January 05, 2012

Good vs. Evil: One Final Holiday Map

With the various rounds of travel and vacation at end of December break we ran out of time to post the entries for the second round of Satan/Santa maps. This is an issue that we now want to make right and since we received only one addition entry it makes choosing a winner very simple! But this does NOT mean that the map or the technique used to create it falls short of our stringent Floating Sheep standards. Indeed the map below submitted by Tom Koehler is a great example of the willingness to apply stringent GIS techniques to somewhat messy data [1] about an offbeat subject.

After combining a range of terms -- Satan, Satan Santa, Zombie, Bad Santa, Evil Santa, Devil and Lucifer -- Tom "created a surface raster of the results. I suppose there is some argument to be made over creating a contiguous surface from absolute data, but I figure the search hits aren't exactly absolute since they're searching a radius around that point." We suspect that the resulting map would look similar whether Tom used summed or absolute data but greatly appreciate the fact that he raised it as a possible issue/critique.

The resulting map of "more bad" clearly is shaped by major population centers; after all, population density is a key (albeit not the only) driver of geoweb material. Still some cities known for their "badness" such as Las Vegas, New Orleans and Miami come off relatively less bad than others, especially the Northeast. I guess Santa is looking forward to catching some time in the sun and warmth as well.

In any case, thanks to Tom for his map and he will be receiving his prizes in the mail soon.

[1] Is there any other kind of data?

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