@camjstark asks how our map today rearranging Canada in a system of 14 provinces of roughly equal population was made:
It was pretty low-tech – it’s just the 2006 FSA population tables, divided up in Excel. Each province was supposed to have roughly two million people, so I ran a running total downward*, hoping that a geographically logical stopping point met each point where the total got up to two million or so. It occurred to me late in the process that I could use Pivot Tables to check these.
Then I pasted colour hex values in by notional province, saved it as a .csv, uploaded it to Fusion Tables, merged it with a .kml of the 2006 FSA boundaries and had a look. The FSA system is often but not all that precisely tied to geography (not very precisely, in the L-series postal codes in the 905), so it needed a couple of cycles of being corrected visually. The Fusion Tables map turned out to look better with border opacity set to 0, in other words invisible.
(This is, in fact, as much fun as you can have with a set of population tables.)
* =SUM(B2:B158), then =SUM(B159:281) and so on
OpenFile’s unfortunate end has been written about elsewhere. I don’t have much to say about the situation as it stands (David Topping discusses it well at the link) other than to say that I know what it’s like to be a freelancer and be owed money you need to use to buy groceries. Perhaps unavoidably, the site itself, along with the complete Poppy File project from November 2010, has now gone black. (The project itself, for those just tuning in, is explained here.)
I can’t do anything about the disappearance of the other material (thinking particularly of Liam Maloney’s powerful videos) but I should point out that the actual map has been mirrored for years at this site, and is broken down into submaps here.
(The equivalent First World War map is on Global’s site. At some point I should put them together somehow.)
For Valentine’s Day, we offer what could best be described as an unflinching look at the holiday, mapping single people by postal code, looking at whether the week around Feb. 14 is auspicious for baby-making based on birth data (it depends on the province, but February doesn’t seem to be prime time, though in Ontario it’s higher than the rest of February, or the first three weeks of March, and in BC you’re more likely to start a pregnancy in the week around Valentine’s Day than any other week between January and late April) and – this is the unflinching part – a look at STI rates by postal code in Ontario and British Columbia.
Under the hood, there are two new things in Tableau we’re trying out – larger images as a way of introducing a graphics package (we figured out we could do this from an interactive on homicide in Guatemala, and wiring Google Map maps into Tableau, something it only just occurred to us we could do.