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- 06/22/17--11:58: _Here's where Americ...
- 06/25/17--07:23: _Here's how Google M...
- 06/25/17--07:59: _The most important ...
- 06/27/17--08:05: _Disturbing before-a...
- 06/30/17--06:06: _These animated maps...
- 07/01/17--04:08: _5 maps that explain...
- 07/03/17--17:03: _3 maps that explain...
- 07/04/17--04:01: _These 7 maps explai...
- 07/04/17--06:05: _Anyone who wants to...
- 07/06/17--08:55: _The most and least ...
- 07/19/17--08:30: _These crowdsourced ...
- 07/19/17--08:54: _The CDC mapped out ...
- 07/21/17--04:54: _Today is the busies...
- 07/21/17--12:38: _Mesmerizing maps sh...
- 07/23/17--04:10: _10 maps that explai...
- 07/24/17--14:29: _Here's Trump's appr...
- 06/22/17--11:58: Here's where Americans are moving to and from
- 06/25/17--07:23: Here's how Google Maps knows when there is traffic
- 06/25/17--07:59: The most important invention from every state
- 07/01/17--04:08: 5 maps that explain the new Middle East
- 07/03/17--17:03: 3 maps that explain North Korea's strategy
- 07/04/17--04:01: These 7 maps explain US strategy
- 07/04/17--06:05: Anyone who wants to be president needs to understand these 5 maps
- 07/06/17--08:55: The most and least expensive places to live in America
- 07/21/17--12:38: Mesmerizing maps show how religion has spread throughout the world
- 07/23/17--04:10: 10 maps that explain Russia's strategy
- 07/24/17--14:29: Here's Trump's approval rating in every state
The US Census Bureau recently released its annual statistics on population change between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016 in the 3,142 counties and county-equivalents that make up the country.
The release included estimates of the components of that population change, including net domestic migration, or how many people moved into a county from somewhere else in the US minus how many people left that county.
Oil-rich counties in North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas all saw big numbers of people moving out. Meanwhile, the northwest Pacific coast and big cities in the south saw high levels of positive net domestic migration.
Google Maps is a very useful tool for navigating your way around the world and getting to your destination as quickly as possible. One way it accomplishes this is by predicting traffic and calculating the fastest route. But how is Google able to accurately monitor all of these cars? The answer may creep you out.
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In almost 250 years of history, the U.S. has been responsible for many inventions that have made a considerable impact on the world.
Everyone knows about the big ones, like the internet, the airplane, or the credit card, but there are literally thousands of other interesting inventions that fly under the radar. These advancements in technology have come from every corner of the country, and it’s worth knowing some of the more important ones.
Today’s infographic comes from MNU and it breaks down the most impactful inventions from each state, along with the year and inventor associated with each advancement.
It’s pretty hard to argue against the importance of inventions like the iPhone, the television, or the helicopter. However, as with any list like this, many of the choices are still quite arbitrary and subjective.
With that in mind, let’s look at the contributions from the biggest states, as well as important advancements in technology made in other parts of the country.
The "big" states
To begin, here are the inventions from the “big” states – the three that dominate the country in terms of GDP and population.
California: The iPhone, finally released in 2007, is credited to Steve Jobs and the Apple engineers that made it possible. It’s worth noting that you can also thank the folks in the Golden State for inventing the popsicle, WD-40, hula hoops, and of course, many of the digital goodies coming out of Silicon Valley.
New York: The credit card is credited to Frank McNamara, a founder of Diners Club International. The story behind the first Diners Club card is famous. The gist of it is: McNamara was in a restaurant with clients in NYC, but forgot his wallet. His wife had to drive to the restaurant to pay the tab for him, and in that moment he conceived of a multipurpose charge card that could be used with just a signature.
Other famous inventions from the Empire State? Jell-O, toilet paper, potato chips, and air conditioning.
Texas: From the Lone Star State comes the electric typewriter, which is also an obvious precursor to the PC. You can also thank Texans for a variety of food innovations. Corndogs, chili, frozen margaritas, and even fajitas are all allegedly from Texas.
Contributions like the iPhone and credit card are pretty impressive – but other states have also made incredible contributions to the modern economy.
The first gas-powered automobile was made in Ohio, and then Michigan took autos another step forward with the invention of the assembly line. In nearby Indiana, the gas pump was invented to put fuel in cars.
People in other states built on what Texas did with the electric typewriter. The first digital computer was built in 1937 in Illinois, the first computer mouse was built in Oregon, and the first PC was made in Florida in 1981. The good folks at MIT in Massachusetts also helped create the World Wide Web, which prompted the information revolution we live and breathe today.
In January, a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency hinted at the possibility of an "extreme" sea-level rise scenario that would put some American landmarks, towns, and cities underwater during this century.
That scenario is considered unlikely, but possible. If the worst climate change predictions come true, parts of the US will be devastated by flooding and greater exposure to storm surges.
Research group Climate Central took the projections laid out in NOAA's report and created a plug-in for Google Earth that shows how catastrophic the damage would be if the flooding happened today. You can install it (directions here) and see anywhere in the US.
Here's what major US cities might look like in the year 2100.
In a worst case scenario, flooding caused by polar melting and ice-sheet collapses could cause a sea level rise of 10 to 12 feet by 2100, NOAA reported in January.
Here's Washington, DC today. The famed Potomac River runs through it.
And here's what Washington, DC, might look like in the year 2100 — as seen on Climate Central's plugin for Google Earth. Ocean water causes the river to overflow.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Senate Republicans have released their version of a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The Senate's plan, like one passed by the House of Representatives, rolls back many of the provisions of Obamacare, including taking deep cuts from Medicaid program.
To get a better sense of what that would mean on a state-by-state basis — and who might be hardest-hit by a rollback — we charted out some of the key aspects of Medicaid and the expansion under the ACA.
As of 2017, 31 states and Washington, D.C. adopted the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.
Through that expansion, millions have gained coverage. Here's a look at the rate of enrollment per 100,000 people of adults in each state who gained coverage under the expansion in the first quarter of 2016 alone.
The bill also scales back federal funding for Medicaid — which is more than half the spending for the program at the state level.
Nation-states are the defining feature of the modern political era. They give people a collective identity and a pride of place… even when their borders are artificially drawn, as they were in the Middle East.
However, transnational issues like religion and ethnicity often get in the way of the notion of nationalism. Those can’t be contained by a country’s borders.
Arab nation-states are now failing in the Middle East. Their failure is mainly due to their inability to create viable political economies. Transnational issues—especially the competition between the Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam—however, amplify the process.
The Failure of Pan-Arabism
Transnational issues have long plagued the modern Middle East. Major Arab states like Egypt, Syria, and Iraq began to flirt with pan-Arabism. It’s a secular, left-leaning ideology that sought political unity of the Arab world. It promoted a kind of nationalism that defied the logic of the nation-state.
Pan-Arabism failed because it couldn’t replace traditional nationalism with something that had never existed in history. But the countries that rejected it never really developed into viable political entities.
The coercion of state security forces was what hold them together, not the ideology.
Since the 1970s, these countries have been challenged by another transnational idea, Islamism (or political Islam). It has proven to be far more effective than pan-Arabism. The movement has spread throughout the Middle East.
It has taken root not only among Sunni Arabs, but also among Shiites. In fact, the Shiites were the first to create an Islamist government when they toppled the monarchy in the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Sunni Islamists would not hold traditional political power until after the so-called 2011 Arab Spring. But their power was short-lived.
The Origins of the Islamic State
The anarchy of the Arab Spring was fertile ground for jihadists, especially for the Islamic State. It became the most powerful Sunni Islamist force in the region. What underlay its success was the group’s ability to exploit sectarian differences in the region.
The Baathist regime in Iraq was replaced by a Shiite-dominated government that Sunnis had tried to keep from power.
Likewise, the Islamic State, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey strived to take over the Sunni rebellion in Syria, which had been led by a minority Shiite government. The Islamic State was the best positioned to exploit the situation. They created a singular battlespace that linked eastern Syria with western Iraq.
In doing so, it has destroyed what we have come to know as the sovereign states of Iraq and Syria.
Iraqi and Syrian nationalism can’t really exist if there is no nation. The Islamic State has lost some territory recently. But its losses appear to benefit the sectarian and ethnic groups that happen to be there, not the nations that owned the land.
In Syria, Sunni Arab forces are not all that interested in fighting the Islamic State. The only two groups that are willing are the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are dominated by Kurds who are trying to carve out their own territory, and Syrian government forces, who want to retake the areas that IS seized after the rebellion broke out.
Nationalism Replaced by Sectarianism
Sectarianism now stands in place of nationalism in the modern Middle East. On one side are the Sunnis, led nominally by Saudi Arabia. On the other are the Shiites, led nominally by Iran.
The Sunni bloc is in disrepair; the Shiite bloc is on the rise. The fact that Iran is Persian has in the past dissuaded Arab Shiites from siding with Tehran, but Saudi efforts to prevent the Shiite revival (not to mention the rise of the Islamic State) have left them feeling vulnerable.
They are willing to set aside their differences for sectarian solidarity.
There’s historical precedent for what’s happening in the Middle East. In the 10th century, the Shiite Buyid and Fatimid dynasties came to power because the Sunni Abbasid caliphate began to lose its power.
Shiite dynasties ultimately could not survive in a majority Sunni environment, especially not after it came back on top from around 1200 to around 1600. The Shiites rebounded in the 16th century in the form of the Safavid Empire in Persia, which embraced Shiite Islam as state religion.
Power changes hands cyclically, about every 500 years.
And now, with Sunni Arab unity on the decline and with jihadists challenging Sunni power, the Shiites are in the position to expand once again. They are a minority, so it’s unclear just how far their influence can actually spread.
But what is clear is that modern nationalism is being replaced by medieval sectarianism.
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To understand North Korean strategy today, we must first understand the implications of its geography.
Korea is a peninsula jutting southward from Manchuria surrounded by the Yellow and Japan seas. It shares an 880-mile-wide border with China and has a 30-mile frontier with Russia.
Korea's northeastern border is about 70 miles from Vladivostok, Russia's major eastern port. The southeast corner juts to within 100 miles of Japan to its south, and the peninsula's southwest shore angles westward only about 300 miles from Shanghai.
Editor's note: This article was originally written in 2016.
The Korean Peninsula and surrounding area
The Korean Peninsula, therefore, poses a potential threat to three major powers—not because of what any government on the Korean Peninsula might do, but simply because of its geographical position.
Korea could threaten Japan's access to the East China Sea and the Pacific from the Sea of Japan. Korea can also potentially interfere with China's access to the Yellow Sea and potentially to Shanghai.
Japan and China have invaded the Korean Peninsula on several occasions. Its geographical position and size relative to Japan and China made these incursions inevitable.
For that reason, it has been invaded by both China and Japan at various points throughout history — and later by the Soviet Union and the US.
The motivation behind the invasions has not been so much to capture the wealth of Korea, which was minimal, as it has been the fact that the country can provide strategic springboards or blocks to major powers.
Korea was a critical piece in any Chinese or Japanese strategy.
China, Russia, and the US divided Korea after World War II
The end of World War II did not reduce Korea's importance. It simply eliminated one player, Japan, and introduced a new one, the United States. The American presence in Korea was not actually new, though.
The defeat of Japan in World War II ended Japanese hegemony over Korea. The Yalta Conference created a four-power joint government in Korea, but that coalition failed, as did a similar joint government in Berlin.
As in Berlin, Korea was divided — with Soviet troops and their Korean supporters occupying the land north of the 38th parallel and the Americans and their Korean supporters occupying the south.
The US did not see South Korea as a critical strategic asset, but the Soviets and the Chinese saw an opportunity. The Soviets had suffered a defeat in Berlin when their blockade failed because of the American airlift. They also saw Korea as a threat to Vladivostok should the US regain interest.
The Chinese were similarly concerned about a later shift in American interest and wanted to expel the Americans from the peninsula. Again, it was Korean geography that mattered.
The North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 took the US by surprise: US intelligence had failed to detect North Korea's act of aggression on the ground.
President Harry Truman faced a critical decision. Technically, Korea was not critical to US national security. But Truman calculated that Korea's strategic position would protect Japan, and defending South Korea would make clear that the US would resist open aggression.
Truman's decision, made in a weekend, created modern northeast Asia by making the US the guarantor of South Korean national security.
War, however, was extremely difficult to wage on the Korean Peninsula. One of the main reasons was the terrain of the Korean Peninsula. It is narrow — about 200 miles wide at its narrowest — and about 500 miles long. It is also covered with very rugged hills.
A relatively small force, using the rugged terrain cleverly, can hold off a larger force, retreating slowly and inflicting casualties on the attacker, who has to come out from under cover.
During temporary positions of surprise or imbalance, it is possible to drive the defender back. But the Korean War showed that, while it is possible to drive the enemy back, it is not possible to simply wipe it out.
Another reason is the strategic reality that no major regional power can afford to allow the peninsula to fall completely into the hands of a hostile power.
This set of dynamics created the current situation in Korea. The peninsula is divided into two states — one with the full support of the US, the other at the moment in a much more complex relationship with China, its traditional patron.
North Korea became a puppet of the China-Russia Alliance
South Korea has emerged as one of the major industrial powers in the world. One reason for its economic success is the American grand strategy of maintaining a long-term commitment to defend South Korea.
But a strategic relationship with the US carries with it both benefits and risks. The major risk is war. The major benefit is that the US tilts the table in favor of the client state.
North Korea's relationship with China and Russia has not resulted in similar benefits.
The map above displays light visible from space at night. South Korea is ablaze, China less so, but with intense areas. North Korea, on the other hand, is virtually without light, or to be more precise, without enough clustered lighting to be seen from space.
Both South Korea and North Korea were devastated by the Korean War. But while South Korea has transformed into a modern industrial power, North Korea appears to be preindustrial — or so it appears, based on nighttime lighting.
How did this disjuncture occur? The Chinese and the Russians had fewer resources to invest in North Korea than the US had to invest in the South. But the complete answer must be somewhat more complex.
Even on their own, the North Koreans should have been able to generate greater economic growth than they have. And certainly, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Chinese could have aided North Korea more fully had they wished to do so.
The rest of the answer has to do with the nature of the North Korean regime. The first strategy of any state is its preservation. North Korea was faced with a major US force and an increasingly powerful South Korean force. The logical thing would have been for the Chinese and Soviets to create an equivalent force. They chose not to.
The Chinese and Russians did not want a powerful North Korea because it could turn against them. They wanted a buffer state between themselves and American forces in the south. Therefore, the Russians and the Chinese together created a paradox in North Korea.
Both the Soviets and Chinese understood that simply being communist was no longer sufficient grounds for an alliance. The Soviets and the Chinese had become enemies in spite of a shared ideology. Neither wanted the other to use North Korea as a tool against it.
We should add that South Korea and the US themselves were not eager to see the North Korean regime fall. South Korea did not want to bear the expense and risks involved in reintegration. The US was content with the status quo in the Korean Peninsula, as its primary interest there was minimal conflict.
And out of this paradoxical strategy emerged the contemporary North Korean state.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
What's striking about American strategy is its paradoxical nature, that each solution to a threat poses a new threat.
Since its birth, the US has sought to defend itself. It approaches each threat with a constant outward movement of attention and resources, and now it straddles the world.
This means the political, economic, and military postures of the US have tended to be offensive.
This article was originally written in March 2016.
The birth of a nation on the East Shore
Consider the US at the time of its founding. The colonial United States existed on a relatively thin strip between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
Its north-south communication was weak, as most rivers run from the mountains to the Atlantic. That meant that commerce and movement of troops to repel invasion were difficult.
Therefore, even after it declared independence, the United States was heavily dependent on maritime trade with Europe, and particularly England. At the time, England dominated the Atlantic Ocean, especially after the defeat of Napoleon and the destruction of the French navy.
The United States had lands west of the Appalachians, but they were minimally settled. Its heartland was a narrow eastern strip close to the Atlantic Ocean, and it was vulnerable to the British navy, which could carry out amphibious operations at any point along the coast.
Navies are expensive, and the United States couldn’t guarantee its national security until its economy had developed dramatically. That was difficult as long as the US was confined to the eastern seaboard. If it could not block British naval power, then it had to have strategic depth: The West.
Extending to the West
The land west of the Appalachians was extraordinary—not just because of its rich soil, but also because of the Mississippi River system. Two great rivers, the Missouri and the Ohio, flow into the Mississippi.
They are joined by other smaller but very significant rivers like the Arkansas and Tennessee. They flow into the Mississippi, which then flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
The most extraordinary thing about this river complex is that it is navigable. That means that virtually any part of the land between the Rockies and Appalachians could not only produce agricultural products—and later minerals—but could also ship them inexpensively through this river system and eventually to Europe.
The United States was assigned ownership of the Northwest Territory (today the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part Minnesota) in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
By 1800, it had already settled much of the territory and created new states and territories. But that land could not be fully exploited because the Mississippi River system was ultimately controlled by the Spanish and then by the French.
Neither significantly colonized their North American holdings, save for French Canada. The Spanish interest was precious metals, while the French wanted expensive furs. They hadn’t sent settlers into the area and so hadn’t cleared land and farmed it.
The English colonized the land and after independence, so did the United States. But their territories lacked one thing: New Orleans. And without controlling New Orleans—the Mississippi’s gateway to the ocean—farmers would not have access to world markets and would simply subsist on what they grew.
Louisiana for $3 million
New Orleans was the key to North America. Sea-going vessels could not go very far up the Mississippi. The flat-bottom barges that brought the wealth of the Midwest down the Mississippi could not venture out to sea.
New Orleans developed at the point where ships and barges could each safely meet. The barges exchanged cargo with the ships, which then carried it to Europe.
Of course, to get to this point, the plain between the Rockies and Appalachians had to be settled and farmed. This westward expansion achieved two things. The first was an enormous increase in economic power. The second was strategic depth.
In 1803, France was engaged in the Napoleonic Wars for domination of Europe, and Napoleon was not very interested in the Louisiana Territory. For the Americans, and particularly for President Thomas Jefferson, it was an obsession.
The US bought the territory for $3 million dollars, which even in today’s dollar was an absurd amount—about $230 million. That price included the entire Mississippi River and New Orleans.
The defense of New Orleans became a central interest of the United States. During the War of 1812, when the British destroyed Washington, they also attacked New Orleans.
Future President Andrew Jackson defeated the British there and kept control of New Orleans and the Midwest. Jackson remained properly obsessed with New Orleans. It was the key to American power and prosperity. It was also still in danger.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Maps shape how we see the world.
But most of the maps hanging on our walls are dangerously incomplete because they emphasize political borders rather than functional connections.
The world has less than 500,000 kilometers of borders.
By comparison, it has 64 million km of highways, 4 million km of railways, 2 million km of pipelines and more than 1 million km of Internet cables all part of a rapidly expanding global infrastructural Matrix.
As such, in the 21st century, we need maps that show connections over divisions, for these reveal not only how we cooperate across borders, but also the valuable corridors of energy, trade and data that we compete over.
Here are 5 of the most important maps for the future. The next president would be wise to study them carefully.
This post was originally written in April 2016.
These maps are part of a set designed exclusively for the publication of Parag Khanna's new book, "Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization."
Here is the map Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand.
Here is the map Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand. No matter what walls he may seek to expand along the Mexican border, the truth is that both the Mexican and American populations along the border have risen by 20 percent in the past decade.
Why? Because business is booming between Mexico’s fast-growing market and American businesses. That’s not all. Even though the XL pipeline failed, there are already dozens of freight rails, pipelines, electricity grids and trade corridors that unite the US, Canada, and Mexico, which has just welcomed huge American investment to modernize its oil industry. American car companies are thriving in Mexican factories, but this is actually creating American jobs producing highquality autoparts.
Now fast forward and think about droughts caused by climate change wiping out much of America’s breadbasket region. It turns out that Canada will be the world’s largest food producer as temperatures rise and its permafrost thaws, meaning it will become America’s principal source of both food and freshwater through the massive hydrocanals featured in this map. Americans should embrace the emergence of a genuine North American Union.
China is now the top trade partner for twice as many countries as America.
Globalization has catapulted China to superpower status. It is now the top trade partner for twice as many countries (124) as America (56). While many strategists focus on China’s mostly regional military maneuvers, the supply chain complementarities it has built worldwide are the true source of its leverage.
China may have only one aircraft carrier, but it operates by far the world’s largest merchant navy of more than one thousand tankers and shipping vessels that ply these global trade routes. Even as China’s imports slow, it continues to be the fastest growing global investor, boosting its ownership of factories and ports, banks and telecoms along these same axes, so don’t bet on its influence diminishing just because its growth has decelerated.
What this map also reveals is that even as the US pursues a TPP trade agreement with many Asian countries other than China, it may yet benefit China, which will use its strong linkages into these economies to create joint ventures that more easily access the US market without forcing its own companies to reform the way TPP requires.
Does it really make sense for America to be organized as 50 states anymore?
Does it really make sense for America to be organized as 50 states anymore? Countries from China to Italy to France and Great Britain are all reorganizing themselves around viable urban centers, metropolitan regions centered on large and productive cities. America needs to do the same.
This map shows how the US is actually made up of about seven distinct economic regions, each with anchor cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago or New York. Rather than rich states, paying taxes to Washington which then gives meager handouts to poor states, America’s economic system and even politics could be rearranged to reflect this reality of megaurban corridors and their dependent regions. At the same time, America’s strength comes from connecting efficiently across this vast scale, hence the need for highspeed rail networks crisscrossing the continent to form a much more dynamic United City States of America.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
America's biggest cities are among its most expensive.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data on personal income and the cost of living in 2015 for metropolitan areas and the nonmetropolitan parts of states. One of the main indicators the BEA released shows the relative cost of living in different parts of the country.
Regional price parity is an index that sets the national average cost of goods and services at 100, with a particular region's RPP showing how the cost of living in that region compares with that average.
For example, the New York City metropolitan area had a 2015 RPP of 121.9, which means NYC and its suburbs are about 21.9% more expensive than the national average. Meanwhile, Beckley, West Virginia, had an RPP of 79.7, meaning that goods and services cost just about four-fifths as much as the national average.
Here's a map illustrating the RPP of the country's metropolitan areas and of the parts of states that fall outside those areas. Regions in blue are less expensive than the national average, with darker blue regions indicating the lowest relative cost of living. Regions in red are more expensive than average, with darker red showing a higher cost of living:
And here's a chart showing the 10 most expensive and 10 least expensive metro areas in the country:
SEE ALSO: 18 maps that explain America
Released this month, the website Hoodmaps offers a crowd-sourced mapping platform that gives users the ability to walk through a city like a local. By “painting” parts of the city using a palette of six colors that represent “uni”, “hipsters”, “tourists”, “rich”, “suits”, and “normies”, Hoodmaps aims to provide a quick visual representation of a city.
The website features a thousand of the largest cities from around the world and is constantly being edited with new user content that flags Google Maps with information about touristy zones of cities among other information. Creator Pieter Levels noted the need for such a service when traveling and being frustrated by the difficulty in finding culture-rich zones of a city as opposed to its commercialized ones.
If multiple people cover over an area in opposing colors, the most popular will be shown. In addition to color-coding, labels such as “good restaurants” and “too much traffic” can be added to locations. These labels regulate themselves through positive and negative votes, and are able to be tagged “NSFW”.
How places in a city are experienced and perceived are an important part of urban design theory. Depending on their material, architects and planners can benefit from the data that websites and apps such as Hoodmaps provide. Because of their easy accessibility, they create a pipeline for the public to input their views on the city and for officials to gauge information.
Despite initial success and acclaim, the website could find itself the company of a variety of crowdsourcing mapping apps that have been criticized for reinforcing negative stereotypes. Most notable of these was an app released 2015 called “SketchFactor” that had users identify locations they deemed “sketchy.”
Even though the developer’s purpose was to provide alternative crime information, the ambiguity of the term “sketchy” quickly led to posts accused of racism and profiling, eventually escalating to the app being shut down. By allowing mostly unfiltered public input, Hoodmaps is similarly at the helm of its users' biases, which could ultimately lead to a parallel fate.
The young website is still in the process of editing and expanding, aiming to create functions such as letting users draw and share their own maps. Levels also envisions using the website to draw statistical conclusions and relationships.
In addition to its technical capabilities, the long-term success of the website will be dependent on its ability to invite quality content that helps locals and tourists discover a city.
Diabetes, a group of conditions in which the body can't properly regulate blood sugar, affects roughly 30 million people in the US — about 9% of the population.
That's in addition to 84.1 million Americans who the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate have prediabetes, a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes if it isn't treated. (Type 2 accounts for the majority of diabetes cases.)
In a new report by the CDC, researchers found that while the rate of new diabetes diagnoses in the US has stayed steady, the disease is still a major public health issue across the country. Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the US in 2015.
"Although these findings reveal some progress in diabetes management and prevention, there are still too many Americans with diabetes and prediabetes," CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said in a news release.
Those cases are disproportionately spread around the country. The map below shows where people with diabetes live across the US, with the darker red shades representing areas where a larger percentage of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes.
Areas with the highest concentration of cases are southern states like Mississippi and Alabama, along with Puerto Rico, a US territory. In those locations, diabetes was prevalent in more than 11% of adults over 20.
When it comes to new diagnoses, the states with the highest rates per 1,000 people are also in the southeast, as well as parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
Information about where diabetes prevalence is highest can help public health officials figure out where to devote the most attention in their attempt to bring down the number of cases nationwide.
British airspace is today set to handle more flights in a single day than ever before, with 8,800 planes due to take off or land in a single day.
Footage generated from air traffic data shows how the huge volume of planes interact over mainland UK and Ireland.
Coloured lines show planes leaving, entering and moving within UK airspace, with loops from flight holding patterns showing major hubs like Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports.
The new figure, from the UK’s air traffic monitor, NATS, will top a previous record set earlier this summer, and is expected to stand in place for at least a year.
2017 is the first year since the financial crash that flight volumes over the UK exceeded the previous record, from 2007.
Data from the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) predicted 8,800 flights on 21 July 2017, beating an interim 8,747 record set on 30 June, thanks in part to summer holiday traffic.
Services to destinations like Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia — all victims of terror attacks in recent years — have declined, but an increase in flights to Spain, Italy and the US has more than compensated.
As a result the 2017 summer period as a whole — June, July and August —is set for a total of 770,000 flights, also a record.
However, NATS said under current arrangements British airspace is approaching its limit, and said a more modern approach is necessary to sustain continued growth in flight numbers.
Video produced by David Ibekwe
The five largest religion — Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism — represent about 77% of the world population.
Their spread throughout parts of Asia and Europe, and gradually down to Africa and across to the Americas, has been fractured and erratic.
Here's how the major religions have touched nearly all corners of the globe.
Many scholars agree Hinduism was the first religion to take root, beginning thousands of years before the birth of Christ.
Over the span of a few hundred years, Hinduism spread throughout the Indus River Valley, or what is present-day India.
As Hinduism spread, the birth of Abraham sparked waves of converts and all but consumed the subcontinent.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Many people think of maps in terms of their basic purpose: showing a country’s geography and topography. But maps can speak to all dimensions—political, military, and economic.
In fact, they are the first place to start thinking about a country’s strategy, which can reveal factors that are otherwise not obvious.
The 10 maps below show Russia’s difficult position since the Soviet Union collapsed and explain Putin’s long-term intentions in Europe.
This article was originally published in February 2016.
Russia is almost landlocked
Sometimes a single map can reveal the most important thing about a country. In the case of Russia, it is this map.
One of the keys to understanding Russia’s strategy is to look at its position relative to the rest of Europe.
The European Peninsula is surrounded on three sides by the Baltic and North Seas, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The easternmost limit of the peninsula extends from the eastern tip of the Baltic Sea south to the Black Sea.
In this map, this division is indicated by the line from St. Petersburg to Rostov-on-Don. This line also roughly defines the eastern boundaries of the Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine. These countries are the eastern edge of the European Peninsula.
Hardly any part of Europe is more than 400 miles from the sea, and most of Europe is less than 300 miles away. Much of Russia, on the other hand, is effectively landlocked. The Arctic Ocean is far away from Russia’s population centers, and the few ports that do exist are mostly unusable in the winter.
Europe controls Russia’s access to the oceans
Russia’s access to the world’s oceans, aside from the Arctic, is also limited. What access it does have is blocked by other countries, which can be seen through this map.
European Russia has three potential points from which to access global maritime trade. One is through the Black Sea and the Bosporus, a narrow waterway controlled by Turkey that can easily be closed to Russia. Another is from St. Petersburg, where ships can sail through Danish waters, but this passageway can also be easily blocked. The third is the long Arctic Ocean route, starting from Murmansk and then extending through the gaps between Greenland, Iceland, and the United Kingdom.
During the Cold War, air bases in Norway, Scotland, and Iceland, coupled with carrier battle groups, worked to deny Russia access to the sea. This demonstrates the vulnerability Russia faces due to its lack of access to oceans and waterways.
It also reveals why Russia is, for all intents and purposes, a landlocked country.
A country’s access to the sea can greatly influence its economic and political strength.
Most of Russia's population lives along the western border
Russia’s population clusters along its western border with Europe and its southern border with the Caucasus (the area between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea to the south). Siberia is lightly populated. Rivers and infrastructure flow west.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
President Donald Trump has proven to be a divisive figure in his first six months in office, and Americans' views of how well he's doing his job vary widely across the country.
On Monday, Gallup released estimates of Trump's job approval rating in each of the 50 states, based on a collection of over 81,000 survey results between the president's inauguration on January 20 and June 30.
It's worth noting that the extended time interval, while necessary to ensure large enough sample sizes in each state to make reasonable estimates of the president's approval rating, means that views of Trump may have changed amid a tumultuous six months. Still, Gallup's results provide at least some idea of where the president stands across the states.
The president won all 17 of the states where he had an approval rating of at least 50%. However, approval was in the low 40s in several states he won in November, including in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where he won razor-thin victories that put him over the top in the Electoral College.
Here's the president's job approval rating in each state in the first six months of his term: