Puna lava flow in graphics & maps, last updated Feb. 22, 2015

Infographic on Households by Disability Status
Oct. 13, 2014. The percentage of households with person(s) with disability in lower Puna is approximately 35%, whereas Hawai‘i County’s average is about 28%.


Aerial photo showing distance of lava flow from highway.
Oct. 10, 2014. Did you see the latest projection and the “steepest-descent path” by USGS (hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maps)? What does that mean to Pahoa Town? Here’s the close-up of the steepest-descent path in relation to the town.

Reference: USGS Maps.

Graph and aerial photo showing distance of lava flow from highway.
Oct. 6, 2014. Updated this morning based on NASA’s satellite image posted on Hawaii 24/7’s Lava Talk (http://www.hawaii247.com/?p=96703). Notice how accurate USGS’s projection (as of 9/19) has been so far.

Reference: Lava Talk.


Graphic showing Housing in Puna.
Sept. 30, 2014. Housing Drill Down. How many housing units are occupied in Lower Puna? Are they renters or owners? How many still have mortgages to pay? (Census 2010)


Map showing Housing.
Sept. 29, 2014. Here is another angle to understand lower Puna. The map on the left side shows the geographic distribution of households below poverty level (%) of the entire Big Island. The one on the right side shows the same within lower Puna.

The topic of poverty drew some debate on Kimura’s Facebook page, with people discussing definitions and perceptions of “poverty.” Kimura responds, “No, poverty level (which in this case is based on just a manmade definition) doesn’t illustrate lives in lower Puna at all — that’s why I’ve been posting other stats. In fact, no, average or aggregate numbers don’t illustrate lives in lower Puna accurately. Numbers are just numbers. I’m just trying to cover various aspects of the area.” Catherine Becker, UH Hilo associate professor of communication, left the comment, “Although some poverty in Puna is due to people making life choices to live more sustainably and off-grid, much of it is not. There is a high rate of drug abuse and domestic violence, and having lived there on and off for over a decade and raised my child in the schools there, I can tell you some of it is heartbreaking. Even those I know who are trying to create alternative lifestyles have been impacted by theft and violence. It an intense place, and the positives and negatives can be extreme.”


Graph showing time drive difference highway open, highway blocked.
Sept 27, 2014. Driving times from Pahoa, instead of Hilo this time, before and after. Kimura made the same traffic flow assumptions as a previous graph on drive times and viewers are encouraged to use discretion in interpretation due to myriad factors that may come into play.


Graph and aerial photo showing distance of lava flow from highway.
Sept 24, 2014. The flow (toward Pahoa town) is moving very slowly after the 19th and, in fact, it has not moved forward since the 21st. This infographic shows how long it’s been like that. Each infographic has a specific focus — it’s not about adding information to show everything there is — it’s about removing inessential information in order to make certain things easier to grasp.


Infographic showing driving distances from Hilo.
Sept. 24, 2014. This infographic shows driving distances (stretched to straight lines) between Hilo (Farmers Market) and Big Island’s major city centers/landmarks, as well as some cost estimate for commuting between Pahoa and Hilo via Chain of Craters Road.

Mark Kimura’s thoughts on infographic above:

If we lose HI-130, Railroad Ave, and Government Beach Rd, (1) what does it feel like to commute between Pahoa and Hilo and (2) how many extra dollars would you be paying for gas? This infographic shows driving distances (stretched to straight lines) between Hilo (Farmers Market) and Big Island’s major city centers/landmarks, as well as some “back-of-the-envelope” cost estimate for commuting between Pahoa and Hilo via Chain of Craters rd.

As of today, Pahoa is only 20 miles away from Hilo – which is a reasonable distance as a suburb. But if you use the Chain of Craters Rd (which Hawaii County just started rebuilding), the driving distance is 72 miles. That’s equivalent to driving between Hilo and Hapuna Beach–but Chain of Craters Rd is no Saddle Rd, which is very comfortable for the most part. That means it would “feel” Pahoa is even farther than Hapuna Beach. If you live in Pahoa, going to Hilo will probably feel like driving to Costco in Kona.

Even if you just focus on mere distance, this difference translates into approximately 26,000 miles per year (Round trip, M-F). If your car’s MPG is 25, you would be buying extra 1,000 gallons of gas–or $4000+ every year. But if Chain of Craters Rd turns out to be not so kind to your car’s MPG, it would cost even more.

If this actually happens, there are so many possible scenarios, depending on what people will do over time and what the county does–and of course, what Pele decides to do.


Graphic showing potential impact on agriculture.
Sept. 22, 2014. This map is from the “Hawaii County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline Study 2012.” Kimura’s friend and colleague Nick Turner, a cyber computer programming analyst at the Spacial Data Analysis and Visualization Lab at UH Hilo, used remote sensing technology to create the map. Kimura simply added the lava flow and the big pie chart, which he created based on the statistics in the baseline study. The entire report is available at http://geodata.sdal.hilo.hawaii.edu/GEODATA/COH_Ag_Project.html. This map has a potential correction noted below.

CorrectionNOTE: At right is a possible correction to the above map. The big pie chart in the above map is based on the report’s statement, “81% of the State’s papaya acreage is on Hawai’i Island…”, but when Kimura looked at the source of that information and did the same calculation, this number was about 90-91% instead. If that’s the case, the actual percentage of lower Puna’s papaya acreage is 58% instead of 52%. Maybe the authors of the report had a different method to calculate the share of the island of Hawaii, so Kimura posted this as a “potential” correction.


Graphic showing Diversity in Puna.
Sept. 21, 2014. Puna is a diverse community, the second most diverse county in the nation after the Bronx in New York City.