Saturday, January 28, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Patrick Gerland points to a new paper/open dataset that provides the first spatially explicit archive of the location and size of urban population settlements over the last 6,000 years. We have previously posted in this blog about the fantastic work of Karen Seto and her group at Yale at the Seto lab on Urbanization and Global Change (here and here). This one adds up to a great and continuous effort on improving spatially explicit models of population growth and urbanization, with important contributions to historical and prospective research.
Reba, M., Reitsma, F., & Seto, K. C. (2016). Spatializing 6,000 years of global urbanization from 3700 BC to AD 2000. Scientific data, 3.
How were cities distributed globally in the past? How many people lived in these cities? How did cities influence their local and regional environments? In order to understand the current era of urbanization, we must understand long-term historical urbanization trends and patterns. However, to date there is no comprehensive record of spatially explicit, historic, city-level population data at the global scale. Here, we developed the first spatially explicit dataset of urban settlements from 3700 BC to AD 2000, by digitizing, transcribing, and geocoding historical, archaeological, and census-based urban population data previously published in tabular form by Chandler and Modelski. The dataset creation process also required data cleaning and harmonization procedures to make the data internally consistent. Additionally, we created a reliability ranking for each geocoded location to assess the geographic uncertainty of each data point. The dataset provides the first spatially explicit archive of the location and size of urban populations over the last 6,000 years and can contribute to an improved understanding of contemporary and historical urbanization trends.
credit: Reba, Reitsma and Seto
Saturday, January 21, 2017
- Challenge: try to guess how family income affects children’s college chances
- Twenty rules for good graphics , by Rob Hyndman
- David Levinson on 'On why bike lanes might appear underutilized'. Not eaxctly a new post, but really good
- The Carbon Map
- Global Talent Flows: the migration patterns of inventors, via Amine Ouazad
- Moore’s Law might be coming to and end soon … or maybe it just need to be reformulated, again
- A great interactive explanation of Ordinary Least Squares Regression, by Victor and Lewis
- Google Street View gets you inside the quads of many Colleges at Oxford University
credit: Rick Noak, WP
Friday, January 20, 2017
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the world has fallen by more than half over the past three decades (via Dina Pomeranz). According to a recent study, a significant majority of respondents from several countries are unaware of this achievement. I wasn't aware either!
On a side note, Oxfam is on the news again with their report on wealth inequality. Oxfam's method is quite questionable and there are lots of articles out on the web criticizing it. Last year, Tim Harford addressed this issue in his podcast More or Less (brilliant podcast, btw). You can listen to this explanation in this 10 minute-audio.
ps. the shortcomings of Oxfam's estimates do not imply we face low levels of global inequality, but they do distort the numbers in a way that attracts lots of headlines.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017
The proportion of workers who cycle or walk to work in Brazil is approximately 33%, a similar proportion found in France (34.9%) and Holland (37.9%). Yet, cycling and walking as modes of transport are strongly associated with lower income groups in Brazil. Depending on the metropolitan area, the use of active transportation is two to five times more frequent among low-income individuals than among high-income individuals.
In a recent paper, some colleagues and I discuss the socioeconomic and regional differences in active transportation in Brazil using nationally representative data from 2008 (here is the paper in Portuguese). We've been working on a new paper that updates these data and analyzes the relationship between active transport and health outcomes in the country.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Heads ups: there are currently two open positions at the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) at Oxford University:
- 18-month post-doc position in Innovations in Urban Mobility. The successful candidate will be working on projects on user practices and experiences of on-street charging technologies for electric vehicles and car sharing in UK cities in the context of ongoing socio-technical transitions to sustainable and ‘smart’ mobility.
- 5-year post as Departmental Research Lecturer in Transport Studies, the closing date for which is 31 January 2017.