Census Dotmap is the visual representation of all persons counted in the 2010 US and 2011 Canadian censuses (via).
Due to population decline, Detroit plans on bulldozing roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city into semi-rural farmland. It is a worst case scenario in America, but pales to the problem of Eastern Germany, where demographic collapse in some towns is so severe, urban-wolves and neo-Nazis are the new order of the day. The mayor of one town says: "You can't go into the forest without a knife anymore." [more inside]
It's the demography, stupid: "The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birth rate to sustain it. ... Which the smarter Islamists have figured out. They know they can never win on the battlefield, but they figure there’s an excellent chance they can drag things out until western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default."
Is a "virtual" Philly even better than the real thing? Well, GeoSim Systems thinks so. Except for the aroma of freshly-grilled cheesesteak, at least. Their "Virtual Philadelphia" is the most detailed urban imaging system I've seen yet, and you can read about the monumental process of turning photographic images (taken from both aircraft and street-level) into this incredible rendering in a February 17 NY Times article (reg req). And - as expected - Google wants to get in on the action and do the same thing in San Francisco. via BB
Sweeping out the Plains: "The great wave of population, which swept homesteaders onto the Northern Great Plains with the promise of free land and hope for a bright future around the turn of the last century, is sweeping back out again at the beginning of this one." This map of counties with 10% or more population loss in the last 20 years really highlights the phenomenon. A shorter version of this piece published in todays KC Star. (See also Endangered Historic Places: Prairie Churches.)