Monday, August 28, 2017

Transport access to health services

As some of you might remember from an earlier post, my PhD research concentrates on questions of transportation equity, particularly focusing on issues of transport accessibility and inequality of opportunities. Because there is a substantial overlap between my PhD and the research on spatial access to health services, I've read quite a few papers in this literature.

This is a well-studied topic with plenty of publications for those interested.  if you would ask my opinion  I would strongly recommend these two papers below. Together they give a good summary of the cutting-edge research and a very thorough review of various approaches to measuring transport access to health services.



Types of distance. (a) Cartesian distances. (b) Network distances

credit: Apparicio et al 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

3D reconstruction of the Brasilia madness

A beautiful 3D reconstruction of the Brasilia madness. It is a shame the video forgot about the men and women who built the city, but it's still a beautiful tribute to the work of Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Magic roundabouts

Behold the "magic roundabout" in Swindon, England. It is a roundabout formed by 5 smaller roundabouts arranged around a sixth central, anticlock wise roundabout. I would also called it 'magic' if I managed to drive through it and survive. Jokes aside, it seems pretty safe.

Apparently, this is a thing in the UK where they have four other magic roundabouts. Here is how the one in Swindon works:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Social class and commuting in London from 1800 to 1940

In this video Simon Abernethy talks about his PhD thesis where he looked at how public transport shaped the distribution of social classes in London from 1800 to 1940. The interview covers some interesting details about the daily life of suburban commuters back then. I think some urban historians might enjoy it. Looking at you Yuri Gama.

This is a relatively old interview, though. It was recorded in 2013 and Simon has published a few studies since then.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

An R library to analyze and map John Snow's 1854 Cholera data

As many of you will know, an English physician called John Snow mapped the cholera outbreak in the Soho district of London in 1854. That map would later be a key element in the discovery that cholera was caused by contaminated water, not air. It's fair to say this map somehow changed history not only because of the lives it helped save, but perhaps more importantly because of the ways it opened human imagination to the role of spatial analysis in science and human development. Steven Johnson has written a book about the story of this map and its influence on modern science and cities. If you are short in time, there is a great 9-minute video summary of the book here.

All this introduction to say that now there is an R library that allows you to analyze and map John Snow's 1854 Cholera data yourself. Thanks Bob Rudis for calling attention to this library on twitter. Dani Arribas-Bel also pointed out to this chapter / online notebook that presents the documented code for a reproducible spatial analysis of John Snow’s map using mostly Python. This is great material for teaching.

update 16 Aug 2017: RJ Andrews has also pointed me to this paper analyzing the mortality rates and the space-time patterns of John Snow’s cholera epidemic map.



Sunday, August 6, 2017