Mapping Languages and Work in London

Those who have lived or visited London, have you ever asked yourself how many languages people speak here? In the weeks before Christmas, some of those languages must increase by quite a bit too in Central areas. We also tend to consider some areas to be populated by people from specific professions, such as media types or lawyers. The visualisations below seem to prove this.

UCL’s Oliver O’Brien has mapped the most common second languages, after English, by tube stop.

‘Many languages cluster into distinct parts of the capital’ - UCL’s Oliver O’Brien who created the interactive map.

He’s used a map of tube journeys and busy stations that he’d previously created and the 2011 Census, aggregating data from areas within a radius of 200 metres from the tube station. The resulting work shows Some languages tend to be spoken in particular areas. The data does not show origin, though, which means that French speakers in some areas might come from any French-speaking country.

Some clusters show interesting combinations of languages. The most linguistically diverse tube line is Turnpike Lane. Residents speak more than 16 languages by more than 1% of the population there. You can definitely hear lots of Polish, Turkish or Spanish in the Northern areas around the Piccadilly line, such as Turnpike Lane.

The Bakerloo line, on the other hand,  shows a consistent trail of languages spoken.

The map also shows occupations. For example, the map shows many artists and teachers living in the areas around the Northern line on its Northern area, and business administrators in the Southern part. This is quite consistent with the fact that Camden and Kentish Town are around this tube line. Kentish Town area has usually been home to many artists, with Rankin the photographer living here.

We tend to think that Hackney and Dalston areas, hipsterland, are populated by media types. Research proves this is right. Check this visualisation.

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Picture Wednesday – Peaceful in London?

Many of the brick sculptures that I saw at the Nathan Sawaya Lego exhibition last week gave me an impression of deep-rooted feelings, such as frustration, pain, effort.

When I look at the picture below, I get the feeling of calm and being at ease, which strike me as unusual in a big city such as London. What do you think?

I believe the artist used over 11,000 Lego bricks.   Continue reading

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Brick by Brick

So, who said that Lego bricks were only for kids? When I was growing up, this type of Brick by Brickgames were mostly considered for boys. These days, there’s a huge number of grown-ups crazy about them, so brick games have evolved from the classic pirate boat to something more sophisticated, with many specialised pieces. As Nathan Sawaya has proved, art is an option too.

I had a wonderful at the Art of the Brick exhibition in London, where I marvelled at the long hours the artist must have spent designing and creating the sculptures that were being exhibited and the brilliant output of his imagination and skill. The brick count goes from around 1,500 to more than 80,000, with most of the sculptures being quite big.

Take a look at some of the sculptures that I could see, including my faves below. I took the pictures with my mobile. Which one is your favourite?  Continue reading

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Picture Wednesday – The Paddington Trail

Taking a stroll in London usually means discovering new things, some of which are temporary, but so useful to give residents that surprise factor.

This year so far, I have seen Easter eggs, little benches, buses and now Paddington bears, like the picture below. They have been designed by Beckham, John Hurt, Sandra Bullock or the people responsible for marketing Peru as a tourist destination. They help to raise awareness of the movie Paddington on 28th November.

There are 50 bears in total and there even are some maps and a trail on their site.  How many have you seen?

The one below has been designed by Continue reading

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Picture Wednesday – The Year of the Bus

2014 is the year of the bus in UK, with a number of anniversaries taking place.

  • It is 100 years since the battle bus, the first mass-produced motor bus which transported soldiers to the front line during World War I.
  • The Routemaster was created 60 years ago.
  • The RT-Type bus was launched 75 years ago.

So, there are a number of street sculptures around London to commemorate this year. Just another way to celebrate, although cheaper fares would have been a much better option I think.

Guess where I took the picture below? Continue reading

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