Data Anxiety

Tempus fugit

#maps

New release of of U.S. broadband map with updated data

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the FCC, developed an interactive online map that shows what high-speed Internet services are available, to every neighborhood in the U.S.A. The first version was completed in 2011.

A few days ago, the new version, with more features and much more current data, was released. It is worth having a look.

Highlights

Here are some notable data points, culled by me. The article that I linked to in my previous paragraph has the NTIA’s highlights. In the U.S.A.:

  • 99% have access to broadband speeds of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 Kbps upstream (wired or wireless). 
  • 96% have access to broadband speeds of 6 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream
  • 90% have access to 4G wireless broadband
  • 20% have access to fiber
  • 6.7% have gigabit connections in their neighborhoods.
  • 200 of 2,083 broadband providers offer 100-megabit connections

Data sources

Government agencies, state-level non-profits and carriers provide the information. After verifying, the NTIA and FCC use the data to create the national map. 

The Map!

The landing page at Broadband Map has an omni-box type input screen. I found it easier to work backward from the views though.

For example, look closely at the map of consumer broadband advertised speeds versus typical speeds. That is very helpful for understanding how much (as a numeric value) your ISP’s, internet service provider’s, advertised speed differs from what you personally observe at home. The reasons for that differential can be described without technical specifics, but they are detailed. It is enough material for a separate blog post, if any one is interested, tell me in the comments, and if so, I’ll write about it. My favorite map is the interactive view by broadband technology type.

Have a look at the data transfer model. It was used to collect data from the multiple contributors. It is NOT intended for use as a mapping tool! It is helpful for an at-a-glance high-level data overview. The format for the transfer data model is a geodatabase.

Geodatabase afterthoughts

I do not know if the Broadband Map’s geodatabase conforms to any open standard. I searched, to see if one existed, and was used by the NTIA, but was unsuccessful.. I’m not certain if an open geodatabase standard even exists!

image

In lieu of anything substantive, I offer a pretty picture.

I found it in Section 4.8 of Essentials of Geographic Information Systems v.1, December 2012; and reproduced here under Creative Commons License 3.0 by-nc-sa..

Serendipity: An open access trove of new textbooks

If you want to legally download the entire book, you can do so. Read the Lard Bucket attribution requirements. They are minimal, as long as you don’t market or use the book for monetary gain.

Free access to this book, and many others, was dedicated to the memory of Aaron Swartz. A rather bright and surprisingly mature young man, Andy Schmitz, arranged all of it in January 1013, and on his own initiative.

Some lakes are black in Google Maps


View Larger Map

Why do some lakes appear black in Google Maps?

It isn’t due to extreme cold, nor latitude, I don’t believe. The body of water in the embedded Google Map here is in a very cold area, e.g. -20 F average winter temperatures, in the northern part of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Yet even chillier bodies of water are blue e.g. in the Arctic Ocean, some distance due north.

Possibilites

  • Incomplete data Remote bodies of water such as Great Bear Lake, are probably not supplemented by additional data beyond satellite images. Counter argument The same might be true for the Arctic Ocean, yet it is not black! Response Google might have decided to just color that in, in shades of blue, as the information isn’t going to be relied upon by Google Maps users to navigate the Arctic Ocean. In contrast, there is a possibility that Google Maps coverage of Great Bear Lake could be used by hikers, which probably isn’t advisable. When seeing it in black, casual hikers might be more likely to check with local Canadian civil authorities for weather conditions and suitability for visiting, precautions advised etc. which is a good idea, and safer for that locale!
  • Water depth? Maybe, but the Arctic Ocean should be as deep or more so than Great Bear Lake, I think.
  • Censorship or sensitive information pertaining to Canadian (and U.S.) national security Unlikely, for many reasons. It is a big, cold, remote region.
  • Something else entirely? Probably… but what?
Lower ManhattanThat looks like it came from the Google Maps stereostropic viewer to me. I’ve never seen anything on Division Street look this good.

Lower Manhattan

That looks like it came from the Google Maps stereostropic viewer to me. I’ve never seen anything on Division Street look this good.
Maps Of Sandy Island:
British map, 1922. Sandy Island is a non-existent island near New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie). Scientists have recently confirmed that it does not exist. Notwithstanding this, Sandy Island has been featured on many maps throughout history, including presently on Google Earth. On the other hand, many maps have not featured this non-existent island. With thanks to the awesome David Rumsey Map Collection.
British cartographers, in 1922, did excellent work, far better than the Italians and Soviets that followed over the next 50 years. David Rumsey is indeed awesome! He won a nice award from Stanford University recently, which I posted as a link on Reddit. Or perhaps his foundation sponsored an award to a cartographer-librarian at Stanford? I need to double check, as the foundation was associated with an estate i.e. someone deceased. Exceptional Map #2 coming up next.This is an all-around exceptional news story, which Maps of Sandy Island tumblr is covering admirably well!

Maps Of Sandy Island:

British map, 1922. Sandy Island is a non-existent island near New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie). Scientists have recently confirmed that it does not exist. Notwithstanding this, Sandy Island has been featured on many maps throughout history, including presently on Google Earth. On the other hand, many maps have not featured this non-existent island.
With thanks to the awesome David Rumsey Map Collection.

British cartographers, in 1922, did excellent work, far better than the Italians and Soviets that followed over the next 50 years. David Rumsey is indeed awesome! He won a nice award from Stanford University recently, which I posted as a link on Reddit. Or perhaps his foundation sponsored an award to a cartographer-librarian at Stanford? I need to double check, as the foundation was associated with an estate i.e. someone deceased. Exceptional Map #2 coming up next.

This is an all-around exceptional news story, which Maps of Sandy Island tumblr is covering admirably well!

jacquelinevandusen:

My Manhattan map was featured in another project, “New York to Moscovites.”
nycasmoscow:

Группа «Наши в городе»: 
Григорий Кегелес, Павел Пуш (innyc.ru)
Дизайн: Наташа Милешина (bubbo-tubbo.com)
Карта Манхэттена: Jackie VanDusen (jacquelinevandusen.tumblr.com)


If you wish to view in full sized glory, click, or visit the artist’s website, JacquelineVanDusen tumblr.
Cool map!
I liked the realistic feel of this. It uses different fonts to distinguish between languages. The thick cursive black marker (in Russian, presumably) is an agreeable contrast to the other sans-serif English language font, and to the precision of vector grey Manhattan streets. Splotches of color are nice too, reminding me of watercolor. Yet there is contrast, again, of a practical sort: The horizontal latitude-like lines keep it tidy, organized, and are functional.

jacquelinevandusen:

My Manhattan map was featured in another project, “New York to Moscovites.”

nycasmoscow:

Группа «Наши в городе»: 
Григорий Кегелес, Павел Пуш (innyc.ru)
Дизайн: Наташа Милешина (bubbo-tubbo.com)
Карта Манхэттена: Jackie VanDusen (jacquelinevandusen.tumblr.com)

If you wish to view in full sized glory, click, or visit the artist’s website, JacquelineVanDusen tumblr.

Cool map!

I liked the realistic feel of this. It uses different fonts to distinguish between languages. The thick cursive black marker (in Russian, presumably) is an agreeable contrast to the other sans-serif English language font, and to the precision of vector grey Manhattan streets. Splotches of color are nice too, reminding me of watercolor. Yet there is contrast, again, of a practical sort: The horizontal latitude-like lines keep it tidy, organized, and are functional.

nasdaq:

Some of the sessions might be mind benders, but at least no one’s getting lost on the streets of this mountain town…  
~~ Davos 2012 Postcards

nasdaq:

Some of the sessions might be mind benders, but at least no one’s getting lost on the streets of this mountain town…  

~~ Davos 2012 Postcards

theamazingios6maps:

OMG: Somebody painted the landscape in white.
Three types of image quality in Switzerland

It is a canton in the south, bordering on Italy, I think, but of course there is no way to be certain… not with THIS map ;o)

theamazingios6maps:

OMG: Somebody painted the landscape in white.

Three types of image quality in Switzerland

It is a canton in the south, bordering on Italy, I think, but of course there is no way to be certain… not with THIS map ;o)

Google Maps homesteads built with LEGO

Yes, one can now build with LEGO anywhere and everywhere, well, certainly throughout Australia on Google Maps. Don’t worry if you are not located in Australia or New Zealand, as it seems to work fine for users in other countries e.g. for me in the U.S.A.

As of now, this Google Maps ‘feature’ (I’m not really sure what it is… it doesn’t seem clearly tied to Google Play which is a  games platform) is limited to a single continent. The website “About” page indicates that other parts of the world may become available for LEGO homesteading in the near future.

The site address, Build with Chrome reminds me that it may be necessary to use Chrome browser for this to work, or perhaps a Chrome Netbook, if you have one (I don’t). It functioned well on my laptop, but I don’t know if it would on any of those high end fancy devices like iTablets…

~;o)