December 21, 2018

What is the most "normal" city in Canada?

What does it mean to be “normal”? Consider for a moment the quintessential Canadian city. What does that image in your head look like? Are there outdoor rinks, wheat fields, and abundant Timmies? Does your mental image include a yoga studio, a dispensary, and a third-wave coffee shop? Canadians like to celebrate a self-constructed identity of diversity-the cultural mosaic- that is punctuated with conspicuous Canadiana that binds everything together. Read more

October 1, 2018

A look at the Vancouver mayoral race twitter picture

(Updated October 16, 2018) With the election coming up in the next week and this page getting more traffic, I decided to do a quick refresh of the data used in this post up to and including October 15. Changes are relatively few, and as this site is a github repo, can be tracked via commits to this post. The 2018 Municipal Election in Vancouver On October 20, a relatively small portion of Vancouverites will vote to elect a mayor, 10 city councillors, 7 park board commissioners and 9 school trustees. Read more

August 1, 2018

The CANSIM package, Canadian tourism, and slopegraphs

Preamble This was a short post that turned into a longer post. The purpose of short post was to highlight and share a new package we have been working on to improve access to Canadian statistical data. This then turned into a post about domestic tourism patterns, and ultimately a discussion about two different types of visualization techniques for comparing changes over time. Jens and I have been working on an R package to work with Statistics Canada’s public datasets (traditionally referred to as CANSIM tables). Read more

July 26, 2018

Make better maps in R with vector tiles

Vector tiles? When MapQuest and later Google Maps came on the scene we were blown away by the detail, speed, and convenience of “slippy maps” that you could scroll, pan, and drag across. The concept underpinning those maps was the use of tiles: pre-rendered map cells for every specified zoom level that would be loaded by your browser as you scrolled through a map. For many years after their introduction, these slippy maps used raster-based bitmaps as their tiles. Read more

July 12, 2018

Mirror images: city similarity with t-SNE

While putting together the data for the longer post on measuring and visualizing diversity and segregation in Canadian cities, I wanted to see if there was an intuitive way to compare similarity of cities across multiple Census demographic variables at the same time. Comparing across many Census variables at once requires us to think across many dimensions at once. As our eyes really perceive in at best four dimensions, visualizing many dimensions requires a reduction in the number of dimensions from many to the two (or three) dimensions that best allow for visual interpretation. Read more

July 9, 2018

Diversity and Segregation in Canadian Cities

This is the first post from what I hope to be is a series of posts looking at the spatial distribution of different demographic variables in Canadian cities. In this post, I take a look at the diversity of visible minority groups in Canadian cities using Census data. By using a measure that relates diversity to segregation, we can also look at how these cities distribute minority groups and to what extent these cities are segregated. Read more

June 6, 2018

Airportr: a lightweight package for airport data

As someone whose day job is in the travel and tourism industry, I have to work with airport codes, names, and locations all the time. airportr is a lightweight package to help deal with a few common airport related tasks. This package bundles open license airport data from OurFlights with several utility functions and does not require any API calls or dependencies beyond dplyr. airportr is easy to install from Github (or soon CRAN). Read more

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