Visualizing Global Migration

I love the data visualization by Carlo Zapponi on globe migration. The peoplemovin project inputs 2010 data from three major sources – the World Bank, CIA, U.S. Census Bureau – to design a graphic of global immigration trends.

It’s visually appealing because it’s cleanly presented. Zapponi could have given us an overload of information that would have been distracting. Instead, the bright colors against the black background with white typography helped me focus on the information he provided. I’m not exactly sure if his color choices are random or if they have meaning behind it but they don’t take away from the overall message.

It was also easy to understand that the left side of the graphic displayed information of people emigrating and the right side were immigrants coming to the country. But I wonder if changing the thickness of the lines to represent how many people were actually migrating would have helped to clarify which countries were the most popular migration destinations.

The peoplemovin project would work well with an accompanied written piece. All this information needs to be further analyzed to see if there are any major trends in 2010 global migration data. I’m surprised that the emigrant numbers weren’t higher for Haiti following the earthquake. I’m also surprised to see that Russia, Saudi Arabia, and India were popular migrant destinations in 2010. It would have been helpful if there were a written piece or a text box that explained why so many people were moving to these countries.

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1 comment
  1. SEM said:

    This visualization demonstrates one of the major issues of developing for the web, and one of the reasons it’s so essential to review one’s work – this piece doesn’t function at all in FireFox.

    I also disagree about the color coding – it obviously means something, but the user has no idea what. I find it unnecessarily frustrating, as it’s leaving me to guess at what is apparently some significant part of the meaning.

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