The Cartography of Riots

The riots of August 2011 took the nation by surprise. Consternation followed as events appeared to spiral out of control, then condemnation. Later reflection, and the compilation of hundreds of statistics on the rioters who were convicted. Much was also written about those who were not caught but were interviewed, as well as on the severity of the sentences handed down to the minority of rioters who were caught, or identified and convicted. Prison sentences totalling more than 1,800 years were handed down with an average custodial sentence of nearly 17 months (more than four times the average term handed down by magistrates courts for similar offences).
Court cases related to the August 2011 riots in England Continue reading

Visualization of Satellite Data Availability: TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X Running Against Time

The currency of geodata is an important factor for many advanced geospatial applications. Examples for this are security questions in the control of international borders and coastal areas, or up-to-date information following natural hazards. Here a near real time availability of geoinformation is of high value. A wide range of commercial satellites providing near real time information are available. Satellites with active sensors, such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems, can deliver such information even at night and in areas with cloud coverage.

Cartogram visualisation of the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X latency
(click for larger version)

The German SAR satellite mission with the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites provides coverage of every location on earth within 1-3 days. The acquired data can be made available for processing within hours or in certain cases even minutes. Continue reading

World Cup Statistics

Where is all the football gone? While it’s another four years now to wait for the next Football (Soccer) World Cup, there is plenty of statistics to look back at from this year’s tournament in Brazil. “World” cup of course only applied to a small number of countries from around the world, as only 32 nations have qualified for the event. And then, one after another leaves early, so that the number of matches adds to the representation of countries and regions from around the world in this global sports event that – in terms of television ratings – is only superseded by the Olympics. Here is how the world looks distorted according to the total number of matches played at the 2014 World Cup:

Map of all matches played in the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup in Brazil
(click for larger version)

And there is much more data that is counted during the event. The following map series looks into some of the statistics showing the distribution of goals, cards, fouls, tackles and much more of the action that went on during the four weeks in Brazil: Continue reading

Europe in Brazil

Much has been said about Europe’s low performance at this year’s Football (Soccer) World Cup in Brazil. Defending champion Spain and also Italy went out in the first round of the tournament. However, with not only Germany and the Netherlands, but also Belgium, France, Greece and Switzerland six teams from Europe made it into the knockout stage. Two of them are still left in the semi-finals. Overall on an global level this looks much less unsuccessful than it sounded in some of the media – only some of the balances have changed within the continent compared to the previous tournament. While waiting for the semi-finals, we now looked at how the European teams performed so far. Here is the new shape of European football as it looks prior to the semi-finals (with Germany and the Netherlands still having the chance to become even bigger in these four maps):

Map of Europe's performance at the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup in Brazil
(click for larger version)

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World Cup Bites

On the first match-free day of this year’s Football (Soccer) World Cup in Brazil, one incident dominates the headlines while all fans anticipate the knock-out stage. It’s Luis Suárez and his bite into his opponent Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder that keep making the headlines. Here comes the cartographic perspective on the topic: We made all efforts to analyse all available data on this year’s bite incidents (so far) at the World Cup and ended up with the following map representation of this highly complex data set. The map makes this data immediately accessible to the lay-person showing from which country players have been biting their opponents and which countries are the most affected by bite attacks of other teams. The evidence is hardly deniable – there is a highly unequal distribution emerging in these maps:

Map of bites made and received at the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup in Brazil
(click for larger version)

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Once upon a time there was a country called Europe

‘We cannot aim at anything less than the Union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to the day when that Union will be achieved’

Map of Europe at Night shown on a gridded population cartogram
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things
(click here for larger version of the map)

It may sound inconceivable today that a statement such as the above could be made by a British Prime Minister and even more so by the leader of the Conservative Party. Yet, this is an extract from a speech delivered by Winston Churchill at the Congress of Europe in The Hague on 7 May 1948. It is just an example of numerous similar statementsand activities supporting European integration and union. These were part of wider efforts and actions by the people of a continent shattered by war towards a common purpose and future, which have been imaginatively ‘narrated’ by a member of Europe’s next generation in an award-winning video ‘We are Europe’ – see below. These efforts have been steadily leading towards a Europe United in Diversity and to the formation of a European identity underpinned by common values and ideals such as the establishment of democratic institutions, the respect of human rights and the protection of minorities, as well as solidarity and social cohesion. Continue reading