In an article for the “In Focus” section of Political Insight (September 2014, Volume 5, Issue 2) we looked at the results of this year’s election to the European Parliament.
In May 2014 the citizens of the 28 member states of the European Union (EU) went to the polls to elect the 751 new Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The distribution of seats in the European Parliament is not directly proportional to each country’s total population. A so-called ‘degressive proportionality’ principle gives small countries a few more seats than what would have been the case if strict proportionality were applied. The voter turnout across the EU was 43%. Belgium and Luxemburg have the highest rate of voter participation (90%). On the other hand, the smallest voter turnout is observed in Slovakia (13%) and the Czech Republic (19.5%), whereas the United Kingdom had the 11th lowest rate in Europe (36%). More than 90% of all elected MEPs belong to one of the seven political groups of the European Parliament. There is a minimum of 25 members needed to form a political group and at least one quarter of all member states must be represented within this group.
The map series in the article presents the geographical distribution of the votes across member states. All countries in these maps are shaded using a rainbow colour scheme, starting with shades of dark red to demarcate the countries with the most recent association with the EU and moving through to a shade of violet for the oldest member states.
The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has not been brought under control since it became part of international attention early 2014. As of 15 August the suspected and confirmed cases added up to 2127, leading to 1145 deaths in the region (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The outbreak is not only unusual in its absolute numbers of cases and deaths (before the current outbreak a total of 2387 cases and 1590 deaths have been recorded by the World Health Organization since the virus was discovered in 1976), but also in its geographical patterns: While WHO obervations in the past mainly occurred in the tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa (affecting mainly Congo, DR Congo, Gabon, Sudan and Uganda), the current and by far largest outbreak is observed in the previously unaffected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and (less servere) Nigeria). The following map shows not only that Ebola is restricted to Africa, but to a very small part of the continent. It shows the countries of the world resized in a Worldmapper-style cartogram according to the total number of cases in each country in 2014 (to date):To put the outbreak into further context, the following maps show the death counts of all Ebola outbreaks to date, as well as two split maps of deaths in 2014 and pre-2014: Continue reading
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).
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.
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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
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:
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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
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):
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