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Old 03-06-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
Undertoad
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3/6/2006: Graphic of freight in and out of California



axlrosen finds this really cool item at the US Department of Transportation: a map of international and domestic freight, as it flows in and out of California destinations by truck.

It's IotD'd because it's an awesome graphic display of quantitative information, a way to communicate a great deal using an imaginative graphic. And there are tons of other maps at the site, all very cool and very interesting. (For instance, most domestic freight shipped by sea in or out of Philadelphia goes to... Pittsburgh?!? What? How?)
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:32 PM   #2
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Reminds me of the graphic representation of Napoleon's march to Moscow
http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/minard
made famous in Edward Tufte's The Display of Quantitative information.

edit: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Last edited by barefoot serpent; 03-06-2006 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 03-06-2006, 03:16 PM   #3
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Lesson learned here? Don't make fun of truckers in California.
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Old 03-06-2006, 05:16 PM   #4
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We control the cocaine flow and the hashish flow.
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Old 03-06-2006, 05:26 PM   #5
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It's OK, but how do you work out what is coming in and what is going out?
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Old 03-06-2006, 05:28 PM   #6
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Looking at this graphic only reinforces the notion that the Midwest, especially Kansas City, is just the part you have to drive through to get somewhere else. Jeez, even Des Moines gets more traffic through it on I-80 than we do on I-70.
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Old 03-06-2006, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
more traffic through it on I-80 than we do on I-70.
maybe it's the Topeka-KC toll?
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:02 PM   #8
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Yabbut Spode, this is just the California traffic.

Here's the Florida map:
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:07 PM   #9
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Maine domestic is kinda cool because, according to the data, 3/4ths of it is logs. So the bulk of ME output is heavy and doesn't go very far, just far enough to be milled. But other ME products, such as lobsters, might trickle across the country:

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Old 03-06-2006, 06:20 PM   #10
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Lobsters might be flown, not trucked. Poland Spring Water would be one item. And how about L.L. Bean??
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:15 PM   #11
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looks like they're counting the St. Lawrence Seaway traffic -- containers, barges, ferrys?
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:04 PM   #12
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UT is right...and on further consideration, let Des Moines have all them flakey Left Coasters!
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot serpent
looks like they're counting the St. Lawrence Seaway traffic -- containers, barges, ferrys?
I think that's the Trans-Canada Highway along the St Lawrence. Fastest route from northern Maine to Michigan or Minnesota.
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Old 03-06-2006, 10:06 PM   #14
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Maine also has potatoes and blueberries.
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:07 AM   #15
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So, I looked at a bunch of those maps picked arbitrarily, and there's thick red lines coming out of every state. None appear to be up to California's shipping level.

The one that gave my home state the best run for its money? That would be Texas. It is then that one realizes why there's so much shipping done for these two states, and for Florida. It's not because the midwest and southwest US are "flyover states", but because of maritime shipping. You've probably heard the phrase "Made in China"? Well, those trinkets have to stop in California first. Should be no surprise that results in a lot of truck shipping.
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