Helsinki Population Trends – peippo.at
christoph fink  |  is a critical cartographer, urban social geographer and open source gis enthusiast

Helsinki Population Trends

30 April 2016

Already a while ago, I had to come up with illustrations for a case study on Helsinki’s public transit and its possible future developments. For one reason or another, the whole study was never finished or published and everything ended up in a stray folder on my computer’s hard disk. Cleaning it up I recently stumbled upon the maps and chart and was positively surprised of my 2014 self: I really still like them!

From a dataviz perspective I especially like how I implemented the legends. For the chart I even managed to eliminate it altogether by sharing a legend’s duty between the title and the data itself. Making the chart literally self-explaining.

But now the exhibits:

First, there is this chart which was to illustrate a short chapter on a new overspill development in the east of the city’s territory. It does nothing but show the city government’s projection of population numbers (plus a bit of interpolation in between).

diagramm_bevprojektion

Then, here’s the first map: It shows the population density in the Helsinki metropolitan region: the three cities of Helsinki, Vantaa and Espoo, having grown together so tight over the years you couldn’t tell where one ends and the other one starts.

karte_hki_metroregion_bevdichte

Another map, and that’s the only illustration in this set which I am not really content with, tries to tell two stories at once: a district’s population growth AND its absolute number. The main message the map transports – and it does well so I think – is that the fastest growing districts are the ones with both the largest area and the smallest population. Helsinki is sub-urbanising?

karte_metroregion_bev+aenderung_LEGENDE

Finally, another map demonstrates how quickly population density declines outside of the very centre of the city. The neighbourhoods of Kallio and Tölö, both hardly 2 km from the centre, still have fairly high density housing, but even in the core of neighbouring Espoo, itself boasting a quarter-million inhabitants, the density is not even half.

karte_hki_bevdichte

All data used is either Open Government Data of the Helsinki Region, data from the Open Street Map project, or from the Natural Earth Data initiative. I realise in the maps’ legends I refer to the wonderful Stamen as a source, but now I can’t see their products anywhere: They definitely remain an important influence.