Thursday, March 01, 2018

Global Warming with a Flourish

One of my favorite mapped data visualizations of the last few years is The Guardian's In Flight – Interactive Map, an amazing presentation exploring the history of commercial air travel. The interactive story features an animated map visualizing 24 hours of plane flights around the world and a narrated documentary looking at the birth of commercial flights, the development of international air travel and a look at the potential future for the industry.

The In Flight map was developed for The Guardian by Kiln, a data visualization compnany based in London. Kiln has now released a platform which anyone can use to tell their own stories with data. Flourish is a JavaScript library which developers can use to create visualization templates that non-coders can then use to easily edit and publish data-driven and interactive content. Using Flourish it is possible to create your own interactive mapped visualizations.

Kiln has used Flourish to create their own mapped data visualization of 20 years of global warming. The Climate Weather Map uses 500 million weather records to show the highest and lowest temperatures around the world over the last 20 years. The map includes a timeline which animates through the 20 years of records, adding the record highest and lowest temperatures to the map by the date that they were recorded.

The story-telling element of the visualization is managed by forward and backward buttons. These buttons are used to zoom the map to specific locations on specific dates, when a country or continent experienced extreme weather. A brief explanation for each of these examples of extreme weather is provided above the map.

The Climate Weather Map is a nice demo map of what can be made with Kiln's Flourish library. You can view more examples of data visualizations created with Flourish on the Flourish Examples page.
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