Archive for the ‘Cool Maps’ Category

A Water-Stressed Region of the World

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

We are about to bike into a water-stressed region of the world.

The following map shows the ratio of water withdrawals to a country’s total available renewable water resources, as calculated by the Pacific Institute. That is, it shows how much water people extract in a given year divided by how much water is replenished by rivers and rainfall. Note that some countries, such as those in the Middle East, are “mining groundwater,” and thus extracting much more water than is sustainable (the ratio is bigger than 1).

Azerbaijan, where we are now, is an arid country that uses more than half of its water resources. And soon we’ll be in Central Asia, riding across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which are siphoning off most of the water that would normally flow into the Aral Sea. This area is second only to northern Africa and the Arabian peninsula for unsustainable water withdrawals.

Note that “withdrawal” is different than “consumption.” Some water that is withdrawn is returned to rivers and water tables. If the water is well treated (at a wastewater treatment plant, for instance) and returned to a river or water table, it can be withdrawn again further downstream. There are many ways to measure water stress, and the map below is just one. For my favorite maps of water stress, visit WRI’s Aqueduct maps.

We’ll report more as we visit the Aral Sea and cross this region.

Trip Map

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

I’ve used the week we have in Ankara to build a map of our trip, which will update as we travel. See it here, or click on the map below. Note that this is a work in progress — if you see any bugs on the map, let me know!

Asia Route

Hot Nights!

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

My most recent posting on Climate Central is here.

And here is the fun interactive that goes with it:

My Latest Widget on Climate Central

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

What is the gas price in your state? Here’s something that took probably more than a week out of my life, and which is a combination of python, php, javascript, and elbow grease:

My Favorite World Map: Remotest Places on Earth

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

It shows just how remote each place on earth is. A dark area means it takes more than a few hours to reach a city of 50,000 or more by overland (or boat) travel.

Click on the map to read a longer article about the map on New Scientist.

I’m fascinated by this map because I spent two months traveling across the Amazon basin in 2006, and I’ve been trying to convey just how remote this region is. Now I have this map to help!