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160209 - Mid Canada Corridor Header
(As part of me learning German, I’m trying to practice writing. If you found this interesting, like it, and if you found any errors, feel free to comment!)

Der mid-Canada corridor ist eine sehr große Landschaft, zwischen den größten Städten Kanadas und der nördlichen Baumgrenze (the Boreal Treeline). Innerhalb dieser Region findet man viele natürliche Ressourcen rund um die kleinen Dörfer, gewaltigen Urwälder, Schützgebiete und Reservate.

160209 - Mid Canada Corridor

Aufgrund des Ressourcenreichtums, wurden 1971 Pläne für eine nachhaltige Regionalentwicklung vorgestellt. Es gab Entwicklungs- und Planungsprobleme, zum Beispiel: Wie könnte Entwicklung in dieser Region vorankommen, sodass Arbeiterdörfer nicht abhängig von der Bergbau- und Erdölindustrien sein werden? Schon damals kannte die kanadische Regierung das Problem der ‘Mining Ghost Towns’.

Die kanadische Regierung hatte aber nur wenig Interesse an den Pläne und sie gerieten fast in Vergessenheit. Hin und wieder werden die Pläne diskutiert wenn es um die Zukunft dieser nördlichen, ressourcenreichen Landschaft geht. So gibt es viele Probleme in einer Stadt wie Fort McMurray in Alberta, die Arbeiterhauptstadt der Oil-Sands-Industrie. Trotz des höchsten Einkommensdurchschnitts in Kanada sind die Bewohnern immer noch unzufrieden und nicht daran interresiert, dort zu bleiben. Jetzt gibt es auch wirtschaftliche Probleme. Wegen des niedrigen Ölpreises hat Alberta im letzten Jahr über 100.000 Arbeitsplätze verloren.

Ähnliche Herausforderungen existieren in Deutschland mit den kleinen Siedlungen und Dörfern, die für die Arbeiter gebaut wurden. Bekannte Beispiele sind unter anderem das Arbetierparadies in Halle-Neustadt, Teile von Leipzig und Dresden und die Städte des Ruhrgebietes. Im Ruhrgebiet wird aktuell diskutiert, wie die Städte attraktive gemacht werden können, damit mehr Menschen ins Ruhrgebiet ziehen. Nach mehereren Phasen starken ökonomischen Strukturwandels, verursacht durch züruckgegangene Nachfrage für Stahl und Kohl, sowie Deindustrialisierung, musste die Region etwas tun, um sich über Wasser zu halten. Hier war die Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher Park (IBA) gut für die Region. Sie brachte viele neue Ideen, neue Gebäude, Fahradwege, Parks und Einrichtungen, sowie Kulturindustrie der Industriekultur.

Obwohl die IBA einen gute Einfluss auf das Ruhrgebiet hatte, ist dieses Model nicht übertragbar auf den mid-Canada corridor – diese ist vielleicht zu unterschiedlich. Der Corridor ist immer noch wenig entwickelt, und viel größer als das Ruhrgebiet.

Riesige, wenig entwickelte Regionen sind typisch für Kanada. Viele neue Städte entstanden im Urwald oder auf der Tundra mit keiner oder weniger Verbindungen zur anderen Städten. Es ist ein modernes Problem. Wir haben die Werkzeuge, über unbewohntes Land zu fliegen. Wir studieren, entdecken und nutzen es für unsere ökonomischen Ideale. In vielerlei Hinsicht ist die Idee des mid-Canada corridors auch ein Stück Modernismus. Zusätzlich gibt es aktuelle Probleme auf Reservaten, wo Menschen wohnen mit schlechten Wassersystemen, ohne Strom und unter prekären Wohnsituationen. Der mid-Canada corridor hat noch viele Schwerigkeiten zwischen heute und dem schönen urbanischen Zukunftstraum.

Literaturehinweise:

Van Nostrand, J. (2014, September). If We Build It, They Will Stay. Walrus Magazine. http://thewalrus.ca/if-we-build-it-they-will-stay/

Grescoe, T. (2013, November). Big Mac. Walrus Magazine. http://thewalrus.ca/big-mac/

Hussain, Y. (2015, December). Oil industry to lose 100,000 jobs by the end of 2015 as policy uncertainties, low prices decimate sector. Financial Post. http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/oil-industry-to-lose-100000-jobs-by-the-end-of-2015-as-policy-uncertainties-low-prices-decimate-sector?__lsa=063f-22d7

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150830 - CartoDBTomorrow is the last day to submit an entry to CartoDB’s Insight Competition for maps designed with this mapping utility. Check out the competition brief at their website:

http://go.cartodb.com/insight-competition

The submission can be anything from online platforms to sculptures and anything in between. The main focus is that CartoDB was used in the process of creation.

I’ve written a few blog posts in the past on different web-based projects that use CartoDB. Some of these projects, I hope, are still running and can be seen under my tag, CartoDB. There will be much more to blog about when the winners are announced on September 3rd so stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out CartoDB’s own map blog with featured projects.

As I continue to try to close my browser tabs, I will post today of some map examples that I wanted to keep track of. The topic – the evolution of Berlin’s nightlife and transit system map designs.

Berlin Club Kataster

Blog - Berlin Maps - Club Kadaster

The Berlin Club Kataster is a map that shows the locations of known Berlin nightclubs from the beginning of the 20th century to present day. The map shows different forms of clubs, including music bars, theaters, galleries and others. It also allows the user to play through time to watch the clubs appear and disappear. According to urbannightlife, there is a marked increase in clubs around 2009, mostly because many clubs couldn’t pin down exactly when they were established, and so, use that date as a catchall.

The map is especially interesting because of all the information it provides for each club and venue. The map was created by Musicboard Berlin GmbH, and is constantly being updated.

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Mapping Berlin’s Transit System

Blog - Berlin Maps - Old Transit Map

This article in Slow Travel Berlin, provides a number of examples of old maps that were created to show Berlin’s underground and surface rail system. One of the most interesting things that these maps show are the psychological connections we have to a transit system that may not necessarily be directly about the use. The last section of the article shows the way politics and current events influenced the design of the transit map – first through Berlin’s east-west division, and then through Germany’s unification. The contemporary map was interestingly designed with much of the system still incomplete. The most prominent symbol, the Ring Bahn, was incomplete when the map was designed, but was such a strong symbol for unity that it was displayed regardless.

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Recreating an S-Bahn (overground) transit map from the divided Berlin 

Unknown

The final closed tab was all about a single map of Berlin’s transit, the S-Bahn map of 1980 recreated by Max Robert. This map was especially interesting as it was produced when Berlin was still separated, and had to somehow display the space of West Berlin as a separate nation. Further, the article talks about the politics of infrastructure and proposes that the colourful design was meant to aid in promoting the use of the network. Still, much is unknown about the design decisions underlying the map.

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This map shows the laneways of Toronto against a dark background, modeled after some of the other laneway maps showing up in Toronto right now. Taking the idea further, I calculated the network of streets that connect to laneways to visualize the accessibility of laneways to the city.

The first map shows just the laneways, while the second shows the laneway connected to their nearest part of the street network. The network fades to dark as it spreads away from the laneway.

While the overwhelming majority of laneways are downtown, small oases pop out of some of the most obscure locations throughout the city. Try to find your own place in the larger-scale maps below.

(Map 1. Laneways of Toronto)

Lanewaysmap-GTA-01

(Map 2. Laneways with connecting roads)

Lanewaysmap-GTA-gradient-01

Windmap

There has recently been sufficient hype around the Earth Wind Map, a map that was inspired by the US Wind Map I covered back in 2012. The Earth Wind Map, built by Cameron Beccario (@cambecc) visualizes data from the US weather service, National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The map uses a similar JavaScript code to visualize movements of wind using dots dragging in the direction of the wind, leaving a tail that slowly disappears. The movements are supplemented with colours and densities of flowing dots which seem to be related to wind speed (any clarification on this?).

Check out my critique below, and take a look at the map.

Link: http://earth.nullschool.net

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UrbanObservatoryUrban Observatory is a tool created by Esri (makers of ArcGIS) for comparing cities along various important indicators. The sleek tool provides three windows that respond to each other’s scales. Factors that can be compared include common demographic indicators such as population density, as well as traffic and environmental indicators. The maps are dijits, (dojo widgets) and were made through ArcGIS Online, or ArcGIS’ Javascript API.

Cities can contribute their own data to these maps by partnering with Esri. It is unclear whether contributing cities are allowed to download the data of other cities, and there seems to be no way for individuals to access the data. For these people, the map can only act as a reference or ‘cool’ (but ultimately not so useful) tool. As well, the web aspect of this tool becomes questionable if data can be shared between cities, i.e., is there any point in having maps online that cannot be properly printed/analyzed? Will the GIS tech just reproduce the maps they need anyway?

Link: http://www.urbanobservatory.org/compare/index.html

ImageHooray! Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency here in Toronto actually used a map I made back in 2012 in a report which I came across through a friend. The map displayed the density of intersections in  the Toronto region, and highlights some of the more industrial locations throughout. The heading photo used by Metrolinx highlights the Pearson Eco-Zone, an enormous industrial part surrounding Pearson International Airport (the big white splotch in the image above).

Check out the report here: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/goodsmovement/Urban_Freight_Action_Plan_Status_Update_EN.pdf