low temperatures map of the United States

Based on data from the Global Forecast System, The New York Times mapped the lowest temperatures across the country between February 14 and 16.

The blue-orange color scale diverges at freezing, which creates a striking image of a very cold country. The dotted lines and temperature labels make the patterns especially obvious.

As someone who lives in an orange area, I was shocked by all of the blue. Stay safe.

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Map of power outages

PowerOutage.US keeps a running tally of outages across the United States, and it’s looking bad for Texas. Millions of people in the state are without power, with temperatures in the teens. Scary.

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Tracking Capitol rioters through their mobile phone data

For NYT Opinion, Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson returned to the topic of location data logged by our mobile phones. This time though, they turned their attention to the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021:

The data we were given showed what some in the tech industry might call a God-view vantage of that dark day. It included about 100,000 location pings for thousands of smartphones, revealing around 130 devices inside the Capitol exactly when Trump supporters were storming the building. Times Opinion is only publishing the names of people who gave their permission to be quoted in this article.

As the animation plays out, you can clearly see the dots cluster around the rally area and then make their way to the Capitol building.

This surveillance stuff through consumer data (which companies can buy) seems way too easy.

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Precinct-level map of 2020 election results

NYT’s The Upshot published their precinct-level map of 2020 election results. Zoom in to your geographic area and bask in or scratch your head over the detailed variation.

This seems be a recurring view now, with their “extremely detailed map” making an appearance after the 2016 and 2018 election. They also had their “most detailed maps” in 2014.

However, this year, The Upshot made their precinct-level data available on GitHub, so you can look closer if you like.

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Satellite imagery at a cute angle

Maybe you remember the SimCity-like views through satellite imagery from a few of years ago. Robert Simmon from Planet Labs returns to the topic discussing practical use cases and advantages over a top-down view:

Satellite imagery surrounds us — from Google Maps and daily weather forecasts to the graphics illustrating news stories — but almost all of it is from a map-like, top-down perspective. This view allows satellite data to be analyzed over time and compared with other sources of data. Unfortunately, it’s also a distorted perspective. Lacking many of the cues we use to interpret the world around us, top-down satellite imagery (often called nadir imagery in remote sensing jargon) appears unnaturally flat. It’s a view that is disconnected from our everyday experience.

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Scaled-down Biden inauguration

For Bloomberg, Jeremy C.F. Lin and Rachael Dottle show what Joe Biden’s inauguration will look like, given all of the recent events and 2020. No public access and 25,000 National Guard personnel.

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Minute-by-minute timeline for what happened at the Capitol

The New York Times outlined the minutes from the speech leading to the mob at the Capitol. By now you’ve probably seen the videos and pictures and have an idea of what happened. But the timeline of events both inside and outside of the building really underscores how much worse it could’ve been.

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Map of the voting in Georgia, the runoff vs. the general election

For NYT’s The Upshot, Nate Cohn explains how Warnock and Ossoff won Georgia. The accompanying map by Charlie Smart provides a clear picture of swooping arrows that show the shifts from the general election to the runoff.

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Mapping disappearing beaches in Hawaii

Ash Ngu for ProPublica and Sophie Cocke for Honolulu Star-Advertiser show the harm of building seawalls on Hawaii’s beaches. The walls protect luxury beachfront properties, but they have been built through administrative loopholes and destroy beaches, which are owned by the public.

I like the combination of video footage and map, providing a scroll along the coastline. It provides an anchor for where you are and what you’re looking at.

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Who catches the most fish

Using data from Global Fishing Watch, Hayley Warren and Ian Wishart for Bloomberg mapped the predominant country for fishing in European Union and British waters. There’s disagreement between the U.K. and the EU about who gets to fish where.

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