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Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
09-11-2014, 08:30 PM
Post: #1
Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
This visualization shows the migration flows of people moving between world regions during 2005-2010.

It's shown in a network with the countries as the nodes and the links are lines connecting the countries. The lines are also identified as area because the thickness of the lines correspond to the amount of migrants moving to that country. Each country is identified with a different color. The numbers within a country were not explained. I assume they refer to areas within the country. This should have been specified because there are lines that come from several numbers.

Although this visualization is great for grabbing your attention, it can be confusing. The colors for the countries and the thickness of the connecting lines are hard to distinguish. The shades of green and blue are very close together and can get lost in the network. Differences in line thickness is hard to distinguish as well since there is no scale. As I said before, the numbers within the countries don't have any explanation. There are connecting lines that come from or go to several numbers and it's unclear what that means. The thing that I disliked most about the visualization are the arrows to show the direction of the connecting lines. They should should be black so that they pop out. They are hard to see and they are essential to understand the visualization.

Overall, I think that the visualization is aesthetically pleasing but it is hard to understand the data that it represents. I think this visualization would be better with a different colormap, a legend and a scale.


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09-12-2014, 11:05 AM
Post: #2
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
I agree with you that this visualization is aesthetically pleasing but hard to understand. What I don't like the most about this is low data to ink ratio. Also, there is no explanation about what the number index means, and why certain continenet was assigned more numbers than the others. Some of the colors are very similar to other (light blue, blue, and dark blue). This diagram is really confusing to look at.
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09-12-2014, 11:45 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2014 11:50 AM by aedunn.)
Post: #3
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
Actually, the numbers are explained in the Figure caption at the bottom: "Tick marks show the number of migrants (inflows and outflows) in millions."

So, the blue line from South Asia 7 to North America 4 means ~ 2 million people moved from South Asia to North America (Because the thickness of the line stretches between 6-8 and 3-5, which is a difference of 2. And the color is blue, which, based on the orange line with the arrow, means that the population movement is from the region with the matching color).

I agree that the visualization is confusing and not self-explanatory, but the numbers can be interpreted.
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09-13-2014, 05:02 PM
Post: #4
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
I totally agree with u0862992, the image is aesthetically pleasing but it's very confusing. I think it's really hard to get the "big picture" from the visualization. I did find the data to be pretty interesting, but I'm not sure why the creator chose this type of graph. In my opinion it would have been better to use a stacked line chart showing the change in each continents population.
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09-13-2014, 09:51 PM
Post: #5
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
I guess I'm the odd ball again. I actually like this chord graph. The hardest part for the designer must have been picking colors. I agree that some of the colors look alike. I think the designer is showing a hierarchy of regions using color; all the Asia regions are blue/violet range etc. Overall I like this chord graph because I can can see general movement of populations. A simple question like: how are populations moving in or out of my home region? I'm from North America. Most of the bars going in to North American are different colors than it's color, red, so so there is a lot of people moving to North America and not many moving out. Determining how many people moved in isn't hard because all the incoming bars are together near the 0 part of the scale and moves to a gap in the bars that separates incoming and outgoing bars. It's fairly plain to me that there were between 7 and 8 million people moving into North America between 2005 and 2010, most from Central America and Asia. So for the task I just described I think this chord graph does a pretty good job. However repeating the same task for Southern Europe is harder because there are lots of bars with similar color. In that case the chart doesn't work very well. However I wonder if some regions could be combined that are too small for this global picture.
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09-14-2014, 05:07 PM
Post: #6
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
I agree with many points in this critique. The arrows in the picture is too vague and hard to distinguish from the background color, so it is hard to tell the direction of migration flows. And some of the flows overlap with each other, which makes it hard to read and get information underlying the picture. And the colors are also badly chosen because they do not form a strong contrast from each other, so the offer of a different colormap in the critique makes a lot of sense to me.
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09-14-2014, 07:21 PM
Post: #7
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
I think the graph looks nice and I agree that there is a low ratio of data to ink. There are some overlapping lines like the bright blue coming out(or in) to Oceania which I cant tell where it ends or start, but most of them are distinguishable. Also I don't like the way you have to do subtraction in your mind to get to number of emigrants. It just makes the graph harder to grasp. But I think the choice of colors to represent different countries or parts of the world was a nice job, however it was possible to choose them in a way that overlapping colors form a good contrast.
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09-14-2014, 08:44 PM
Post: #8
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
ok.
i agree many points on the critique. i also think the green and blue are too close. and they are hard to resolution on the diffecult lines. and i also find the overlap on the different lines that is hard to find the arrow. To sum up, i also think visualization is good. but it can not the clear show the migration flows between world regions. it is promiscuous.
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09-14-2014, 09:51 PM
Post: #9
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
I agree with the critique on one point that this visualization is little confusing. However I found this particular visualization interesting for the following facts.

1. It is round in shape and I believe the author wants to represent globe by making circular layout.
2. The areas in different continent are shades of the same color. For example different regions in Asia are in different shades of blue.
3. Arrows might be unnecessary when it comes to representing flow from one region to another because of the color stripes used.

Things that I dint like in this visualization are
1. It is not interactive.
2. Doesn't give a proper estimate of the number of people moving from one region to another. I mean it is difficult to derive any interesting patterns looking at the visualization.
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09-14-2014, 10:40 PM
Post: #10
RE: Week 3: Migration Flows Between World Regions
Thank you for your comments!

In reply:

I think that interactivity could help with the color mapping of this visualization. You could single out each region and the overlapping wouldn't be as confusing. Also, the number of migrants could pop up when you select a region. That could help with the issue of subtracting for the number of migrants.

I also agree with shishir that the author possibly wanted to represent the globe with a circular network. I think that's an interesting point to bring up. It could help the reader visualize what the migrants are actually doing.
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