Maps of the Month

December 2016:
2016 Presidential Election - Country Results

Posted by Josh Croff | MTC GIS

These maps provide three different views of the recent presidential election. The first map shows county-by-county results in the traditional red and blue colors. From a transportation perspective, one clear takeaway is that you could drive coast-to-coast without ever setting foot in a Clinton County. The second map comes courtesy of the Brookings Institution, and it tells a dramatically different story. While Secretary Clinton carried 2,000 fewer counties than Mr. Trump, her blue counties represent nearly two-thirds of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Finally, the third map introduces some nuance to the stark contrast of the two other pictures. It depicts county-by-county results like the first map, but shows the margin of victory in a range of red and blue colors. The most striking thing to me about the third map is how many purple counties there are, where the vote margin was +/-10% for either Trump or Clinton. In other words, our closely divided county once again proved just how closely divided it is. My Christmas wish: that we can start emphasizing the “close” part more than the “divided” one.


A pdf version of the map can be found here:


View Map


November 2016:
Growing Movement Toward State and Local "Self Help"

Posted by Tom Buckley | MTC GIS

This month's map shows the growing movement towards state and local “self help” in the funding of transportation infrastructure throughout the United States. According to the Eno Transportation Foundation, the largest measures on the November 2016 ballot raised more than $195 billion for public transit and other transportation projects nationwide – which is equivalent to about 65% of the total funding provided by the six-year FAST Act recently approved by Congress.


A pdf version of the map can be found here:


View Map


October 2016:
Megaregion Early Commute

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

This month's map is focused on the “early-bird” commute for workers living in the Northern California Megaregion. This region is home to approximately 12 million residents and 5 million commuters, of which approximately 582,000 travel during the early morning commute (defined as 6:00 am or earlier). Residents who live in the eastern portions of Contra Costa County and within the Counties of San Joaquin and Stanislaus have the largest share of total commuters traveling to work before 6 a.m. According to a recent study by the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute, the number of total interregional commuters (not just “early-birds”) has increased by 83,950 between 1990 and 2013, reaching a total of 191,500 in 2013. The growth of Northern San Joaquin Valley commuters to the Bay Area has been particularly dramatic, more than doubling from 31,670 in 1990 to 64,930 in 2013.


The following map animation details the morning commute during the early morning, the AM Peak period (from 6 till 9 a.m.) and late morning (9 till 10 a.m.)


View Map Animation

A pdf version of the map can be found here:


View Map


September 2016:
Urbanized Areas within Metropolitan Planning Area Boundaries

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

This map shows Census designated urbanized areas that extend into the jurisdiction of an adjacent Metropolitan Planning Organization. There are two such urbanized areas within the jurisdiction of MTC; one in Davis, which extends from the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s jurisdiction and the other in Santa Clara County, which extends into the jurisdiction of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments. Under a proposed federal planning rule, even though such areas comprise 0.01 percent of MTC’s population, we would be required to merge with AMBAG and SACOG or develop a joint Regional Transportation Plan and joint performance measures.


We have created a simple animated map that highlights these areas in greater detail.


View Map Animation

A pdf version of the map can be found here:


View Map


July 2016:
History of Urbanization:

Animated Map of World Population Growth within Cities

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

How were cities distributed globally in the past? How many people lived in these cities? How did cities influence their local and regional environments? This month’s map seeks to answer these questions by illustrating the worlds population growth within cities over a span of 6,000 years. According to the map authors, By 2030, 75 percent of of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities. Today, about 54 percent of us do. In 1960, only 34 percent of the world lived in cities.


This map is based upon research conducted by Scientific Data in June of 2016, and represents the first spatially-explicit dataset of urban settlements from 3700 BC to AD 2000. The dots on the map represent the approximate location and size of urban populations worldwide.

View Map

June 2016:
Bay Area Housing Production:

Forecast vs. Observed (Updated June 2016)

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

This map depicts housing production performance for Bay Area jurisdictions between January 2010 and December 2015, and housing production over the past year. Key conclusions are summarized below:

Based on the last six years of growth, the region won’t hit its overall 2040 housing target until 2065. By contrast, the 2015 number of total jobs (4.0 million) has occurred five years ahead of the forecasted schedule.


Only a quarter of the region’s cities are on track to achieve their 2040 housing targets. Approximately one-third of the region’s cities won’t achieve their 2040 housing targets until 2100 or later based on their six-year housing production rates.


Housing production rates in the “Big 3” cities dipped slightly in 2015. While San Francisco continues to be on track to meet its forecasted housing level, San Jose will not meet its target until after 2060 if it continues the 2015 housing production rate. The housing situation in Oakland won’t achieve its 2040 housing target until the late 2100s given its worsened trajectory.

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March 2016:
Struggling to Get By:

Percentage of Households Living Below the Real Cost Measure
by the United Ways of California. July 2015

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

This map depicts the real costs of living in California’s communities, as defined by a recent report released by the United Way of California titled: Struggling to Get By. Key findings in this report show that one in three California households (31%) do not have sufficient income to meet their basic costs of living. This is nearly three times the number officially considered poor according to the Federal Poverty Level. Families with inadequate incomes are found throughout California, but are most concentrated in the northern coastal region, the Central Valley, and in the southern metropolitan areas.

The costs for the same family composition in different geographic regions of California also vary widely. In expensive regions such as the San Francisco Bay Area and the Southern California coastal region, the Real Cost Budget, a monthly budget calculation of what is needed to meet basic needs, can range from 32% to 48% more (depending on family type) than in less expensive counties such as Kern, Tulare, and Kings counties. Nevertheless, incomes in the higher cost regions are also higher, relatively and absolutely, so that the proportions below the Real Cost Measure are generally lower in high-cost than low-cost regions.

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February 2016:
Which States Rely the Most on Federal Aid?

Percentage of state government revenue derived from federal grants-in-aid in Fiscal Year 2013

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

This map of the month answers the question: Which states rely the most on federal aid? The map depicts all federal governmental transfers to the states, not just transportation funding. For the nation as a whole in FY 2013, a full 30% of state revenues derived from federal grants-in-aid. Of course, it is one of the rich ironies of our modern politics that some of the states that express the greatest resentment about federal interference also benefit the most from federal largesse.

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January 2016:
Deaths from Motor Vehicles and Guns Converge

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

For the first time ever, firearms and motor vehicles are killing Americans at an identical rate, according to an analysis of CDC data by the Violence Prevention Project at UC Davis.  The convergence of the rates of these causes of death (as shown in Attachment 1) is primarily due to a dramatic drop in the rate of motor vehicle fatalities since the early 1970s.  The current rate of gun deaths is higher than the 1950s and 1960s, but lower than the three decades that followed.

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