It is a Slippery Slope

A lot like being a City Planner dealing with the City Council.

Ok, Ok, this has nothing to do with city planning, but I like it.


Maps to Help You Understand The World

1. This map shows the world divided into 7 sections (each with a distinct color) with each section containing 1 billion people.
 2. This map shows (in white) where 98 percent of Australia's population lives.
 3. It may not come as a surprise but more people live inside the circle than outside of it.
 4. This map shows what is on the other side of the world from where you are standing.  For the most part it will probably be water.
 5. Apparently you can't get Big Macs everywhere.  This map shows (in red) the countries that have McDonalds.
 6. This map shows the countries (in blue) where people drive on the left side of the road.
 7. This map shows countries (in white) that England has never invaded.  There are only 22 of them.
 8. The line in this map shows all of the world's Internet connections in 1969.
 9. This map shows the countries that heavily restricted Internet access in 2013.
10. This map shows (in red) countries that were all Communist at one point in time.
11. This map shows (in red) the countries that don't use the metric system.
12. This map shows (in blue) places where Google street view is available.
13. This map shows (in green) all the landlocked countries of the world.
14. And this is what the world would look like if all the countries with coast lines sank.
15. This is a map of the all the rivers in the United States.
16. And these are all the rivers that feed into the Mississippi River.
17. This is a map of the highest paid public employees in the United States.
18. This map shows how much space the United States would occupy on the moon.
19. This map shows the longest straight line you can sail.  It goes from Pakistan all the way to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia for a total of 20,000 miles.
20. This is a map of 19th century shipping lanes that outlines the continents.
21. This map shows (in navy blue) every country that has ever operated an aircraft carrier.
22. This map highlights the countries (in red and orange) with the most skyscrapers.
23. This map shows (in red, orange, and yellow) the world's largest donors of foreign aid with red being the biggest donor.
24. This map shows the most photographed places in the world.
25. And this map shows all the places where you can get eaten by a Great White shark!

Removal of Photos / Credits

This is my photo for sure,
My car in 1965 in South Dakota

Photos on this blog have been received from many sources - email, Facebook, etc., accumulated on my hard drive over many years. In many cases I am not sure who took the photograph. Let us know if you want a photo or story removed or a credit added and we will do so.

How long does a copyright last?
The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the United States Code). More information on the term of copyright can be found in Circular 15aDuration of Copyright, and Circular 1Copyright Basics

Do I have to renew my copyright?

No. Works created on or after January 1, 1978, are not subject to renewal registration. As to works published or registered prior to January 1, 1978, renewal registration is optional after 28 years but does provide certain legal advantages. For information on how to file a renewal application as well as the legal benefit for doing so, see Circular 15Renewal of Copyright, and Circular 15aDuration of Copyright.

Bird's Eye View of Chicago

Chicago ( Robert Elves) # 
Click for more Photos


Mapping the U.S. Metros Where High Unemployment Could Persist for Years


Google Autocomplete Wants to Know Why Post-Communist Europe Is So Poor

History has rendered its verdict on communism, and now Google autocomplete has too.

That verdict? Well, see for yourself. Try searching "Why is Estonia so...." Now try "Why is Ukraine so...." And "Why is Hungary so...." Notice a pattern?

As you can see in the map above from Randal Olson, most people want Google to tell them why post-communist Europe is still so poor. Though there are some exceptions. The top result for Poland is "weak." For Lithuania, it's "suicidal." Russia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic all at least get off with more neutral ones. (And Turkey's is most certainly for the meat, not the country).

Click below to read the full article.

State of the Union

On Tuesday, President Obama will report to Congress on the condition of the country. But over the weekend, we got another taste of the state of the Union through Google.

Thanks to the Twitter account @Amazing_Maps, we now have an idea of how the Internet stereotypes all 50 U.S. states. When a search phrase like "Why is Illinois so..." is typed into Google, the search engine auto completes the sentence with the word that people most commonly write in the search bar next. In this way, Google auto complete may reveal the deeply held assumptions the public holds about a state.

Click to read the full article.

I am caught between hot place and a corrupt place.


Upward Mobility

Interesting and sad article in the Atlantic.

Why Is the American Dream Dead in the South?

Upward mobility has stayed the same the past 50 years despite skyrocketing inequality. But it's lower in the South (and Ohio) than anywhere else in the U.S.—or the rest of the developed world.

Flickr: Sasha Y. Kimel

" The rich are getting richer, but according to ablockbuster new study that hasn't made it harder for the poor to become rich. The good news is that people at the bottom are just as likely to move up the income ladder today as they were 50 years ago. But the bad news is that people at the bottom are just as likely to move up the income ladder today as they were 50 years ago.

We like to tell ourselves that America is the land of opportunity, but the reality doesn't match the rhetoric—and hasn't for awhile. We actually have less social mobility than countries like Denmark. And that's more of a problem the more inequality there is. Think about it like this: Moving up matters more when there's a bigger gap between the rich and poor. So even though mobility hasn't gotten worse lately, it has worse consequences today because inequality is worse.

The map below shows where kids have the best and worst chances of moving up from the bottom to the top quintile—and that the South looks more like a banana republic. (Note: darker colors mean there is less mobility, and lighter colors mean that there's more)."

Click to Read the Full Article



Cold Hard Winter

Interesting debate between two smart guys About Redeveloping a Mall

Failed: Built in 1966 and closed after only 13 years, Harvey, Illinois's Dixie Square Mall became memorable for good reasons and bad
Failed: Built in 1966 and closed after only 13 years, Harvey, Illinois's Dixie Square Mall became memorable for good reasons and bad

yes, there is no government? no subsidized housing ? sarcasm intended.
People complain about stuff like Health Insurance and claim it is capitalism gone wrong.

In fact, one can hardly find anything more government regulated and dominated than Health Care and Health Insurance

(but land use err planning may be the one area!)

So Bill, I would assert that all destruction is not bad and in fact much is necessary and optimal

Take a bit look at the work of the Austrian School specifically Joseph Schumpeter albeit the concept of capitalist destruction goes back to Marx.



Surely there are better sources on this like the Hayek site,

but if you view destruction as simplistically bad, you are in line with Marx.

if you view it as necessary and good (as efficiency is just like cheap oil ?. aka good
you are in line with Schumpeter, Hayek, Laffer, Mundell and the Free Market Capitalists (and me)

of course Capitalism has flaws. But all the variants on the left side of the Left Right continuum have way more (with left being more government and right being less)

unfortunately, todays right is still left of center in the USA  and Europes right is left of Jan Schakowsky.


ps I do like this quote as there is no escape from globally competitive technological modernity ? perhaps we all race to the bottom in the end, but not getting their first is a bonus

The opening up of new markets and the organizational development from the craft shop and factory to such concerns as US Steel illustrate the process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one ... [The process] must be seen in its role in the perennial gale of creative destruction; it cannot be understood on the hypothesis that there is a perennial lull.

Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 1942

Actually that is exactly what they did in Park Forest. Naturally the malls will go bankrupt. Capitalism at its destructive best!

RE: Dead Mall Syndrome: The Self-Reinforcing Death Spiral of Retail | Zero Hedge

not sure I agree unless the plan is to level a good chunk of the mall and build housing
of course, unprofitable housing will be mandated for a portion of the reclaim as it is the right thing to do and will guarantee failure for many reasons and there is no chance stores want trucks rolling into the congestion mayhem that is a retail mall (remote nodes are more affordable) unless it is for product sold/delivered at that location but the property does have location going for it however it also will require a bankruptcy to get that property into the right hands as its likely levered to the gills at a higher value

prognosis = catastrophe!


Good analysis. Repurposing abandoned commercial building is something planners have been doing for years. Malls have more going for them then you might think. They are extremely well located for the most part and on major transportation links. I can see several uses, not the least of which is housing and warehousing for e-commerce. I agree that mindless mass consumption by the middle class is a thing of the past. People will still eat out, still go to the movies and still buy things that they really need but they won't be buying them at the mall.


good analysis on Retail Evolution and CRE Death spiral


Interesting discussion. Can I put it on my blog - without names?


Of course. That was why I sent it to you. The debate is quite complex. My friend is brilliant but Capitalism is impossible without infrastructure and infrastructure without government is impossible.

Nice Photos of Chicago

Heart of the Heartland

The Heart of the Heartland

If the Midwest is the Heartland of America, then Peoria and Central Illinois are the “Heart of the Heartland”. Our region is midway between Chicago and St. Louis. We are smaller and less congested. Our rush hour is the "Rush Minute", compared to our larger neighbors.

We have a high quality workforce. We are served by miles of free uncongested interstate highways and major railroads. We welcome new developments and industries. You can drive to destinations anywhere in the United States without traffic jams and their cost and aggravation. The Heart of the Heartland has approximately 1,741,829 people according to the 2000 US Census.

We are easy to work with and offer a pleasant atmosphere in which to conduct business. In many cases you can meet directly with the Mayor and City Council to discuss your development and needs.This region is the Heart of America’s Heartland.

Our crime rate is low and we offer great school systems, low taxes, and affordable housing for your employees. For those seeking higher education, the region offers several universities and colleges.

We offer numerous economic development incentives, including Tax Increment Financing, Enterprise Zones, Port Districts, HUB Zones, Foreign Free Trade Zones, low interest loans, and many other incentive programs. All of this makes the “Heart of the Heartland” a wonderful place to live and conduct business.

Heart of the Heartland - Smaller


There are approximately 

858,000 people 

located within the 

Heartland Area above. 

1.5 Hour Drive Time Area From Peoria