Maps Hub

This Week's Heat Wave, Time-Lapse: VIDEO


Lashing NYC today with its fiery tongue, this week's heat wave is presented in a handy time-lapse visualization bythe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Environmental Visualization Lab. As if you needed to be told how hot it is out there.


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Experts: Don't Worry About Radiation from Japan Nuke Plant in U.S.


Experts say the amounts will be minor and well within limits that are safe, but small amounts of radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant currently in crisis in Japan will reach California by tomorrow.

The L.A. Times reports:

A network of sensors in the U.S. and around the world is watching for the first signs of that fallout, though experts said they were confident that the amount of radiation would be well within safe limits.

Atmospheric experts said the material should begin showing up on the West Coast as early as Friday, though it could take up to an additional week for the 5,000-mile trip from Japan to Southern California. Although the organization has told its member countries that the first indication of radiation would hit on Friday, the plume from a North Korean nuclear test in 2006 took about two weeks to travel to North America, U.N. officials said.

Radiation Forecast levels of radiation on March 18, at 2 am (unclear what time zone) are shown in the screencap above.



The projection, by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, an arm of the United Nations in Vienna, gives no information about actual radiation levels but only shows how a radioactive plume would probably move and disperse.

The forecast, calculated Tuesday, is based on patterns of Pacific winds at that time and the predicted path is likely to change as weather patterns shift.

Experts assure there is no need to worry in the U.S.

The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory B. Jaczko, said Monday that the plume posed no danger to the United States. “You just aren’t going to have any radiological material that, by the time it traveled those large distances, could present any risk to the American public,” he said in a White House briefing.


Meanwhile, the situation in Japan worsens.

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FOX News Not Sure Where Egypt Is


(via buzzfeed)

Map: Snow Covers Ground in 49 of 50 States


Wake up to snow this morning? You're not alone. Florida is currently the only state, including Hawaii, without snow on the ground:

"...snow is present in 69.4 percent of the lower 48, which is more than double than December.  This is extremely unusual, though it's hard to put a date on when this last happened because records aren't kept on this kind of event."

Map: Mass Animal Deaths

View Mass Animal Deaths in a larger map

Head to the Google page for a list.

MAP: The World According to Facebook


The map, created by Facebook intern Paul Butler, is based upon the localities of friendships within the social network:

"I began by taking a sample of about ten million pairs of friends from Apache Hive, our data warehouse. I combined that data with each user's current city and summed the number of friends between each pair of cities. Then I merged the data with the longitude and latitude of each city."

More of his methodology here.

"After a few minutes of rendering, the new plot appeared, and I was a bit taken aback by what I saw. The blob had turned into a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn't represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life. Later I replaced the lines with great circle arcs, which are the shortest routes between two points on the Earth. Because the Earth is a sphere, these are often not straight lines on the projection. When I shared the image with others within Facebook, it resonated with many people. It's not just a pretty picture, it's a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders."

Click map to enlarge. High-res version here.


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