Via my company's Slack #general channel, San Francisco cartographer Justin O'Beirne has analyzed the changes Google has made to its Maps feature over the past year, while Apple Maps has stagnated:
So it seems that Apple is updating its map more frequently than Google.
But when we look closer, this doesn’t seem to be what’s happening. For instance, near the park’s southeast corner, there’s a group of three auto service-related businesses: Domport Auto Body Service, Fell Street Auto Service, and California Detailing...
Google has distinct locations for each. But Apple plots them at the same location...
...and as the months pass by, Apple cycles through all three – padding our addition/removal counts...
A number of the additions and removals we counted earlier on Apple are similar – the map is cycling though businesses plotted at the same location.
This all seems to suggest that Google’s location data is more precise than Apple’s. (Or that Apple’s geocoder is buggy.) And perhaps here we’re seeing the fruits of Google’s decade-long Street View project...
It's a long essay with tons of examples and animations. Total Daily Parker bait.
Speaking of my company, I'll have a post up on the company's blog shortly which I'll cross-post here. Keep your eyes peeled.
I took a short walk today, from Central Street in Evanston to my house. Totals: 16.37 km, 2:25:29, 8'53" per km, 18,357 steps. It's not as far as my epic 28 km walk last June, but I'll probably do another walk that distance sometime later this year. I mean, why not a 32 km walk?
Right. Because my feet hurt.
So far today I'm just shy of 30,000 steps. So I'm not quite in the top 5—but I will be if I walk another thousand steps, which seems pretty likely:
And here's the meandering route I took:
British Airways cancelled all of its flights out of its two biggest hubs in London today because of a power-supply failure:
The airline hoped to be able to operate some long haul inbound flights on Saturday, landing in London on Sunday, Mr Cruz added.
The GMB union has suggested the failure could have been avoided, had the airline not outsourced its IT work.
BA refuted the claim, saying: "We would never compromise the integrity and security of our IT systems".
All passengers affected by the failure - which coincides with the first weekend of the half-term holiday for many in the UK - will be offered the option of rescheduling or a refund.
The airline, which had previously said flights would be cancelled until 18:00 BST, has now cancelled all flights for Saturday and asked passengers not to come to Gatwick or Heathrow airports.
Some things never change.
The U.S. Census Bureau yesterday released new estimates showing that Chicago's population declined slightly last year. The deeper numbers are more troubling:
According to Alden Loury, director of research and evaluation at the Metropolitan Planning Council, while the degree of black flight from the city has slowed some this decade, it's still averaging about 12,000 a year, based on data from the American Community Survey, also issued by the Census Bureau. Blacks leaving Cook County tended to move either to northwest Indiana or farther out in the metro area, or to Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Fort Worth, Indianapolis or Milwaukee, in that order of popularity of destinations.
The same data show the population of whites, Latinos and people of Asian heritage growing, he said.
Loury's conclusion: "The numbers show Chicago has an issue. . . .Areas around the Loop and the central area are doing well, but overall, the city as a whole is not doing well."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner blame each other for the declines.
Citylab, analyzing a Times Op-Ed by Jed Kolko, adds color:
A more finely grained geographic analysis shows that the closer you get to the city center in most metros, the stronger has been the performance. While it’s true that the more outlying parts of some cities are losing population, their cores are becoming increasingly vibrant. As we’ve noted, that notion of critical mass at the neighborhood level is one of the defining characteristics of urban growth.
[And] there’s a baseline issue here. City growth has decelerated from the past year or two. But city growth this decade looks far different than it did a decade ago. While Kolko’s FiveThirtyEight.com post just shows the change in city and suburb growth rates over the past few years (and emphasizes the one-year change between 2015 and 2016), his longer blog post on his own website shows the change in population by type of county since 2001. Taking this longer view, it’s apparent that growth rates in suburbs have declined sharply since the last decade, while growth rates in urban counties were up.
We're still not candidates for The Atlantic's latest (really cool) photo collection of "A World Without People," thankfully.
In yesterday's ruling in Harris v Cooper, the Supreme Court ruled against North Carolina's blatant gerrymandering. The surprising bit is that Justice Clarence Thomas voted in the majority on both issues. New Republic's Scott Lemieux postulates reasons why:
In a 2015 case, Thomas provided the fifth vote to an opinion holding that Texas was not required to issue license plates with the Confederate flag as part of its option of personalized license plates. It is not terribly surprising that even a conservative African-American who grew up impoverished in the rural Jim Crow South would have a different perspective on the Confederacy and its legacy than the typical conservative.
Thomas’s votes yesterday were squarely within that tradition. His brief concurring opinion emphasized that the result comported with two of his longstanding views. First, he believes that any use of race by the government, for any purpose, triggers strict scrutiny, a high burden North Carolina could not meet. Since the state conceded that District 1 was intentionally created as a majority-minority district, this made the case easy for Thomas as well as the other conservatives.
He also explained that he joined the liberal faction with respect to District 12 in part because of his belief in deferring to the findings of the trial court unless it clearly errs.
This isn't an evolution, but who Thomas really is, Lemieux says. Maybe Antonin Scalia so overshadowed Thomas that we really didn't see it? I'll need more convincing.
It turns out, the King of the Netherlands has an air transport pilot certificate:
King Willem-Alexander, reigning monarch of the Netherlands, revealed in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he'd regularly flown flights for a subsidiary of the Dutch flag carrier for over two decades.
Calling the part-time role a "hobby," the King says that he'd taken to the cockpit as a co-pilot of KLM Cityhopper -- the airline's short-haul carrier -- flights for over 21 years.
Being the co-pilot also allowed him to retain his anonymity, even while addressing the passengers, he said.
"The advantage is that I can always say that I wish everyone a heartfelt welcome in the name of the captain and the crew," he told De Telegraaf. "So I don't have to say my own name. But most of the (passengers) don't listen anyway."
That's kind of cool.
...this will do splendidly:
A new long-distance train, the East Japan Railway Company’s Shiki-Shima, launched this week, and it’s already earning praise as perhaps the most luxurious train in the world. Its 10 cars hold 17 spacious suites, some kitted out with cypress bathtubs and lofts. And that’s not the only thing that makes it feel like a five-star hotel: This train also sports a piano bar, two glass-walled observatory cars, and even a Michelin-accredited restaurant.
It holds up to 34 passengers, who are squired around eastern Japan for two to four days, paying anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000 for a round-trip ticket.
CGTN has a video review:
Forty four years ago today, workers in Chicago completed the Sears Tower:
The original plan was to build two separate buildings. That was changed to a single structure, 1,454 feet high. As board chairman Gordon Metcalf explained, “Being the largest retailer in the world, we thought we should have the largest headquarters in the world.”
Construction began in 1970. The foundations were dug, and the steel frame began to rise slowly over Wacker Drive. On the way up, the Sears Tower passed the former record holder, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.
The Sears Tower kept is title until 1996. Today all the sky-piercing structures are going up in Asia.
Meanwhile, in 1992, Sears again moved its headquarters, this time to Hoffman Estates. The tall building on Wacker Drive is now known as the Willis Tower.
And in the meantime, Eddie Lampert has poisoned the company to death.
Things to read today:
And finally, the Chicago Tribune has an article on our concert this weekend, and composer Jeff Beal performing in it:
"I suppose it might have been DNA asserting itself," said Beal, who will be in Chicago May 5 and Evanston May 7 when the celebrated Apollo Chorus includes his "The Salvage Men" and "Poor in Spirit" as part of their 145th-season-ending spring concert, "American Masters," in Chicago and Evanston. "It's true that [my grandmother] passed on her love of improvisation, but there's also something almost eerily similar about what she did, watching a screen and creating her own musical accompaniment, and what I do in my day job."
[H]e had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. Though he took seven years to process the news before beginning to write "The Salvage Men" in 2014.
Serendipitously, that was about the time that Apollo Chorus music director Stephen Alltop, who studied with Beal at Eastman, got back in touch to praise Beal's work on" House of Cards" and suggest the possibility of doing a concert together. Which explains why Beal and his new choral works are appearing in Chicago directly after their debuts in London and Los Angeles. Beal also will perform solo trumpet over the comparatively simple text of his "Poor in Spirit," — it consists entirely of one repeated phrase from the Beatitudes: "Blessed are the poor in spirit" — much as he often plays trumpet over the score of "House of Cards."
Tickets are available through the Apollo Chorus website. It's going to be an amazing concert.
Matt Tyranauer directs Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a documentary about my hero Jane Jacobs.
Jane Jacobs moved to Toronto in 1968 after being arrested during her ultimately successful battle against Robert Moses and his plans for a Lower Manhattan Expressway. In her new city, where she stayed until her death in 2006, Jacobs fought off yet another planned expressway, consulted on occasional development projects, spoke out against amalgamation, and continued to write books.
But in 2017, the story of how she helped defeat the world’s most infamous urban planning villain still generates inspiration from old and new audiences in New York and afar. A new film by Matt Tyrnauer, Citizen Jane: Battle For The City, packages that story around the damage felt across so many American cities in the 20th century through urban renewal. But it also reminds viewers that today’s urbanizing world has no lack of bad ideas worth fighting against right now.
Citizen Jane doesn’t necessarily shed new light on the main characters or the plot, but it does serve as a concise and approachable lens into what Jacobs stood for. It also shows just how she was able to hand Moses a rare loss in a career that allowed him to easily bulldoze—literally and figuratively—through the five boroughs.
Tyrnauer’s documentary is popping up in select theaters across the country this spring.
It's on my list. But unfortunately not scheduled to open in Chicago this spring.