13 maps in 13 days: Steven Romalewski

Sending off the year 2015, we present to our readers the mapmakers who contributed their work to the 2015 GeoHipster calendar.

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Steven Romalewski

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I manage the CUNY Mapping Service, a project of the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. I’ve been using GIS to analyze and map all sorts of data since the early 1990s.

Q: Tell us the story behind your map (what inspired you to make it, what did you learn while making it, or any other aspects of the map or its creation you would like people to know).

A: We created the map as part of our Election Atlas for the 2013 mayoral election in New York City, a compilation of dozens of maps of demographics, voter registration, vote histories of the mayoral candidates, turnout, and more. This particular map shows voter turnout by election district for the 2013 mayoral primary. It’s a different take on most election maps: each election district is shaded by color according to the candidate who won the district, and the intensity of each color corresponds to turnout percent (rather than vote percent). So it shows how well each candidate mobilized their supporters, as well as areas where candidates won the district with only weak turnout. Citywide turnout for the primary was only 22%, but the map shows how varied the turnout was across the city and by candidate.

We learned a great deal with this map and all the others at the Election Atlas about election district geography, voter registration data, and Board of Elections vote reporting.

Q: Tell us about the tools, data, etc., you used to make the map.

A: All the NYC Election Atlas maps were made with ArcGIS, and then uploaded either as PDFs/PNGs to our Atlas website, and some of them (including this one) are also available in interactive form using CartoDB, where you can click to see turnout and vote totals by district for the mayoral primary and general election. We relied on ColorBrewer for the color patterns (we ❤ ColorBrewer!). The vote results and voter registration data are from the NYC Board of Elections. This map and the others were very much a team effort among me, David Burgoon, Kristen Grady, and our colleagues at the Center for Urban Research. And the Election Atlas overall is a partnership with the CUNY Journalism School and Center for Community and Ethnic Media, in order to provide visual and quantitative resources for journalists and others covering the election.

'NYC 2013 Mayoral primary turnout' by Steven Romalewski
‘NYC 2013 Mayoral primary turnout’ by Steven Romalewski

13 maps in 13 days: Jonah Adkins

Sending off the year 2015, we present to our readers the mapmakers who contributed their work to the 2015 GeoHipster calendar.

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Jonah Adkins

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I’m a cartographer and a GeoHipster alumnus. I volunteer with @maptimehrva, @code4hr, and I’m into OpenStreetMap, Open Data, Music, Disney, Sports Cards, Pro-Wrestling, Ink, and paid mapping.

Q: Tell us the story behind your map (what inspired you to make it, what did you learn while making it, or any other aspects of the map or its creation you would like people to know).

A: The Noland Trail is a 5-mile escape from reality located at Mariners’ Museum Park in Newport News, Virginia. The entire park is the largest privately owned & maintained, free admission park in the US. The trail itself was dedicated as a gift from the Noland family in 1991. About 4 years ago, I set out to map the park and trail in its entirety, for a few reasons: I wanted a fun side project to try out some new techniques on, and the existing trail maps (A, B, C ) carried a few inconsistencies that left something to be desired.

Q: Tell us about the tools, data, etc., you used to make the map.

A: I spent a few weeks doing some pen & paper surveying, as well as some mobile (iPhone) data collection using Fulcrum. The map creation took about 5 months in my spare time to complete, and was done in ArcMap 10.1. I also created Open-Noland-Trail to share all of the data I collected and to learn Bootstrap. I also came across OpenTrails during this time, a cool project just for the sort of thing I was doing. I was pretty happy with the end result (for a short time), and was pleased that it has since received several awards: 1st Place Overall (2013 Virginia GIS Conference), Runner Up, Best Cartography (2013 FOSS4G), Honorable Mention (Atlas of Design Volume II), and of course, this great calendar!

'The Noland Trail' by Jonah Adkins
‘The Noland Trail’ by Jonah Adkins

13 maps in 13 days: Bill Morris

Sending off the year 2015, we present to our readers the mapmakers who contributed their work to the 2015 GeoHipster calendar.

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Bill Morris

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I’m a cartographer and data plumber at Faraday Inc, where I come up with ways of analyzing and visualizing several metric tons of demographic/property information. Big fan of open source mapping. Big fan.

Q: Tell us the story behind your map (what inspired you to make it, what did you learn while making it, or any other aspects of the map or its creation you would like people to know).

A: I’m a longtime devotee of Ed Abbey’s work, and I love how he describes the landscape in three dimensions in “Desert Solitaire”, climbing and delving. I wanted to use a single data source to show the amazing terrain of the Four Corners region, with deliberate divergence to pull apart the canyons and peaks. In particular I wanted the fern-shaped Uinta ridge and the island around Tukuhnikivats to stand out from the depths of the river channels. The paper texture was an afterthought, because the relief looked a little too sterile on its own.

Q: Tell us about the tools, data, etc., you used to make the map.

A: I used Mapbox’s first-generation platform Tilemill to make this map, selecting a color scheme with the help of Gregor Aisch’s chroma.js toolkit. The DEM came from the US Geological Survey’s NED dataset, and I did the print layout in Inkscape. I also put together a proto-scrolly-mapstory with some of my favorite Abbey fragments, using tiles created from the same project: http://wboykinm.github.io/arches/.

'Abbey's Country Arches National Park & The Canyonlands' by Bill Morris
‘Abbey’s Country Arches National Park & The Canyonlands’ by Bill Morris