Thursday, October 18, 2018

Designers Are Reinventing Hurricane Maps for an Era of Extreme Weather

As climate dangers rise, researchers are testing new ways of communicating clearly about uncertainty.

Here’s an ... implementation from the New York Times (Credit: NY Times) Click to Enlarge.
Over the years, various researchers and media organizations have tested out new ways of visualizing the potential path of a hurricane.  One method that has gained a lot of traction is to visualize each possible path as a separate line in what’s called a “spaghetti graph.”
Among the redesigns he’s seen, Alberto Cairo, a data visualization expert who has been conducting research with his colleagues at the University of Miami to improve hurricane maps, thinks this is one of the most promising.  He intends to study it more with his colleagues as part of their research.

“We will try to test as many alternatives as possible to see which one or what combination of maps works better for people,” he says.  Ultimately, the solution may not even involve showing the hurricane’s trajectory if their research finds that people don’t need that information to make a decision.

“Because that’s the whole purpose,” he says, “Giving people the information that they need to make a sound decision as to how they need to protect themselves and their families.”

Read more at Designers Are Reinventing Hurricane Maps for an Era of Extreme Weather

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