We Are Infinite.

Clare.
21.
Singapore.
SAC, CJC & NUS.
Full time Wanderluster, Part time student.
mapsbynik:


Nobody lives here: The nearly 5 million Census Blocks with zero population
A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics. As of the 2010 census, the United States consists of 11,078,300 Census Blocks. Of them, 4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them. Despite having a population of more than 310 million people, 47 percent of the USA remains unoccupied.
Green shading indicates unoccupied Census Blocks. A single inhabitant is enough to omit a block from shading
Quick update: If you’re the kind of map lover who cares about cartographic accuracy, check out the new version which fixes the Gulf of California. If you save this map for your own projects, please use this one instead.
Map observations
The map tends to highlight two types of areas:
places where human habitation is physically restrictive or impossible, and
places where human habitation is prohibited by social or legal convention.
Water features such lakes, rivers, swamps and floodplains are revealed as places where it is hard for people to live. In addition, the mountains and deserts of the West, with their hostility to human survival, remain largely void of permanent population.
Of the places where settlement is prohibited, the most apparent are wilderness protection and recreational areas (such as national and state parks) and military bases. At the national and regional scales, these places appear as large green tracts surrounded by otherwise populated countryside.
At the local level, city and county parks emerge in contrast to their developed urban and suburban surroundings. At this scale, even major roads such as highways and interstates stretch like ribbons across the landscape.
Commercial and industrial areas are also likely to be green on this map. The local shopping mall, an office park, a warehouse district or a factory may have their own Census Blocks. But if people don’t live there, they will be considered “uninhabited”. So it should be noted that just because a block is unoccupied, that does not mean it is undeveloped.
Perhaps the two most notable anomalies on the map occur in Maine and the Dakotas. Northern Maine is conspicuously uninhabited. Despite being one of the earliest regions in North America to be settled by Europeans, the population there remains so low that large portions of the state’s interior have yet to be politically organized.
In the Dakotas, the border between North and South appears to be unexpectedly stark. Geographic phenomena typically do not respect artificial human boundaries. Throughout the rest of the map, state lines are often difficult to distinguish. But in the Dakotas, northern South Dakota is quite distinct from southern North Dakota. This is especially surprising considering that the county-level population density on both sides of the border is about the same at less than 10 people per square mile.
Finally, the differences between the eastern and western halves of the contiguous 48 states are particularly stark to me. In the east, with its larger population, unpopulated places are more likely to stand out on the map. In the west, the opposite is true. There, population centers stand out against the wilderness.
::
Ultimately, I made this map to show a different side of the United States. Human geographers spend so much time thinking about where people are. I thought I might bring some new insight by showing where they are not, adding contrast and context to the typical displays of the country’s population geography.
I’m sure I’ve all but scratched the surface of insight available from examining this map. There’s a lot of data here. What trends and patterns do you see?
Errata
The Gulf of California is missing from this version. I guess it got filled in while doing touch ups. Oops. There’s a link to a corrected map at the top of the post.
Some islands may be missing if they were not a part of the waterbody data sets I used.
::
©mapsbynik 2014 Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Block geography and population data from U.S. Census Bureau Water body geography from National Hydrology Dataset and Natural Earth Made with Tilemill USGS National Atlas Equal Area Projection

mapsbynik:

Nobody lives here: The nearly 5 million Census Blocks with zero population

A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics. As of the 2010 census, the United States consists of 11,078,300 Census Blocks. Of them, 4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them. Despite having a population of more than 310 million people, 47 percent of the USA remains unoccupied.

Green shading indicates unoccupied Census Blocks. A single inhabitant is enough to omit a block from shading

Quick update: If you’re the kind of map lover who cares about cartographic accuracy, check out the new version which fixes the Gulf of California. If you save this map for your own projects, please use this one instead.

Map observations

The map tends to highlight two types of areas:

  • places where human habitation is physically restrictive or impossible, and
  • places where human habitation is prohibited by social or legal convention.

Water features such lakes, rivers, swamps and floodplains are revealed as places where it is hard for people to live. In addition, the mountains and deserts of the West, with their hostility to human survival, remain largely void of permanent population.

Of the places where settlement is prohibited, the most apparent are wilderness protection and recreational areas (such as national and state parks) and military bases. At the national and regional scales, these places appear as large green tracts surrounded by otherwise populated countryside.

At the local level, city and county parks emerge in contrast to their developed urban and suburban surroundings. At this scale, even major roads such as highways and interstates stretch like ribbons across the landscape.

Commercial and industrial areas are also likely to be green on this map. The local shopping mall, an office park, a warehouse district or a factory may have their own Census Blocks. But if people don’t live there, they will be considered “uninhabited”. So it should be noted that just because a block is unoccupied, that does not mean it is undeveloped.

Perhaps the two most notable anomalies on the map occur in Maine and the Dakotas. Northern Maine is conspicuously uninhabited. Despite being one of the earliest regions in North America to be settled by Europeans, the population there remains so low that large portions of the state’s interior have yet to be politically organized.

In the Dakotas, the border between North and South appears to be unexpectedly stark. Geographic phenomena typically do not respect artificial human boundaries. Throughout the rest of the map, state lines are often difficult to distinguish. But in the Dakotas, northern South Dakota is quite distinct from southern North Dakota. This is especially surprising considering that the county-level population density on both sides of the border is about the same at less than 10 people per square mile.

Finally, the differences between the eastern and western halves of the contiguous 48 states are particularly stark to me. In the east, with its larger population, unpopulated places are more likely to stand out on the map. In the west, the opposite is true. There, population centers stand out against the wilderness.

::

Ultimately, I made this map to show a different side of the United States. Human geographers spend so much time thinking about where people are. I thought I might bring some new insight by showing where they are not, adding contrast and context to the typical displays of the country’s population geography.

I’m sure I’ve all but scratched the surface of insight available from examining this map. There’s a lot of data here. What trends and patterns do you see?

Errata

  • The Gulf of California is missing from this version. I guess it got filled in while doing touch ups. Oops. There’s a link to a corrected map at the top of the post.
  • Some islands may be missing if they were not a part of the waterbody data sets I used.

::

©mapsbynik 2014
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
Block geography and population data from U.S. Census Bureau
Water body geography from National Hydrology Dataset and Natural Earth
Made with Tilemill
USGS National Atlas Equal Area Projection

(via mothernaturenetwork)

newsweek:

Almost 20 years after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1995), site of Europe’s worst genocide since World War II, the echoes of the conflict still haunt the country’s land. Bosnia’s resilient citizens are still slowly rebuilding their infrastructure with reminders of the war all around. 

The remains of massacred Bosnian Muslims are found daily and buried in the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery—over 500 bodies were found and buried in 2012 alone. Serbians occupy Muslim towns annexed during the war. 

The current unemployment rate is estimated at 45 percent. The war largely succeeded in separating the country’s three main people, Serbs, Croats and Muslims, and the peace accords cemented those divisions into law. 

Today, Bosnia’s children are growing up more isolated from neighboring ethnic groups than their parents were. The majority of Bosnian schools have been segregated according to ethnicity. 

The country itself operates under the guidance of three different presidents, each representing the three different ethnicities: Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs. But there are signs of progress. This past winter Bosnia’s youth took to the streets in protest. 

Not against each other or other ethnic groups, but to demand a better life, more jobs and less government corruption. Forged by a common past and dreaming of a better future, the country’s youth might be the solution for change and unity in Bosnia. Except where noted, photos were taken during the month of November 2012. 

Photo Essay: 20 Years Later, Bosnia and Herzegovina Still Show War’s Wounds

newsweek:

Almost 20 years after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1995), site of Europe’s worst genocide since World War II, the echoes of the conflict still haunt the country’s land. Bosnia’s resilient citizens are still slowly rebuilding their infrastructure with reminders of the war all around.

The remains of massacred Bosnian Muslims are found daily and buried in the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery—over 500 bodies were found and buried in 2012 alone. Serbians occupy Muslim towns annexed during the war.

The current unemployment rate is estimated at 45 percent. The war largely succeeded in separating the country’s three main people, Serbs, Croats and Muslims, and the peace accords cemented those divisions into law.

Today, Bosnia’s children are growing up more isolated from neighboring ethnic groups than their parents were. The majority of Bosnian schools have been segregated according to ethnicity.

The country itself operates under the guidance of three different presidents, each representing the three different ethnicities: Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs. But there are signs of progress. This past winter Bosnia’s youth took to the streets in protest.

Not against each other or other ethnic groups, but to demand a better life, more jobs and less government corruption. Forged by a common past and dreaming of a better future, the country’s youth might be the solution for change and unity in Bosnia. Except where noted, photos were taken during the month of November 2012.

Photo Essay: 20 Years Later, Bosnia and Herzegovina Still Show War’s Wounds