Uncool Links of the Day: Coronavirus Information

In this rapidly escalating global crisis, there’s a ton of sites out there to monitor the situation. Here are some of the ones I think are most useful.

The Ohio Department of Health counts for Ohioans tested and those that have come back negative and positive. It is only updated once a day at 2pm, however.
https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/

The Reddit r/Coronavirus is a constant source of new information, not only in the US, but globally.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Coronavirus/

This is the best global case counter I know of. John Hopkins has a site as well with a map, but it has, ironically, been a recent target of hackers and so I’m not including it here. The World Meters site is seemingly updated live, and has a running total of every single confirmed case by nation and territory, as well as the numbers of recovered, active cases and deaths. All the numbers are sourced at the bottom of the page.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Here’s a link the CDC, which does a daily update on the situation.
https://www.cdc.gov/



Cool Links of the Day: Housing and Carbon Footprints



First up is a link to a story on the growing housing crisis across Ohio, with a focus on the Columbus area.
https://kevinverhoff.com/index.php/2020/02/13/ohios-housing-crisis/

The article uses an interesting metric to quantify just how bad the housing shortage is in counties across the state- the number of jobs versus the number of available housing units. In Columbus, there is only about 0.7 units per 1 job, leading to a Central Ohio shortage of more than 200,000 units!

Second, here is a link that gives the average annual carbon footprint of all US zip codes. In general, it seems that the most urban zip codes have the lowest footprints, along with far rural areas. The highest footprints seem to be in suburban and exurban areas. In the Columbus area, the zip code with the highest carbon footprint is 43021, which contains much of Westerville. Second highest is 43054, which contains New Albany. Take a look at the interactive maps here: https://coolclimate.org/maps

Cool Link of the Day: Transportation Climate Impact Index

This link https://3yemud1nnmpw4b6m8m3py1iy-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Climate-Index-Top100-FullList.pdf measures how the 100 largest US metros rank in terms of climate impact from everything from walkability to vehicles miles.

Ohio cities don’t rank highly, unfortunately. Columbus clocks in at #85, with its worst ranking coming from how much its residents drive. Columbus’ bus system only goes so far, and without any other form of transit, much of the area is completely car-dependent.

Streetlight, which makes the rankings, gives an explanation on the methodology here: https://www.streetlightdata.com/2020-climate-index-methodology/



Google Map Links




Columbus Development Maps

2010-2013 Development
2014-2019 Development
2020-2025 Development
All these pages are basically just map versions of the development pages. However, the maps are organized by year and include before and after photos of the development sites.

Columbus Fantasy Transit Map

2019 Transit Map
The transit map for the Columbus Metro Area is just one example of many existing fantasy maps for Central Ohio. This one includes routes for light rail, BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) and interurban rail to neighboring counties.

The Redevelopment of Westland Mall
Mall Site
Westland Mall and the larger surrounding area is in desperate need of a revamp. Recently, a proposal to make the site into a “Weston” development in the potential style of Easton has emerged. I made this map several years ago as a basic blueprint for how the entire area could be rebuilt into a much more urban, walkable, vibrant corridor.

Ohio Severe Weather Report Maps by Decade

1950-1959 Severe Reports
1960-1960 Severe Reports
1970-1979 Severe Reports
2010-2019 Severe Reports
The 1950s and 1960s maps are the only ones completed so far.

Columbus Area Bike Lanes, Multi-use Paths and Sidewalk Infrastructure

Bike Infrastructure
This map attempts to include all the existing bike and multi-use infrastructure in the area, along with general pedestrian infrastructure. The map will is not fully updated yet through 2019.

Downtown Columbus Parking Infrastructure

Parking Lots and Garages
This map, last updated in 2015, documents all existing parking garages and surfaces lots throughout Downtown.

Cool Link of the Day: Census Record Transcribing




http://usgwcensus.org/cenfiles/

Okay, so this might not be the coolest link I’ve put on this site, but it may be one of the most important. The US Census records go back all the way to the 1700s, and a lot of these records have either not been digitized at all, or only rough copies exist in many different formats. Due to age, use, insect and water damage, etc., some of these records are in danger of disappearing forever. Many others are difficult to use because of the varying formats. Because of this, transcribing them into a standardized digital form is critical.
This site allows anyone from the general public to choose individual records and volunteer to transcribe them digitally. No experience necessary! The site gives basic walkthroughs and other how-to information, so anyone can do it, and at their own speed in their free time. Just click on the state and area of your choice and go from there.

1950s Ohio Severe Weather Reports Map




Interested in knowing where severe weather took place in Ohio during the 1950s? Here is a map for all the listed reports during that era. Click on the pins for more information.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rAbADeNyKlqLT_7qvxUpURKXlHA&usp=sharing

The map incudes information for tornadoes, high wind and hail reports.

June 8, 1953 Northeast Ohio tornado damage.

Cool Link of the Day: Urb-I Urban Ideas

I saw this site mentioned on the CityLab site awhile back and thought it was a very cool idea. The site highlights how cities are transforming public spaces and making car-centric areas much more pedestrian, bike and transit friendly. Since I found the site, I have been lucky enough to become a regular contributor working to help make the site even better. The great thing is that anyone can send in before and after photos from their own cities of public space transformations. Take a look: http://www.urb-i.com/ The site covers cities across the world.

Columbus has several examples that I have added, but the photos are not yet updated on the site’s map. Until they are, here is a sneak peek:

Civic Center Drive

West Town Street

Columbus Commons



Columbus Crime Plummets 2010-2014



The FBI recently released full 2014 crime statistics for its Uniform Crime Reporting program, and the results show a big drop in Columbus’ crime since 2010.

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers. First up, violent crimes.

Total violent crimes between 2010 and 2014 fell 16.6%, with any single person’s chances in 100k of being a victim of violent crime falling 21%. This is a pretty significant drop in just 4 years.

Here’s an individual violent crime breakdown:
-Murders were down 15.2%
-Rape was up 28.6%. The definition has changed in this time, which may explain some of that increase.
-Robbery was down 37.7%
-Aggravated Assault was up 14.6%.

So some good and bad. The good news for assault is that it’s well under where it was just 10 years ago, and almost 50% down from its historic peak in the early 1990s. It may have just been a bit worse year in 2014 for this, as all crime totals go through spikes even during a general decline. The bad news is that rape is historically high, but because the definitions have changed for it recently, it’s hard to make a fair comparison to previous years. If the current definition was in place years ago, it’s certainly possible it would now show a decline. Or, as with assault, rape totals could’ve seen a temporary spike above the trend line. Future years will tell the tale.

Now for property crime, something that’s always been somewhat high in Columbus, possibly due to the young population age and large number of college students.

Property crime in the city has dropped 29.8% 2010-2014, even more significant than the decrease in violent crime.

Here’s the breakdown:
-Burglary dropped 40.6%.
-Larceny Theft dropped 24.5%.
-Motor Vehicle Theft dropped 29.3%.

All down in the period.

So what about 2015 and beyond? Well, indications are that crime is up for 2015 vs. last year, though there are differing theories as to why. Crime being up seems to be widespread in cities around the nation, and some of it has been attributed to a newfound national popularity in heroin. Until we see 2015’s number sometime next year, we won’t know exactly the impact. For now, we can celebrate that the city has indeed become safer.

For more on 2014’s numbers, and to check out other cities, go here: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/



Cool Link of the Day: Before and After Worldwide



Similar to the Before and After posts of how Columbus has been changing, the link below from the site Urb-I, has hundreds of before and after photos of streetscape change in a host of world cities. Columbus itself is not included, but perhaps that can be changed as the site allows anyone to submit images.

http://www.urb-i.com/#!before-after/ceh8

Cool Link of the Day: Before and After Worldwide

Similar to the Before and After posts of how Columbus has been changing, the link below from the site Urb-I, has hundreds of before and after photos of streetscape change in a host of world cities. Columbus itself is not included, but perhaps that can be changed as the site allows anyone to submit images.

http://www.urb-i.com/#!before-after/ceh8