Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gas Map

The first time my blue eyes were cast upon the Census Atlas of the United States I knew I was in love. A friend of mine introduced me to information aesthetics, a great blog that highlights various data visualization projects and visual communication. Sure, I like this work because it is pretty and interesting to look at, and because sometimes the message is in the medium. Information can be more powerful when represented graphically.

Having just moved to NYC and sold my car, I feel a bit insular from gas prices. I ran past a gas station the other night and regular was $4.11. My car had a 14 gallon tank and I would be pushing it up $60 to fill my tank. Ouch. If I was still living in Stamford, I'd be taking the bus more.

So this map of US gas prices is very interesting. A few things struck me right away. New York and Connecticut (or THE Connecticut as I like to call it) are red, the highest, but New Jersey is green, the lowest. My friends commented they are moving to Arizona and Wyoming, but I am sure you have to drive more there to get around.

I also found this map easy to use. If you zoom in to the city level, the shading scale is replaced with thumbtacks of local gas stations and prices. Once you get to that level the user has the ability to change the fuel type. Clicking on the dollar amount brings up all the prices at that particular station as well as an address.


Laura Carscaddon said...

How much you have to drive in AZ depends on where you live - I take the bus most days, so, including my weekend driving I may drive 30 miles or so a week.

Tucson is pretty good that way, at least during the week - weekends are apparently different.

SaxTeacher said...

Gives a new meaning to the term "red states!" The states with more environmentally-sensible laws (higher state gas tax, thereby encouraging people to create less smog and less traffic) have the higher gas prices. Those states with low state gas taxes (NJ, MO, etc.) are discouraging carpooling and encouraging the purchase of inefficient vehicles.

SaxTeacher said...

You saw $4.19 because you're in New York - in Fairfield County CT we've got more like $4.39 and $4.42! But really this is just the beginning... we can expect over $5, over $6, etc. in the next few years.