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

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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
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Displaced lifes: Escaping conflict, violence and disaster

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Every minute eight people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.” This is the background to the UN General Assembly’s decision to declare June, 20th as World Refugee Day. As the UN estimates, about “43.3 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced due to conflict and persecution” by the end of 2011. This includes several groups of people, categorised in refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless persons and returnees. The following two maps put a spotlight on the geographic distribution of two of these groups. The first map visualises data on displaced people from a recent report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The organisation estimates figures on people who are internally displaced “caused by conflict, generalised violence, human rights violations and natural hazard-induced disasters”. The cartogram shows the countries of the world resized according to the total number of internally displaced people there, adding up to 33.3 million according to IDMC’s report:

Map of internally displaced people in the world
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The second map focuses on numbers released by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR about the efforts of the international community to help refugees of current conflict. Their data shows, how many Syrian refugees each country has pledged to resettle. The confirmed official pledges to date were a total of 21,102 (while with the ongoing crisis these numbers keep changing while countries continue to propose further commitments) plus an open ended number on resettlement by the USA (which in the following map is set to a number of 13,500 which equals the largest pledged number by Germany at the time the data was released in May). This is the complete picture behind these numbers turned into a cartogram:

Confirmed/Official Pledges 2013/14 for Syrian Refugees
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The London Housing Bubble

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Political InsightIn an article for the “In Focus” section of Political Insight (April 2014, Volume 5, Issue 1) Danny Dorling and I looked at the overheating of the housing market in London. The graphics that I created for this feature visualise the considerable changes that took place in recent years using data from an analysis reported in the Guardian: In 2012, the total value of residential property in London was reported to be £1.37 trillion. The value of housing in the capital dominated the UK housing market. By 2013, the value of London housing had risen to £1.47 trillion. Some £100 billion had been added in just one year, an additional £30,000 per property if the rise had been evenly spread out across the capital. However, just as within England, this increase was concentrated within certain areas, particularly those closest to the centre.
When London is redrawn with each borough sized according to the value of residential property, the largest borough becomes Kensington and Chelsea where the average home now costs £1.57 million. Westminster, with more housing but an average value of ‘only’£1.1 million is almost as large. Wandsworth, more typical at £527,000 a home, is more than three times the size of Newham despite having just 30 per cent more homes. However, even in Newham, the ‘cheapest borough’, the average property now sells for over £218,000.

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Eurovision 2013 revisited

Eurovision 2013 revisited

Year after year in May Europe meets to celebrate one common guilty pleasure: the Eurovision Song Contest. More important in the outcome than watching the singing performances is the voting procedure: It sometimes appears as if points are not always related to the performance, but a reflection of European history and current events. That makes it interesting for detailed analyses (such as this detailed one by students of the Technical University of Denmark) regardless of whether one agrees with the quality and style of the contributions. The upcoming song contest takes place in Copenhagen, as Denmark was last years winner which can be seen in the following map of the total votes that each country received in the 2013 contest (see the bottom of this post):

Total Points received by each countryEurovision 2013
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But there is more to the results than the overall picture of the votes (Sidenote and warning: This blog post has a large number of maps embedded and may take longer to load up when viewing). Continue reading

Europe at Night

Earth HourNASA’s night lights imagery published in the Earth Observatory provides a stunning view of our impact on the planet. The following map of Europe at night is an extract of my gridded population projection of the the Earth at night showing more detail of where the distribution of night lights is on the European continent in relation to its population distribution (the surrounding areas such as the northern tip of Africa remain unchanged, hence shows a ‘normal’ land area perspective). Europe is one of the few regions globally (alongside North America) where light pollution at night is very much a phenomenon that is ‘normal’ for the vast majority of people who see very little of the night skies (hence the dominantly bright areas in this image – dark spots are those areas where people live with very little light pollutin). Northumberland Dark Sky Park (which gained Dark Sky Status by the International Dark-Sky Association in December 2013) is now to be known as Europe’s biggest Dark Sky Park and the largest unspoilt area in this regard, squeezed in the sparsely populated bright spaces between Northern England and Southern Scotland in this cartogram:

Equal population projection map of Europe at Night
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