You can’t see your house from here, but can you see yourself?
Mapping the Census: A Dot for Every Person
Brandon Martin-Anderson, a graduate student at MIT’s Changing Places lab, was tired of seeing maps of U.S. population density cluttered by roads, bridges, county borders and other impediments.
Fortunately for us, he has the technological expertise to transform block data from the 2010 Census into points on a map. One point per person, and nothing else.
Read more. [Images: Brandon Martin-Anderson]
From Heroes to Humans: The Totally Regular People Who Landed a Robot on Mars
Yesterday afternoon, a group of the scientists and engineers orchestrating NASA’s Curiosity mission got together to do an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. They got — and answered — questions about the mission itself, about the engineering that went into the Curiosity rover, about the lifestyle the mission requires of them. (For example: They reset their alarm clocks by 40 minutes every day to keep Mars time.)
The many exchanges of the AMA were, unsurprisingly, informative and illustrative and educational. But my favorite was, practically speaking, none of those things. It went like this:
Shorter version: “Hey, congrats on the robot you helped land on Mars, and everything! Also, you still have that algebra book I loaned you eight years ago. I don’t want it back, or anything, but just FYI.”
Talking to real people like they’re real people is, indeed, an awesome thing. Willingness to be real is also awesome. A side effect of the social networks?
Writers aren’t exactly people… They’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.