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From GeoJSON to Community Graph: Analyzing World Nation Borders in Python | by Amanda Iglesias Moreno | Oct, 2023

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Using NetworkX for Graph-Based mostly Nation Border Evaluation

Towards Data Science
Maksim Shutov in Unsplash

Python presents a variety of libraries that permit us to simply and rapidly handle issues in numerous analysis areas. Geospatial knowledge evaluation and graph principle are two analysis areas the place Python offers a robust set of helpful libraries. On this article, we are going to conduct a easy evaluation of world borders, particularly exploring which nations share borders with others. We’ll start by using data from a GeoJSON file containing polygons for all nations worldwide. The last word purpose is to create a graph representing the assorted borders utilizing NetworkX and make the most of this graph to carry out a number of analyses.

GeoJSON recordsdata allow the illustration of varied geographical areas and are extensively utilized in geographical evaluation and visualizations. The preliminary stage of our evaluation entails studying the nations.geojson file and changing it right into a GeoDataFrame utilizing GeoPandas. This file has been sourced from the next GitHub repository and accommodates polygons representing completely different nations worldwide.

GeoDataFrame with Complete Nation Info (Picture created by the creator)

As proven above, the GeoDataFrame accommodates the next columns:

  1. ADMIN: Represents the executive title of the geographical space, such because the nation or area title.
  2. ISO_A3: Stands for the ISO 3166–1 alpha-3 nation code, a three-letter code uniquely figuring out nations.
  3. ISO_A2: Denotes the ISO 3166–1 alpha-2 nation code, a two-letter code additionally used for nation identification.
  4. geometry: This column accommodates the geometrical data that defines the form of the geographical space, represented as MULTIPOLYGON knowledge.

You possibly can visualize all of the multi polygons that make up the GeoDataFrame utilizing theplot methodology, as demonstrated under.

Visible Illustration of the GeoDataFrame (Picture created by the creator)

The multi polygons inside the geometry column belong to the category shapely.geometry.multipolygon.MultiPolygon. These objects include numerous attributes, one in all which is the centroid attribute. The centroid attribute offers the geometric heart of the MULTIPOLYGON and returns a POINT that represents this heart.

Subsequently, we are able to use this POINT to extract the latitude and longitude of every MULTIPOLYGON and retailer the ends in two columns inside the GeoDataFrame. We carry out this calculation as a result of we are going to later use these latitude and longitude values to visualise the nodes on the graph based mostly on their actual geographic positions.

Now it’s time to proceed with the development of the graph that can symbolize the borders between completely different nations worldwide. On this graph, the nodes will symbolize nations, whereas the perimeters will point out the existence of a border between these nations. If there’s a border between two nodes, the graph may have an edge connecting them; in any other case, there will probably be no edge.

The perform create_country_network processes the data inside the GeoDataFrame and constructs a Graph representing nation borders.

Initially, the perform iterates by every row of the GeoDataFrame, the place every row corresponds to a special nation. Then, it creates a node for the nation whereas including latitude and longitude as attributes to the node.

Within the occasion that the geometry will not be legitimate, it rectifies it utilizing the buffer(0) methodology. This methodology basically fixes invalid geometries by making use of a small buffer operation with a distance of zero. This motion resolves issues corresponding to self-intersections or different geometric irregularities within the multipolygon illustration.

After creating the nodes, the following step is to populate the community with the related edges. To do that, we iterate by the completely different nations, and if there’s an intersection between the polygons representing each nations, it implies they share a typical border, and, consequently, an edge is created between their nodes.

The subsequent step entails visualizing the created community, the place nodes symbolize nations worldwide, and edges signify the presence of borders between them.

The perform plot_country_network_on_map is answerable for processing the nodes and edges of the graph G and displaying them on a map.

Community of Nation Borders (Picture created by the creator)

The positions of the nodes on the graph are decided by the latitude and longitude coordinates of the nations. Moreover, a map has been positioned within the background to supply a clearer context for the created community. This map was generated utilizing the boundary attribute from the GeoDataFrame. This attribute offers details about the geometrical boundaries of the represented nations, aiding within the creation of the background map.

It’s necessary to notice one element: within the used GeoJSON file, there are islands which can be thought of unbiased nations, although they administratively belong to a selected nation. That is why you might even see quite a few factors in maritime areas. Take into account that the graph created depends on the data accessible within the GeoJSON file from which it was generated. If we had been to make use of a special file, the ensuing graph could be completely different.

The nation border community we’ve created can swiftly help us in addressing a number of questions. Beneath, we are going to define three insights that may simply be derived by processing the data offered by the community. Nonetheless, there are various different questions that this community might help us reply.

Perception 1: Inspecting Borders of a Chosen Nation

On this part, we are going to visually assess the neighbors of a selected nation.

The plot_country_borders perform permits fast visualization of the borders of a selected nation. This perform generates a subgraph of the nation offered as enter and its neighboring nations. It then proceeds to visualise these nations, making it simple to watch the neighboring nations of a selected nation. On this occasion, the chosen nation is Mexico, however we are able to simply adapt the enter to visualise another nation.

Community of Nation Borders in Mexico (Picture created by the creator)

As you’ll be able to see within the generated picture, Mexico shares its border with three nations: america, Belize, and Guatemala.

Perception 2: Prime 10 International locations with the Most Borders

On this part, we are going to analyze which nations have the very best variety of neighboring nations and show the outcomes on the display. To attain this, we’ve got carried out the calculate_top_border_countries perform. This perform assesses the variety of neighbors for every node within the community and shows solely these with the very best variety of neighbors (high 10).

Prime 10 Nations with the Most Borders (Picture created by the creator)

We should reiterate that the outcomes obtained are depending on the preliminary GeoJSON file. On this case, the Siachen Glacier is coded as a separate nation, which is why it seems as sharing a border with China.

Perception 3: Exploring the Shortest Nation-to-Nation Routes

We conclude our evaluation with a route evaluation. On this case, we are going to consider the minimal variety of borders one should cross when touring from an origin nation to a vacation spot nation.

The find_shortest_path_between_countries perform calculates the shortest path between an origin nation and a vacation spot nation. Nonetheless, it’s necessary to notice that this perform offers solely one of many doable shortest paths. This limitation arises from its use of the shortest_path perform from NetworkX, which inherently finds a single shortest path as a result of nature of the algorithm used.

To entry all doable paths between two factors, together with a number of shortest paths, there are alternate options accessible. Within the context of the find_shortest_path_between_countries perform, one may discover choices corresponding to all_shortest_paths or all_simple_paths. These alternate options are able to returning a number of shortest paths as a substitute of only one, relying on the precise necessities of the evaluation.

We employed the perform to seek out the shortest path between Spain and Poland, and the evaluation revealed that the minimal variety of border crossings required to journey from Spain to Poland is 3.

Discovering the Optimum Route from Spain to Poland (Picture created by the creator)

Python presents a plethora of libraries spanning numerous domains of information, which might be seamlessly built-in into any knowledge science mission. On this occasion, we’ve got utilized libraries devoted to each geometric knowledge evaluation and graph evaluation to create a graph representing the world’s borders. Subsequently, we’ve got demonstrated use instances for this graph to quickly reply questions, enabling us to conduct geographical evaluation effortlessly.

Thanks for studying.

Amanda Iglesias

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