Prentiss Riddle: Toys

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Powers of ten and powers of ten thousand bucks

Some online geographic visualization goodies I've been saving up.

Powers of 10: a redo of the classic zoom-in-from-the-universe-to-an-electron photo essay, this time in Java so you can control the action and with oak DNA as a stop along the way. (It seems to be popular -- it's loading very slowly.)

Money Maps: See which parts of the country are giving money to Democrats vs. Republicans or to particular Democratic candidates, by state, 3-digit zip code or county. I see that even the supposed island of liberalism I live in, Travis County, is a net Republican donor county (like all but a few counties in Texas), but we're also a real hotbed of Dean supporters. (Although that may be deceiving -- Austin gives to a lot of candidates, as do a number of cities.)

North America by night Red vs. Blue contributions

The Living Earth: this oldie but goodie simulates views of the earth sliced and diced more ways than you can think of. Select views by angle, altitude, date, from satellites or the moon, centered on cities, and with various models of earth topography and weather. Here is the earth from over Austin, Rio, Vienna, and Delhi. There's also a moon viewer.

You are Where You Live: a demo of several segmentation systems used by marketers. Enter your zip code and learn the main market "segments" in your neighborhood. For instance, according to the PRIZM NE system, the most common segments in 78705 (the university area in Austin) are "Urban Achievers", "Bohemian Mix", "Multi-Culti Mosaic", "American Dreams" and "Urban Elders". If you do a search and click the link for a particular segment, you'll see a description, a cute illustration, some demographics, and examples of their consumer habits (ugly secret: "Bohemian Mix" watches Friends re-runs!). I'm fascinated by segmentation systems -- they're like astrology for capitalists.

City Size Comparisons: something I've been wanting for a long time, a tool to generate side-by-side maps of cities at the same scale. Works mostly for American cities but also for Baghdad. I'd love to see this idea expanded to include more international cities and also cities in history -- say colonial New York or Chaucer's London or Tenochtitlán.

Scorecard: environmental maps, with links to custom reports by zip code for key environmental issues. I had no idea Austin's air quality was this bad.

(Via austin.about.com, More Like This, Reenhead, Swirlspice, and Viking Zen.)

toys 2003.11.14 link

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