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Tag "generation"

The beat as a driving force has been used on this blog already a number of times. It refers to a constant that imposes a rhythm on activities. There is the beat of the drums, the scheduled beat of trains, tubes and buses, the beat of events and shows or the beat of the shopping street with opening times and new trends. In all this we, as individuals are swirled around in a big buzz but still we have and keep our own bet. On to level of our personal body a number of elements beat in sync. There is the heartbeat, the blink of an eye and the breath that keep us going.
In the visualization breathingearth, this body functions are taken onto a global level. Not individually but collectively and in the form of births and deaths. By visualizing the starting beats of the births and the ending beats of the deaths, a global picture of how the earth beats individually might be drawn. How ever sad the death of an individual and how joyous the birth of a new life, the striking thing on this is how continuity emerges.
Animated as flashing dots the map visualizes births and death on the planet in “real time”. Every country on the map features with information on population, birth and death rates. In addition the amount of CO2 produced by country is displayed in black and red.
Get a feel for the beat – click on the image!
Image from breathingearth – click on image to see the animated visualization

Where does the data come from for this visualization? According to the producers, all data used on Breathing Earth is the latest available, as of December 2008. Birth and death rates: 2008 estimates, from the CIA World Factbook. Population data is based on July 2008 estimates from the CIA World Factbook. When Breathing Earth is started, it uses each country’s birth and death rates to calculate how much its population has changed since July 2008, and adjusts its population figure accordingly. To calculate the total world population, Breathing Earth adds up the population figures of all countries. It continues adjusting the various population figures as you watch it, each time a person is born or a person dies.
CO2 emission rates are 2004 figures from the United Nations Statistics Division.

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Over generations and time the travel behaviour has changed, especially in term of distance. From looking at travel patterns on a city scale for this bog post we are looking at a global level. It has become normal to travel around the world and any location on this planet is now to be reached in a day or two.
Within only four generations, or one century, the covered land by life time tracks has grown from a regional are to a national to a continental and finally to a global area.
Ways in which travel patterns have changed for the host population over recent generations have been shown in an interesting way by the distinguished epidemiologist, David Bradley6, when he was at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Bradley compared the travel patterns of his great-grandfather, his grandfather, his father and himself (see Figure 2). The life-time travel track of his great-grandfather around a village in Northamptonshire could be contained within a square of only 40 km side. His grandfather’s map was still limited to southern England, but it now ranged as far as London and could be contained within a square of 400 km side. If we compare these maps with those of Bradley’s father (who traveled widely in Europe) and Bradley’s own sphere of travel, which is worldwide, then the enclosing square has to be widened to sides of 4000 km and 40,000 km, respectively. In broad terms, the spatial range of travel has increased 10-fold in each generation so that Bradley’s own range is 1000 times wider than that of his great-grandfather. (British Medical Bulletin 69:87-99 (2004))

Image taken from British Medical Journal

Bradley’s record of increasing travel over four male generations of the same family6. (A) Great-grandfather. (B) Grandfather. (C) Father. (D) Son. Each map shows in a simplified manner the individual’s ‘life-time tracks’ in a widening spatial context, with the linear scale increasing by a factor of 10 between each generation.

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