Have a look at our G20 map for mobile devices, tentatively out of beta, produced with a lot of trial and error over the last few days. We will be updating it as events warrant. Please leave suggestions and comments - it's the first map I've tried to get to work on a mobile device (we used an iPhone for testing).
I produced a map yesterday intended as an online equivalent of a graphic designed for the paper, showing various features of the security arrangements for the G20 (including a rumoured detention facility in Leslieville).
There have been a number of encounters with black bears in southern Ontario this spring. One almost ended tragically for a Severn man, who was lucky to survive being mauled by a black bear in May. Two other people in the Orillia area were recently chased by bears.
On the other side of the coin, two bears have been shot dead by police, one in London, the other north of Peterborough.
Other encounters have been more benign: a bear toured downtown Cannington for a while last weekend, pausing to eat the contents of a grease bucket behind a sports bar, before being gently nudged out of town by police cruisers.
The federal government released a document today outlining airspace restrictions during the summits. The two affected zones are circles with a 15 nautical mile* radius centred on a point east of Huntsville and another around Dundas West and Royal York Road. The Toronto area covers more or less all of the city, and quite a lot of the 905.
The regulations forbid most forms of aviation, broadly defined, including parasailing and kite-flying. The small print is here (pdf).
The reasoning behind the kite rule isn't obvious - my own kite-flying has posed a rather limited risk to national security (or so it seemed at the time). It also isn't clear whether there's any serious will to enforce this, but I guess we may find out.
Rethinking the map turned into a large job, but was overdue: first, better technology is available now than when we started the project; second, the template of the old map was eventually overwhelmed by the number of casualties, sadly. (There is a longer explanation in last week's post.)
The main changes are:
- We now map communities, not individuals. Communities which have lost more than one person in Afghanistan have a numbered icon with a popup window with the names, pictures and other details of everybody from that place.
The main advantage is that the new map is about three times as big as the old one; the disadvantage is that we lose the chronological list on the old map. (This information is available elsewhere, for example on the DND site.)
The remaining issue is that our handling of communities who have lost multiple people in Afghanistan has become increasingly awkward as the numbers have increased. Our approach until now has been to create a new icon at a visible distance from the old one in the same city. However, we reached the limits of this approach a while ago - the extreme case is Edmonton, where seven different icons co-exist.
The solution is going to have to involve mapping communities, not individuals, with numbered icons on communities where more than one person has died. I tried a version of this approach about a year ago on the old map, but the larger popup windows were large enough to blot out the (smaller) map.
We have the data for the whole country, along with a complete set of .kml boundaries, but for various reasons (the main one being that even the .kmz file is still too large to display) I can't produce a national map in our usual method.Yet.
So today we have a national map of regular force recruiting rates presented in Google Earth video, based on 2007 data.
The map shows some clear patterns - many people join the regular force from Atlantic Canada (which for anybody who has spent time with soldiers will not be much of a revelation), especially from the greater area around Halifax and the St. John Valley in New Brunswick. Fewer join from PEI, Newfoundland, Cape Breton and the north shore of New Brunswick. I expected higher rates in Cape Breton and Newfoundland.
There was some data missing in the Fredericton area, hence the visible hole in the map.
Quebec has lower rates, with the very visible exception of Quebec City and the area to the north, through and past Valcartier.
Ontario has a similar pattern - low enlistment rates, except for an area of the Upper Ottawa Valley stretching north from Petawawa. Trenton, Kingston, Barrie and Meaford are also pockets of high enlistment.
The West has very low enlistment rates, except for three pockets: Brandon, a large area around Cold Lake, and Victoria and the south shore of Vancouver Island.
As some readers will have already guessed, what all these areas have in common is a visible normal military presence, something that is otherwise unusual in Canada. (Edmonton, which is an oddity as a large city with a major regular army presence, has fairly low enlistment rates).
I'm still figuring out how to present Google Earth video, so be nice. I know the audio quality could be better.
Four GTA ridings were won and lost by less than 2% of the vote: Brampton West (which came down to 133 votes, or 0.25% of those cast), Mississauga-Erindale, Oak Ridges-Markham and Brampton-Springdale. York West was the region's most lopsided contest - Liberal Judy Sgro crushed her closest challenger by over 40% of the total votes.
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