Wednesday, 21 December 2011

London's Daytime Population

A couple of months ago I did a short post on the difference between daytime and night time populations in the North West of England. I've been interested in this for a while but some other recent work from the US got me thinking about it again. More recently, the London Datastore released data on London's daytime population for 2010 so I thought I'd take a closer look at the data and do something with it. The graphic below pulls out the most interesting data - not least of which is the fact that London's daytime population is 9.3 million!

I downloaded the data, explored it and did a little 3D mapping of population density. The daytime population density figures for the City of London are quite staggering (350,000 people per square mile!). During the day, the population of Westminster is nearly 1 million - compared to about 250,000 permanent residents. The City of London only has about 11,700 permanent residents but its daytime population is 390,000. If you're looking for the London Borough with the most prams, then head to Newham - it has the highest number of children aged 0-4. If you're looking for overseas visitors, head to Westminster where you are bound to bump into one of the 65,000 or so who are there. 

The data are very interesting, but also important. If we want to understand cities and how they work (and how to make them work better) then this kind of information is critical. 

That's all for now...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Deprivation in Sheffield

This summer I was asked to write a report about deprivation in Sheffield. I finished this in September and the reaction since then has been quite positive (i.e. people have actually been reading it!). So, I thought I'd link to it directly here and also pull out a few of the main findings from it. Click on the image below to see the pdf - or just click here.

In the report I look at how patterns of deprivation in Sheffield compare to 13 other cities in England. Sheffield is not as deprived as many other cities (e.g. Liverpool, Manchester) but the geography of deprivation in the city means that it is one of the most divided - spatially at least. In one sense this might have something to do with the boundaries of local authorities and how wide an area they cover but, ultimately, it is at the local government level that issues associated with deprivation are most acutely felt so the boundary issue is only part of the problem.

I also look at the differences between areas that seem to be similar in terms of how deprived they are. In doing so I draw upon some previous work I did with colleagues at the University of Manchester. The bottom line here is that there there is a need to think more deeply about the different roles and contexts of areas and how they differ from each other - particularly in relation to how policies are formulated.

There is also a need to think about issue of social and spatial inequality more widely rather than simply focusing on the 'most deprived' locations, though of course this will remain a policy priority in many cities. 

Monday, 12 December 2011

Mapping Flows - An Update

In many previous blog posts I talked about my experiments in flow mapping (exhibit 1, exhibit 2 ...). Usually this was about migration or commuting data and in the course of writing an academic paper on the subject I also put together a small website about flow mapping, with some examples. Now I've done a follow-up paper to this which is just out in Environment and Planning B (a couple of extracts shown below).

The point of this work is not simply to make pretty pictures. That might be an interesting by-product but it is more about the process of taking data and giving it some kind of meaning by mapping it. This is by no means trivial when you're looking at migration or commuting patterns which link hundreds or even thousands of places.

With this much data, you often have millions of individual cells of data, so making sense of it can be impossible without some kind of visual approach - and that's really what the paper is about. It's not really very complicated - at least, not conceptually - but the power of this type of approach is in its ability to generate knowledge from raw data. 

In short, then, this kind of work is in many ways guided by Kenneth Boulding's maxim that "knowledge is always gained by the orderly loss of information".

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

NEETs in England, 2000 to 2011 (Animated Chart)

The news last week that the number of 16 to 24 year olds in England not in education, employment or training (NEET) reached an all-time high was widely covered, and quite shocking since there are now 1.16 million 16 to 24 year olds in this category. I thought it might be quite interesting to look at the data more closely to see how it compares to other time periods. The Department for Education publish the NEET data on a quarterly basis and the most recent data are for the third quarter of 2011 at the regional level. "What would the quarterly data look like in an animated bar chart?", I hear you say. Click the image below to find out!

I should say that you'll need to watch the clip a few times in order to make sense of it (and use the pause button), but once you get your head round it, it tells an interesting story (it also dances a bit like an equalizer on an old stereo). The lowest NEET total for England was in the second quarter of 2000 (629,000) and the highest total comes from the third quarter of 2011 (1,163,000). The highest regional percentage figure for NEETs was in the third quarter of 2011 in the North West (23.9%) and the lowest was in the last quarter of 2003 and the first quarter of 2004 in the South West (7.4%).

Lots of interesting stories here but the most striking thing is the total number of NEETs in England. 

Note: I created this using Google's motion charts and recorded it using Camtasia.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Children in Poverty

I think I've already said enough - and done enough mapping - of general deprivation indices across the UK. Well, probably. Either way, I thought it would be interesting to take a slightly different view. In England, the Indices of Deprivation 2010 include two supplementary indices: the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and the Income Deprivation Affecting Older People Index (IDAOPI). Not very catchy acronyms, and these indices are not that well known, hence my efforts to map the IDACI data for England (screenshot below)...

The map I've produced in Google's Fusion Tables follows the format of many others I've done, but this time I've summarised the data using 2010 parliamentary constituencies - following the same method that the IMD people use to derive summary measures at the local authority level. On the main map, you can find out how deprived a constituency is (i.e. the relative rank in England) by clicking on it. Red = more deprived, blue = less deprived. Using this method, the constituencies with the highest levels of income deprivation affecting children are as follows:
  1. Poplar and Limehouse
  2. Bethnal Green and Bow
  3. Manchester Central
  4. Tottenham
  5. Hackney South and Shoreditch
  6. Birmingham Ladywood
  7. Islington South and Finsbury
  8. Edmonton
  9. West Ham
  10. Birmingham Hodge Hill
The really noticeable thing here is the number of London constituencies. In the general IMD for England, it is areas in the North West which dominate, but not here. As to why this is, there are many reasons but that's not the point today. Why not explore the national patterns on the map and see how your area compares (if you live in England). The most important thing about all this is, of course, the fact that so many children in England are adversely affected by income deprivation.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Learning from the past in regeneration?

Last week, a government select committee published their report into regeneration. This was all about regeneration (and its failures) in England, but much of it resonates more widely. Before I mention what was in the report, it is worth noting the composition of the committee: 5 Labour MPs (including the committee chair), 6 Conservative MPs, 1 Liberal Democrat MP. I should also mention that last week a paper of mine was published. This is significant not because I had something published (!) but because the paper was entitled 'Learning from the Past? A Review of Approaches to Spatial Targeting in Urban Policy' and it has a lot to say about the issues in the select committee report. Unusually, for me, it also has no maps or stats in it! I look at examples from across the world and my view is that there is a problem with the way we conceptualise the 'problem' in urban policy, but enough about that.

Back to the select committee report... The most significant thing the report says - and this was widely reported in the news and regen media - is the following quote, from the opening paragraph of the conclusion:

"Regeneration to enable growth offers little evidence that the Government has a coherent strategy for addressing the country's regeneration needs. The document lacks strategic direction and fails to target action and resources at the communities most in need. The measures it sets out are unlikely to bring in sufficient resources or to attract the private sector investment that in many areas is badly needed."

The part about investment being badly needed in many areas is perhaps most significant in some of the former housing market renewal areas - one example being the Welsh streets in Liverpool - see a Google street view of this here. This subject is covered more generally in Part 3 of the report where there is a particularly powerful quote from from Ros Groves, Chair of a Liverpool residents' association, who said:

"We need to think what my people are living in and the conditions they are living in. It is a famous line: we have kids in schools; you ask them to draw a house and they will draw you a house with boarded-up windows, not fancy little curtains or anything else. To me, that is not a future that we can build on, which is criminal. We have a right to have a decent life and place where we live, and that is the one thing that we ask Government. Can we have it? Can we let any Pathfinder area be left with what some people are being left to live in?"

As you can tell, the committee are not exactly thrilled with the government's approach to the housing market renewal programme. Regeneration and Renewal used the word 'damning' and that about covers it.

In Learning the Lessons in Part 4 of the report there is a quote from Paul Lawless, Professor of Urban Policy at Sheffield Hallam University. His views on learning lessons are summed up in one particular quote: 

"One marked weakness in this strand of policy has been a reluctance on the part of new administrations to learn from previous regeneration initiatives. There is every possibility of this happening again, as a new government launches a regeneration programme with little if any acknowledgement of lessons from previous interventions."

My small contribution to the literature effectively finds the same things, and not just in England but more widely in different parts of the world. Not learning from the past, however, is not restricted to regeneration but the implications of not doing so here are particularly severe for those living in areas targeted by urban policy. 

Full details of the inquiry associated with the report can be found here. That's all I have to say for today! Take a look at the report - it makes fascinating reading (though I couldn't find it a pdf version).

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Mapping Methods

I've done a lot of mapping on this blog in recent months. Much of this has been about deprivation and my attempts to make more widely available maps on deprivation for different parts of the UK. For this, I've often used Google's Fusion Tables. The most recent work I've done with this data using Fusion Tables is to update the Welsh Deprivation work to include the most recent release of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation from 2011. There's a screenshot below which links to a full page Google map. If you click on an area the pop-up will tell you all about it in relation to the WIMD data. This post isn't about the data but the most deprived area is in West Rhyl and the least deprived in Cardiff (Llandaff area).

But this post is about methods, so more on that before I go... The steps below relate to any kind of data I've mapped using Fusion Tables (warning: technical content!).

1. First of all I usually have to join attribute data to spatial data. I do this in ArcGIS but it works well in MapInfo too. If you're a MapInfo user and want to follow the steps below, use Universal Translator in MapInfo to convert the file to a Shapefile first.

2. I don't like overly detailed boundaries because of the large file sizes and often this exceeds the Fusion Tables file limit. So, I simplify the boundaries. For this, I use mapshaper, a great online tool. You can also use other GIS methods.

3. Then I use something called shpescape. This is a really great tool because it allows you just to zip your shapefile (i.e. the shp, shx, dbf and prj files) and then upload directly to Fusion Tables without having to convert to KML as an intermediate step.

4. Once there, all you need to do is go to Visualize / Map and then go to work customising things. This includes map colours and what appears in the Info Window pop up when you click an area. I've blogged on the Info Window code bit before.

5. If you want others to see it you must make it public. Just click 'Share' in the top right of the Fusion Table screen.

That's about it. The Info Window code bit takes a while to figure out but you can do so much with it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Deprivation in Northern Ireland

On this blog I've covered deprivation in England, deprivation in Scotland and deprivation in Wales but, to date, not deprivation in Northern Ireland. Today I'll complete the UK set by looking at deprivation in Northern Ireland according to the Multiple Deprivation Measure 2010. What I've done is produce a couple of Google fusion table maps. A screenshot from one is shown below and if you click on it you'll be taken to a web page where you can select any local authority area. Clicking an individual area on the map will reveal a pop-up with all the information for that area, including the map key...

I've also produced a full screen version of this fusion table map, as you can see below in the screenshot. Once again, you just have to click an area on the map to find out more about it.

I'm going to get on to the more general subject of mapping deprivation and different methods and options for this type of thing (including cartograms) in a subsequent post but first a quick look at the actual deprivation data for Northern Ireland. According to the MDM, the most deprived super output area is the one named 'Whiterock 2' in Belfast, though this in itself is not perhaps that significant. Of more significance is where the clusters of the most deprived areas appear - and this is generally in Belfast and Derry. These two local government areas both have 47% of their super output areas classified among the 20% most deprived in Northern Ireland. Craigavon and Lisburn are next on the list, at 27% and 17% respectively. Having said that, many of the least deprived areas are also in Belfast, but this pattern is not mirrored in Derry.

In many ways, then, spatial patterns of deprivation in Northern Ireland are similar to those in different parts of the UK, with an inner-urban focus and smaller pockets and clusters of deprivation elsewhere. These are often located in close proximity to areas of affluence, though of course that is not really what the MDM measures.

The final image is a simple dot map showing the location of the 10% most and 10% least deprived super output areas in Northern Ireland in 2010...

The last thing to say is that this measure is produced by the same team who produce the deprivation indices for other parts of the UK. The web pages for the MDM are pretty useful and contain everything you need to know.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

How Big is London?

In studies of cities and urban areas, a common question that crops up is 'how big' a particular city is. I'd be inclined to answer this in terms of population, which for Greater London in mid-2010 was 7.83million. Most urban academics, however, are more pedantic and if you asked them how big London is, they might ask what you mean by 'big' and what you mean by 'London'. So, following the theme of some posts over the past year I decided to take a look at this purely in terms of the land area of some key UK 'cities'. I looked at the London Boroughs for Greater London, plus local authority areas for the English core cities, plus Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. I then put them side by side at the same map scale and produced the following image...

The cities (i.e. the local authorities) in the image above are ranked by land area. London is the largest, at around 610 square miles, and Nottingham is the smallest at around 30 square miles. One issue when thinking about all of this is the extent to which most of the UK's cities are 'underbounded' in the sense that the core local authority area with the name of the city does not reflect the true extent of the functional urban area. Manchester is a classic example of this, whereas Leeds is more 'overbounded'. Tony Champion and Mike Coombes, among others, have written about this - e.g. in this presentation. In many ways this is quite a serious policy challenge, particularly when it comes to understanding and planning for wider metropolitan housing and labour market processes. But I'm getting carried away with myself now!

Finally, I thought it would be interesting to compare the areas in the image above to the UK's largest local authority by area. I did this because a) I'm from the Highland region and b) see reason a). The Highland region is, famously, about the size of Belgium and it is bigger than both Wales and Northern Ireland by some way. In relation to the latter, it is more than twice the size in terms of land area. However, in mid-2010 the total population of the Highland region was only 221,630. A final nugget of information: the Highland region is about 275 times larger than Liverpool. The image below shows the Highland region at the same scale as the areas in the first image. Perhaps we should all move up north and have more space! Or perhaps not.

P.S. The City of London is the smallest administrative 'district' in the UK, at around 1.1 square miles. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Comparing Populations: Night Time vs. Day Time

Esteemed Canadian and fellow researcher Brian Webb, from the University of Manchester, recently sent me an interesting image which compares the population of Washington D.C. in the day to the population at night. This got me thinking. I did a bit of digging and found some of my old data. Put simply, I had two datasets for wards in the North West of England. One file contained the resident population of wards and the other had the population of wards during the day time (i.e. residents, minus out-commuters, plus in commuters). Out of this came two visualisations, as shown below (red peaks = more people) and a short video.

I also decided to turn this into a very simple animation, which is embedded below. I have also produced a larger version of this on its own page. Note: the video embedded below will keep playing once you click play. The larger version allows you to pause the video and watch at your own pace.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Although these are really just some pretty pictures there are some important points to be made here. We think about the population of places - and the associated local costs and constraints - in relation to resident population but in some areas the day time population is so high that the impact on the local area is far out of proportion to the size of the resident population. Another matter is the well known issue of spatial mismatch or, more generally, understanding the differences between where people live and where people work and the implications of this. 

In short, understanding the spatiality of populations is important for planning and policy purposes - these visuals are just a simple way of telling the story of data. This is important because the data on display here comes from an analysis of a commuting data matrix of 1000 x 1000, or one million cells of data. So, another point here is that data on its own is not information, as we all know.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The New ONS Website

Not all that long ago, the Office for National Statistics unveiled their new website which, in my view, is significantly better than the old one (screenshot of the new site below). There have been some teething problems but I just wanted to highlight some of the interactive data features.

There's a box to the right of the home page which says 'Interactive Content' and if you click on it you will be taken to a page full of more interesting visualisations of ONS data. There's a map and data visualisation using unemployment benefit claimants plus lots more.

On the population page, you can also see up to date snapshots for the UK, including the up to date total population (currently estimated to be 62.3 million). The site is not yet perfect but is definitely worth a closer look.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Energy Consumption in London

Gas price rises have been in the news quite a lot in recent months, and with good reason. Clearly, it's a big issue in many ways so I've been trying to explore more about it from a data point of view. This is where the Department of Energy and Climate Change come in, because they now provide quite localised energy consumption data for the whole of Great Britain. There's quite a lot of it and it can be a bit messy and difficult to understand but if you want to find out more the full explanatory pdf is here. From my point of view, I was interested to see how it looked spatially, so I took the domestic gas consumption data for London in 2008 and 2009 and mapped it at the small area level. I've done a full screen map which you can see by clicking on this link but you can also see it embedded below, though it works best full screen. Click an area on the map to see consumption data for that area and a key which explains the colour coding. 

Click here to see the full screen version

Finally, a simple dot map of where most domestic gas is used in London. This reflects a number of things, not least the size of properties, but perhaps also things like poverty and deprivation... The final thing to say is that the highest gas consumption areas consume about 41,000 kWh per year and the lowest areas less than 10,000. The London average is about 15,000 kWh.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Comparing Populations: China, US, Europe

Since the US and China have both recently (2010) conducted a census I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the population results. Given the vastness of the US and China, I thought I'd do a little experiment and compare Chinese province populations with US states and European countries. I've put this data into a spreadsheet as well and also produced a map graphic comparing various areas. The purpose here is to highlight the large populations of so many Chinese provinces.

Some interesting nuggets from the data...
  • Guangdong province in China now has a population of 104 million, which is more than any European nation except Russia (141 million). The European part of Russia has 110 million. 
  • Poland, Shanxi province and California all have around 37 million people. 
  • Shanghai has 22 million compared to Romania at 23 million. 
  • Beijing and New York state both have about 19.5 million people. 
  • In total, ten Chinese provinces have a population of 50 million or more. The US and China have a very similar land area. 
  • Be honest, did you know that Anhui province has about the same population as Italy (60 million)?
Finally, some non-Chinese comparisons. Greece and Ohio both have a population of about 11.5 million and Michigan and Belarus are similar at about 9.5 million. Wisconsin and Denmark both have about 5.7 million people, and Finland and Minnesota have about 5.4 million. At the lower end of the scale, North Dakota and Montenegro both have about 670,000 people.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Divided Cities?

There has been a lot of talk recently about the links between deprivation and the recent riots in England (e.g. this from the Guardian), and since I'm interested in the issue I thought I would do some very basic analysis to look at the spatial divisions of deprivation in English cities. To do this I took London, the eight core cities plus Bradford, Coventry, Hull and Leicester and mapped the 10% most (in red) and 10% least (in blue) deprived (IMD 2010) areas on one large map graphic. The results are shown below - click the image to enlarge.

Some interesting comparisons can be made from this image. In Hull, Leicester, Manchester and Nottingham there are no areas amongst England's 10% most deprived and in Liverpool there is only one. In Sheffield there is a clear NE/SW split in terms of the location of the most and least deprived and in Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool the number of areas in the most deprived 10% is quite high.

Not much else to say now except that I think in studies of deprivation we should perhaps be more concerned with inequalities and how they manifest themselves spatially.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Housing Stock in England

A short while ago I had reason to look into data on housing stock in England at the local authority level. I didn't do much with this but did produce a map and a little bit of preliminary analysis so I thought I'd share it here. The data are from the Department for Communities and Local Government's Live Tables and in particular the series on housing stock for 2010. First of all, a map showing the percentage of housing stock in each local authority that is owned by a housing association.

There is so much you can say about the meaning of this kind of data - related to policy, local political context and so on - but just some numbers for now. The local authority with the highest % of stock owned by housing associations is Tower Hamlets, at 29.0% - other high areas are Knowsley (28.6%), Sunderland (28.0), Liverpool (28.0%), Halton (25.6%), Middlesbrough (25.5%) and Manchester (24.7%). So, London, the North West and the North East have the highest values. At the other end of the scale, Castle Point in Essex has only 1.3% of its stock owned by housing associations.

Some other numbers... The area with the highest percentage of housing owned by the local authority is Southwark, at 34.1% but this is something of an outlier as the next highest is Harlow at 28.1%. At the opposite end of the scale, many areas have no stock in local authority hands, given the trend for stock transfer over recent decades. What about % private vs. % housing association + local authority owned? Well, in Castle point, 94.6% of the housing stock is in private hands and 93.0% in Medway in Kent. The lowest private % figures are in London, with Southwark (53.1%), Hackney (54.0%), Islington (56.5%), Tower Hamlets (57.8%) and Lambeth (62.4%) occupying the top five spots. Total dwelling stock in England is 22.7m.

One further thing... I obtained a detailed list of housing associations in England from the Tenant Services Authority so I produced a fusion table map of it. Individual points on the map are clickable. Click here for the full size version.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Info Windows for Google Maps (from Fusion Tables)

A slightly boring technical post today because from time to time people get in touch to ask technical questions. So, I thought I'd just share a bit of my (limited) knowledge on controlling what appears in a google map info window when you click a map layer using Fusion Tables. Most of this probably applies to non-Fusion Table maps as well. Here's what I'm talking about...

Link directly to this page here.

As you can see from the screenshot above, this info window has a chart (drawn from the Fusion Table which is mapped) an image (a map key) and some text, which also pulls out unique data for each area on the map when you click on it. Since Fusion Tables are relatively new, there isn't an awful lot of information out there on how to do this (at least not info that simpletons like me can understand) so I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with the code behind the info windows. There is some useful information on this page and the pages it links to but when you have your own dataset it can be a bit difficult to grasp.

Not much else to say except that I've copied an image below which shows the code and the info window side by side. If you click on the image it should take you to a PowerPoint file which you can then use to copy the code if you wish. I'm certainly no expert but someone may find this useful!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Comparing Deprivation in the English Core Cities

The eight English core cities outside London often work together on issues that affect them. One thing I've been looking at recently on some work in Sheffield is how the core cities compare in terms of patterns of deprivation. So, I've mapped and compared them below. Red areas are amongst the 10% most deprived in England and the darkest blue areas are amongst the 10% least deprived in England. The maps are at different scales but the point here is just to provide a quick visual comparison of cities in this map matrix view.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Joblessness in Edinburgh and Glasgow

I'm currently finishing off a piece of work relating to spatial patterns of labour market deprivation in Scotland so I thought I'd share a couple of findings about the contrasting cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow*. I've been using data from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (2009) employment deprivation domain, which gives a jobless rate for each small area (Data Zone). The official explanation is that it is 'involuntary exclusion from the labour force' and it includes things like unemployment claimants and incapacity benefit claimants.

I've been looking at the data within the context of local labour markets and have done some comparisons between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The data are now a bit old (from 2008) but what's really interesting are the numbers... In Glasgow, the total population of Data Zones where the jobless rate was 25% or more was a little over 170,000 (more than the population of Dundee) and areas with a rate of 33% or more contained just over 51,000 people (more than the population of Perth). By contrast, the figures for Edinburgh were just under 25,000 and just under 11,000 respectively. Even when you take into account the difference in population (about 600,000 for Glasgow vs. 450,000 for Edinburgh) that's a big difference! I know this contrast isn't particularly surprising but the numbers did surprise me a bit.

*I've added Aberdeen and Dundee because David Manley suggested it. A good idea!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Deprivation in Wales

My experiments in mapping deprivation continue... I should really have done something on Wales before now but to make up for it I've done a 3D annotated map, a Google fusion table version with Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2005 and 2008 data (also embedded below), plus a new version of a fusion table map with a drop-down menu for choosing local authority areas. For both the google map versions you can find out about each area just by clicking on it.

Click here for a full size version, and here's the shortened URL

Finally, here's a screenshot of the page with the drop-down menu for selecting local authorities. You can click here, or click on the image below to go to the separate web page for this one...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Local Deprivation in England

Rather than leave my English Indices of Deprivation fusion table work on a single blog page, I thought I'd take a minute or two to put it on a separate web page with its own address. A screenshot of the result is shown below. I've just used blogger for this and added a floating key so that no matter where you zoom or pan you can remember the colour scheme. The colour scheme is based on quintiles (i.e. 20% most deprived, 40% most deprived and so on). Click the image below to go to the web page. It's very basic!

Friday, 8 July 2011

United States Census 2010

The 2010 US Census was conducted in April 2010 and already the results are looking very interesting. By the end of 2010 there was a new total population figure for the US, indicating a growth of 9.7% between 2000 and 2010. The total population on the twenty third US Census day was 308,745,538. This is just over double the total population from 1950. For a more up to date population estimate, you can check the US population clock from the US Census Bureau. Because I'm interested in all this, I've produce a graphic which shows population density and some population data for the lower 48 states, at county level. A couple of nuggets here: Los Angeles county has nearly 10 million people and Loving County (Texas) has only 82 people. All other counties lie somewhere in between...

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Does Anyone Look at This Blog?

When I started this blog I wasn't really sure if anyone would ever look at it but as it turns out people somehow find it and some lost souls even return more than once! Even more surprisingly (for me) is that people often get in touch with me because of it, which is really good because I like to make contact with like-minded researchers and share ideas in this way. Google Analytics allows you to keep track of the number of visitors and the country of origin so I thought I'd highlight the usefulness of that and also post some charts of the visits to my blog...

Here's a chart showing visits per day since I started blogging (as usual, click images to enlarge)

This is a Google Analytics map showing visits per country (still work to do in Africa!)

Most blog visits in the USA come from California

The point of this post is threefold. 1 - to highlight the magical properties of Google Analytics. It really is brilliant. 2 - to demonstrate that blogging does help connect like-minded people and make collaboration possible. 3 - to write about something other than deprivation!

P.S. There will be more on deprivation in the near future...

Friday, 17 June 2011

Commuting Animation for 2001

The results of the 2011 Census will not be released for a while yet and in the case of migration and commuting data it usually takes about two or three years before we get our hands on it. I've recently been looking at commuting patterns at district level in the UK from the 2001 data in anticipation of studying changes when the 2011 data are released and have put together this short animation. You can play the animation and also use the slider on the time line to control the speed yourself... (it may take a moment or two to load)

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

I've just selected 18 different districts from across the UK and looked at the range of commuting origins. A couple of points to note here. I've only included flows over ten in order to cut out some of the 'noise' associated with very low flow numbers. Also, for Belfast, the commuting data is split into Belfast North, South, East and West so that one looks a little different.

A few points of note. City of London and Westminster have the highest inflows in the UK, at over 300,000 and 400,000 respectively. I've chosen a sample of places just to give reasonable geographical coverage. What I aim to look at in the relatively near future is commuting and deprivation together, but this is a slow-burner...

Here's the image file for City of London, just as an example. Click the image to see it in full size.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

World Prison Populations

I was going to post something else on deprivation, and I will do again soon, but today it's time for something completely different. For one reason or another I've been thinking about prison populations in different countries in the world. Maybe it's because I've been watching Banged up Abroad on National Geographic! Anyway, I got interested in it and started looking at the data and publications on the International Centre for Prison Studies website. It's all very interesting and at times alarming but thanks to the people at ICPS we have a reasonably good idea about all this. The 8th Edition of the World Prison Population List puts the total prison population at about 9.8 million in 2008 - roughly the same as the total population of Sweden! A couple of quick 'top ten' charts now...

The United States, China and Russia account for almost half the total world prison population. The US total in 2008 was 2.3 million, which is more than the entire population of Latvia and more than half the total population of Ireland. The prison population is more than the city population of Houston and not far off the city population of Chicago. The United States also has the highest rate of imprisonment per 1,000 persons, as you can see below...

In 2008, the rate of imprisonment in the US was 7.6 per 1,000. Russia was next at 6.3 and then Rwanda at 6.0. European nations generally have a much lower rate, with the United Kingdom at 1.5, France at 1.0 and Sweden at 0.7.

You can play around with the numbers to discover lots of interesting facts. If the UK had the same imprisonment rate as the US then instead of having a prison population of 90,000 or so, it would have a prison population of 465,000. On the other hand, if the US had the same rate as the UK, they would have 458,000 prisoners and not 2.3 million. Food for thought...

Given the topic, I'll end this rather random post with this...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

IMD 2004, 2007, 2010 - Change Over Time...

This is the last deprivation-related post in a while. I promise. I've been experimenting with English IMD data from 2004, 2007 and 2010 and have finally found a moment to do to it what I did to the Scottish IMD data, where it is all online and clicking an area produces a chart showing change in rank through time. In this new example, I've also added in the change in rank between 2004 and 2010, as you can see below. The rank change doesn't tell you if an area became more deprived in absolute terms, only that it is less or more deprived in relation to the other 32,481 LSOAs in England.

You can see in the example above a case of a quite large change in rank. This is for an LSOA in London. The maps are quite basic because I don't have time right now to build a more sophisticated site but the colour scheme is based on quintiles, with red most deprived, yellow next and blues less deprived (the darker the blue, the less deprived), as below.

For the moment, I don't have any plans to extend this analysis to Wales or Northern Ireland, but you never know...

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Employment Deprivation in England and Scotland

I'm doing a talk today at the Employment Research Institute in Edinburgh, so I thought I'd put my presentation here and also post a few nuggets of information. Employment deprivation is the subject of the talk and I've been exploring spatial patterns in relation to this. What is 'employment deprivation'? It's involuntary exclusion from the labour force.

A few bits of information... Out of the different indices of deprivation for England and Scotland between 2004 and 2010, the highest figure for employment deprivation was in a LSOA in Rochdale, with 75% of people out of work. The highest figure in Scotland was a Data Zone in Glasgow in 2004 and one in Edinburgh in 2006 with 65% of working age people not in work. There are no major surprises in the general spatial pattens but there are interesting findings in the spatial analysis in the presentation (well, that's what I think).

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Further Fusion Experiments

A short post today to report on some further experimentation with google maps, fusion tables and Scottish deprivation data. I've been exploring patterns of deprivation for a talk I'm giving at the Employment Research Institute in Edinburgh this coming week. Some results follow but in the examples below, the red areas are most deprived, yellow next most and blue less deprived. First of all we have an extract from Wick...

Then one from Inverness...

And finally one from Campbeltown...

The point here is not really to map deprivation data, though of course that's what I've been doing. Instead, it is to test the capabilities of fusion tables. More specifically, I've tried to make the data from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation from 2004, 2006 and 2009 appear in a chart when you click on an area - and I have been able to get it to work. When you click on any area in any of the maps above (best to use a full screen version), you'll see a chart in the info window that pops up, like this:

Information on how to do this can be found here. It's not that difficult but it does take a while to figure out. My view is that fusion tables are a very powerful way of visualising data and making it easily accessible online. Still in its infancy really but worth a look.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Voting Decision in a Spatial Context

In much of my recent work I've been interested in the concept of spatial context and the idea that what happens in one area influences nearby areas (cf. Waldo Tobler). There are many different areas of research related to this but two of them are political geography and spatial statistics. So, with the recent AV vote in the UK, I thought I'd see if there were any contextual effects with the voting. This map of London is the result of some quick analysis I did...

The important thing here is not the overall result (an emphatic 'No' to AV), but the manner in which the 'Yes' vote is spatially clustered. Early work on this kind of thing was pioneered by Kevin Cox in the late 1960s and later by Ron Johnston. I just thought I'd play around with the data to see what it looked like on the map.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Deprivation and Map Distortion (SIMD 2009)

I'm doing a seminar at the Employment Research Institute in Edinburgh later this month on the topic of employment deprivation in England and Scotland. Recent posts have mostly been about England and patterns of deprivation there and I've been neglecting my native land. So, I thought I would use some of the data to take a look at patterns of deprivation in Scotland using a population-weighted cartogram. The result is below (click to view full size).

Now I need to get on with some more in-depth analysis of employment data...

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Google Fusion Tables

A short post today about the wonderful Google Fusion Tables. It may sound baffling, but Fusion Tables are basically a service (provided by Google, obviously) that allows you to manage and map large databases 'in the cloud', as they say. In plain speak, you can upload large tables of data and display them and map them and share them. For someone like me who is into mapping data, this is great because all you need to do is get your data into kml format. This can be done with normal GIS software like ArcGIS but the best way I have found is to use shpescape.

The example above is just something I created a couple of years ago in ArcGIS and then recently uploaded to Fusion Tables. It's a 'tile finder' for Ordnance Survey data so you can figure out which 20km tile you need to get based on which area you are interested in. This is not the point here though - I'm just showing how you can get data into google map format very easily.

If you work with lots of data on a regular basis - and particularly any mappable data - you should take a look at Fusion Tables...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The IMD in 3D

Before I move on from experimenting with the deprivation data from the new English Indices of Deprivation I thought I'd do a 3D version, just for fun. The images below are the results of my experiments. The first image has labels for various places. The second image does not and is also at a higher resolution.

When you add a third dimension certain places stand out more (e.g. coastal areas) but there is a balance to be struck here, as always... That's enough IMD mapping for now!

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Domains of the IMD

What most people look at when they see the Indices of Deprivation is the combined Index of Deprivation score and rank for each area. I do this too, but it's always interesting to examine the individual domains to see how areas rank and what the spatial patterns look like. So, time for a map on all of this... (click to enlarge)

In the above image, you'll see that I've produced a raster map for each of the different domains of the English IMD 2010 and that each is sized according to the percentage weighting it gets in the final IMD. There are some interesting differences between domains which, by the way, are covered in Chapter 3 of the technical report.

Income and employment account for nearly half of the weighting for the final IMD score so these maps look pretty similar to the overall IMD map but there are interesting differences with other domains, in particular Barriers to Housing and Services. This picks up a lot of rural areas but also many in London and some other urban locations. Health deprivation and disability also differs from the final IMD map with a more obvious north-south / coalfield pattern. Finally, the most deprived LSOA on each domain is as follows...
  • Income: E01005482 in the Central and Falinge ward of Rochdale
  • Employment: E01005482 in the Central and Falinge ward of Rochdale
  • Health and Disability: E01005482 in the Central and Falinge ward of Rochdale
  • Education, Skills and Training: E01013640 in the Braunstone Park ward of Leicester
  • Barriers to Housing and Services: E01000604 in the Stonebridge ward of Brent
  • Crime: E01005454 in the Waterhead ward of Oldham
  • Living Environment: E01001780 in the Hoxton ward of Hackney
The fact that these domains are in different spreadsheets makes mapping it all a bit more time-consuming but since I combined them all anyway I decided to create raster versions just to provide a more fluid overview of the patterns across England. I'm sure I'll keep milking this data for a while!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2009 - Google Map

Recently I've been experimenting with google fusion tables and the mapping and database opportunities they present. One dataset I used for this was the new English Indices of Deprivation for 2010 - something the Guardian picked up. This was only really a quick experiment (literally done over an hour or so) but I was impressed with the capabilities.

Since, I'm from Scotland I also did a Scottish version - click the image below to go to the test site. Again, this is only experimental but I find it useful for exploring the data in an easy to use manner.

Technical note: this also led me to discover the amazing shpescape aka Shape to Fusion for converting shapefiles to fusion format - code which was written by Josh Livni at google. Enough nerdspeak for now.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

English Indices of Deprivation 2010 - A North-South Divide?

I've been looking at the new Indices of Deprivation a bit more since my last post. Despite the headline-grabbing fact that England's most deprived area is in Essex - in the south of England - the overall patterns remain dominated by the North. This map highlights the least and most deprived areas in England and also notes some important exceptions (click map for full size image)...

I've also put together an animation showing the 1%, 2%, 3%, etc. most deprived areas all the way up to the 10% most deprived - and then the 10% least deprived (as in the map above) in order to demonstrate the general north-south divide. Notice how the cities of Liverpool and Manchester in particular dominate these patterns. If you want to control the animation, you can hit pause then move the slider along the time bar yourself (the video may take a moment to load).

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This version is just a small blog size version - I've also posted a larger version on my University of Sheffield pages. So, in contrast to the headlines, it seems clear that deprivation remains more firmly entrenched in the north than in the south (with some exceptions of course).