"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]
The single greatest predictor for where the healthcare law’s exchanges are successful? Which party controls the state government.
Weather-related school closings are a constant source of anxiety this time of year. Sometimes the anxiety is generational: “They never canceled school in my day,” parents and grandparents complain when a new snow day gets announced. Sometimes it’s regional. D.C. isn’t as “flinty” as Chicago, President Obama sighed when schools closed during his first winter in the capital. Northerners watched in puzzlement as two inches of snow crippled Atlanta earlier this week.
A new map from Reddit user atrubetskoy is sure to stoke this regional competition. Using “data was taken from hundreds of various points from user responses…interpolated using NOAA’s average annual snowfall days map,” Trubetskoy made a map showing how much snow it typically takes to close schools in the U.S. and Canada. Notice that for much of the southern U.S., all it takes is “any snow” to shut schools down. For the Upper Midwest and Canada, two feet of snow are required for a closure.
Read more. [Image: Mike Stewart/AP Images]
The transit map Theodore Twombly would have used to get around L.A.’s subway system of 2020-something.
[Graphic: Geoff McFetridge and Untitled Rick Howard Company LLC]
Why is Oklahoma so Republican? Why is Maine so white? And why is Pennsylvania so haunted?
Read more. [Image: Amazing Maps]
More restrictions on abortion were enacted in the past three years than in the previous decade combined. Here are the states where it happened.
Maps, as I’ve written before, are inherently subjective—no matter how detailed or scientific, they reflect our worldview and the age in which we’re living, not to mention the difficulty of projecting a spherical globe onto a plane surface. Now compound these challenges by asking 30 people to sketch a map of the world from memory. What would you get?
In the summer of 2012, Zak Ziebell, now a 17-year-old high school senior in San Antonio, did just that.