What’s your general term for a sweetened carbonated beverage? What word or words do you use to address a group of two or more people? What do you call it when the rain falls while the sun is shining?
Former Harvard professor Bert Vaux asked tens of thousands of people across the U.S. these questions and released the results as the 2003 Harvard Dialect Survey. The data are fascinating; they reveal patterns of migration, unexpected linguistic kinships between regions, and the awesome variety of words we say and how we say them.
Here’s an online map of public radio stations across the United States. Created by Seattle-based photographer and designer Andrew Filer, it shows the broadcast range of every American public radio station—and not just NPR affiliates, but classical, pop, and other non-profit broadcasters.
Read more. [Image: Andrew Filer]
Brandon Martin-Anderson, a graduate student at MIT’s Changing Places lab, was tired of seeing maps of U.S. population density cluttered by roads, bridges, county borders and other impediments.
Fortunately for us, he has the technological expertise to transform block data from the 2010 Census into points on a map. One point per person, and nothing else.
Read more. [Images: Brandon Martin-Anderson]
A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.
One day after the Palestinians successfully upgraded their state at the United Nations General Assembly, the Israeli government announced “preliminary zoning and planning preparations” for a plot of land just outside of Jerusalem known as E1. Many were quick to condemn the move as a significant blow to the already-gridlocked peace process, perhaps even more so than other settlement construction announcements, since construction in E1 would separate the major Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon decried the plan as “an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution,” while The New York Times declared that “If such a project were to go beyond blueprints, it could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.”
[Image: S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace/SAYA/Is Peace Possible?]
The new political divide is a stark division between cities and what remains of the countryside. Not just some cities and some rural areas, either — virtually every major city (100,000-plus population) in the United States of America has a different outlook from the less populous areas that are closest to it. The difference is no longer aboutwherepeople live, it’s abouthowpeople live: in spread-out, open, low-density privacy — or amid rough-and-tumble, in-your-face population density and diverse communities that enforce a lower-common denominator of tolerance among inhabitants.
The voting data suggest that people don’t make cities liberal — cities make people liberal.
Read more. [Image: Robert Vanderbai]
According to the rule books, same-sex marriage is mostly unacceptable in the U.S. But that’s not the case when looking at the opinions of the American people. According to anew set of maps from Esri, same-sex marriage is popular in large swaths of the country.
The maps break support for same-sex marriage down by county. Green and yellow dots represent counties where people support same-sex marriage, while orange and red dots represent places where people do not. As you can see, there’s no consensus across the country.
Read more. [Image: Esri]
A visual look at the educational successes and failures of the past year.
[Image: Kiss Me I’m Polish]
The uproar over a 14-minute anti-Islam YouTube video has sparked furious protests from Somalia to Egypt to Sudan to Tunisia to Libya to Bangladesh to Indonesia to Pakistan. With new reports of protests surfacing every minute, we’ve compiled the latest reported incidents into this interactive Google Map.
[Images: Reuters/Google Maps]