Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Off-topic: Missed Doomsday Predictions

 Let's see how it will work out for Sir. Isaac Newton in 2060... 

[Chart by The Economist]

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the end of the world ... and I feel fine

I don't know about you guys. But between the Mayan calendar and the Google Calendar, I'll keep my Google Calendar!

I saw this at Bizarro Blog, by Piraro.


The invention of GPS

He starts talking about the GPS invention at 12:10.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Global Challenges in Transport - short-course

I've posted about this opportunity before. Thanks Adam Dennett for the reminder.

[click on the image to enlarge it]

Urban Picture

circa 1938 by London Street Traders (via)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stupid Measures: Bizzare Economic Indicators

Every now and then, economists come up with a new  doubtful  brilliant indicator. The Big Mac Index and the Skyscraper Boom Indicator are among the most famous and actually serious indicators.

However, there is plenty of room for everyone! and here is a list of the 36 most bizzare economic indicators.

My favorites:
  • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Indicator
  • Men's Underwear Index
  • Aspirin and Tylenol Usage
  • Latvian Hooker Index
  • Alligator Population Index

Related Link: Stupid Measures tag

Urban sprawl in Latin America

Inostroza, L., Baur, R. & Csaplovics, E. Urban sprawl and fragmentation in Latin America: A dynamic quantification and characterization of spatial patterns. Journal of Environmental Management 115, 87–97 (2013).

South America is one of the most urbanized continents in the world, where almost 84% of the total population lives in cities, more urbanized than North America (82%) and Europe (73%). Spatial dynamics, their structure, main features, land consumption rates, spatial arrangement, fragmentation degrees and comparability, remain mostly unknown for most Latin American cities. Using satellite imagery the main parameters of sprawl are quantified for 10 Latin American cities over a period of 20 years by monitoring growth patterns and identifying spatial metrics to characterize urban development and sprawling features measured with GIS tools. This quantification contributes to a better understanding of urban form in Latin America. A pervasive spatial expansion has been observed, where most of the studied cities are expanding at fast rates with falling densities trend. Although important differences in the rates of land consumption and densities exist, there is an underlying fragmentation trend towards increasing sprawl. These trends of spatial discontinuity may eventually be intensified by further economic development. Urban Sprawl/Latin America/GIS metrics/spatial development.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Myths on Anging and old age

A short talk by Prof. George Leeson on the challenges of aging societies and a few myths on population anging .

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Actually, the world isn't flat

Or.... 'the world is not as globalized as we think'. 
A nice TedTalk by Pankaj Ghemawat (@PankajGhemawat).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Urban Centrality: A Simple Index

Warning: self promotional material  Recently published!

Pereira, R. H. M., Nadalin, V., Monasterio, L. and Albuquerque, P. H. M. (2012), Urban Centrality: A Simple IndexGeographical Analysis. doi: 10.1111/gean.12002


This study introduces a new measure of urban centrality. The proposed urban centrality index (UCI) constitutes an extension to the spatial separation index. Urban structure should be more accurately analyzed when considering a centrality scale (varying from extreme monocentricity to extreme polycentricity) than when considering a binary variable (monocentric or polycentric). The proposed index controls for differences in size and shape of the geographic areas for which data are available, and can be calculated using different variables such as employment and population densities, or trip generation rates. The properties of the index are illustrated with simulated artificial data sets and are compared with other similar measures proposed in the existing literature. The index is then applied to the urban structure of four metropolitan areas: Pittsburgh and Los Angeles in the United States; São Paulo, Brazil; and Paris, France. The index is compared with other traditional spatial agglomeration measures, such as global and local Moran's I, and density gradient estimations.

World's fastest growing metro economies

The world's fastest growing metropolitan economies
[Image Credit: The Economist]

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