There are, at the moment, nearly 200,000 glaciers on Earth. They have a volume of nearly 106,000 miles cubed, and cover an area of about 453,000 miles squared. This means they cover an area roughly equivalent to that of Germany, Poland, and Switzerland combined.
We know this in large part because of satellite data. But we know it more specifically because of a new survey, just published by an international collection of scientists in the Journal of Glaciology, that uses sent-from-space data to provide a comprehensive view of the world’s glaciers. The new inventory is based on information compiled by the Randolph Glacier Inventory in New Hampshire. It’s the first statistical analysis of the world’s glacier distribution.
Read more. [Image Shutterstock/abonjoch]
A conversation with the mapmaker whose creations circumnavigate the Internet.
This map shows (roughly) how large the Lone Star State is. Points in the map’s red section are closer to somewhere in Texas than the opposite sides of Texas are to each other.
That’s right: You can be in Fargo, or Atlanta, or San Diego … and be closer to Texas than Texas is to itself.
That’s what the map above says. Texas is big.
How college education, housing, and transit affect the health status of Americans.
Read more. [Image: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation]
America’s Brain Health Index ranks the states on diet, social well-being, and physical and mental health—four factors that contribute to overall brain health.
"Map the broadband adoption rates in, say, San Antonio, and a pattern emerges that closely reflects the region’s socioeconomic geography. Households in and around the downtown business district overwhelmingly have broadband. But just west of Interstates 10 and 35, in the adjacent neighborhoods that are home to many of the city’s Hispanic poor, fewer than 20 percent of households do.
From there, starting at the urban core and moving into outer neighborhoods, then into the northern suburbs and beyond, broadband rates appear to swell with income. A related pattern recurs in many cities: People are online in droves – watching Netflix, paying bills, reading the day’s news – downtown and in the suburbs, but not so much in inner-city neighborhoods.
Here is metropolitan San Antonio, on a map created by the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation. This picture is divided by Census tract. In the dark-green swathes, more than 80 percent of households have broadband. In the orange ones, fewer than 20 percent do.”
Continue reading: The Most Revealing Broadband Adoption Maps We’ve Ever Seen
How do you find reliable information?
Back in 2005, a study in Nature concluded that Wikipedia—at the time, a free upstart just eking its way into the Google results—was about as good a source as the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica. Though it found Wikipedia had slightly more factual errors than the older reference, the study gave the website a major commendation when it needed one.
OpenStreetMap, a free-to-edit and free-to-use world map often compared with Wikipedia, received a similar—though less validated—commendation last week, when the reporter Greg Miller at Wired found that its maps exceeded Google’s at describing Sochi, the home of the 2014 winter Olympics.
Miller compared not only the city but also its Olympic surroundings in the two maps. OSM, he found, often contained far more information than Google Maps, especially on features like ski slopes.
Read more. [Image: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]
Driving a car is safer than ever for the simple reason that cars are safer than ever—thanks to features like seat belts, air bags, and electronic stability control. That’s one reason why deaths per miles driven have plummeted around the developed world in the five decades since Ralph Nader published Unsafe at Any Speed. In fact, the U.S. used to be the safest country for drivers among all OECD countries in the early 1970s. By the middle of the last decade, the rest of the world had caught up.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]