Map Quest

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a map is worth a million. As I date a GIS guy, I have developed a deeper interest in maps and the information they provide. Over the past few weeks, I've been coming across all types. I've decided that for this blog, I will answer two questions for each: "What does it make me feel?" and "What does it teach me?"

Wildlife disease - http://wildlifedisease.nbii.gov/wdinNewsDigestMap.jsp
This first map initially made me feel that Google is the greatest thing ever. Their maps are interactive, fun to use, spectacular and getting better all the time. This particular map is interesting because it maps stories and articles from the blog http://wdin.blogspot.com/. This map, however, has much more potential. I'd like to see more international wildlife disease news; most of the stories on this particular map are in the United States. This is a great start, nonetheless, and I look forward to seeing more maps like this. I learned that Bovine tuberculosis was discovered in a 5-year-old cow in Canada and that there's some kind of fish disease killing off carp in Ontario.

Refugee and Asylum Seekers Worldwide -http://www.resourceshelf.com/2008/05/02/maps-world-refugees-and-asylum-seekers-at-the-end-of-2007-other-maps/
The first place your eye wanders when you look at this map is the Middle East, clearly the region with the highest refugee count. Another interesting point on the map is that the United States has over a million refugees and about 30,000 people seeking asylum. I'm not sure why, but I was surprised to see that. I suppose the way that this map made me feel was upset. It's horrifying to see how many people around the world have left their home country.

Displaced People - http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/fullMaps_Wd.nsf/luFullMap/046DE177A97D9399C125743B0045F6D4/$File/lemonde_IDP_080430a.pdf?OpenElement
This map looks similar to the refugees and asylum seekers one posted above. It made me shake my head. First, you can see that the largest amount of people displaced within their own country are in those countries where there is civil unrest - Columbia and Sudan. I also found interesting that no information is coming out of China (or North Korea, for that matter). Not surprising, but interesting. China has been crushing its citizens and relentlessly displacing those who are poor by moving in industry, including coal mines as shown in this FRONTLINE video. Obviously, this map also made me upset.

Speed Traps - http://njection.com/speedtrap/default.aspx
It's always good to evade police interaction when possible. I thought this was a cool map to learn about a variety of speed traps, especially if you're visiting or moving to a city your unfamiliar with. It seems there would be more speed traps in the area, but them I'm like, "Oh yeah, Detroit cops have better things to do than sit around and clock people going fast." Although, I must say, Southfield freeway does turn into a different level of hell sometimes.

Top 50 Fortune 500 Companies - http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2008/maps/top50.html
Only three located in Michigan - two car companies and a lame chemical company. This made me sad, because we used to have lots of headquarters here. Michigan can do better.

Flooding - http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/?m=flood%2Cmap&r=us&w=real%2Cmap
This real-time water monitoring is part of a continuing effort by the USGS to assist the National Weather Service (NWS) in making accurate and timely flood forecasts. It's cool and also a good reason not to live by the Mississippi.

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