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Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
09-09-2014, 05:20 PM
Post: #1
Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
[Image: audubon-oriole.gif]

Source article:
http://www.npr.org/2014/09/09/345833757/...ate-change

This visualization uses animation to show projected changes to bird habitat locations over time. I like that the original area is outlined in every frame to help with comparing the current area to projected areas. This helps alleviate the need to remember the original area. I think the heat-map style is good for showing where the climate is projected to be hospitable for the birds. I also like the interactive zoom and frame control, which allows the user to focus on one projection at a time and on a smaller area.

I think that a smoother animation between frames would take advantage of motion to help changing areas pop-out. I also think that the use of two colors that overlap causes the blue to get lost a little. Selecting the Summer and Winter ranges should have been added to the controls to help separate the color channels. Adding stippled lines around projected areas would help clarify the edges of the projected ranges. This would help with the ambiguity caused by the choice of such light colors as yellow and blue.

I think the largest problem with this visualization is that it is meant to show the change in the range of a bird species, but the Venn Diagrams that clearly show the changes using area encoding are under a block of text instead of next to the map. This separates the two visualizations and prevents an easy connection between the visually interesting heat-map and the easy to read Venn Diagram. This separation turns a potentially powerful tool for understanding the results of the study into a visualization that is interesting, but not very informative.

The original visualization is at http://climate.audubon.org/birds/balori/...re-oriole. Equivalent visualizations for other bird species are also available.
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09-10-2014, 08:32 PM
Post: #2
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
This visualization graph tries to use animation to show moving changes of bird habit range over the time, from 2000 to 2080. We can see the predicted bird habit range of year 2000, 2020, 2050 and 2080, with the current’s range outline to help people remind where the original range is. The animation helps us see the moving tendency of habit range, which would be moving to the north for Baltimore Oriole. It uses yellow and blue to show summer and winter season range, and the interactive color, green, to indicate the bird range of both season.

So the graph gives me a general idea that the bird range is out of the USA, maybe because of the climate change. It also tells me where these birds habit in summer and winter. On the original website, you can also pick a special bird and zoom in the map to have a detail look at the move tendency.

However, one problem I found is the color. The yellow and blue color for summer and winter is good to identify, but the interactive color of both, green, make it really hard to recognize on the map, especially when the green spot, which indicate both seasons, are small and inside other colors. For example, I have hard time pick out both season spot from the summer range. It seems there is some range there, but I am not show. I will choose a different color, like red, to make that more recognizable.

Another issue I found about the graph is that it has no digital data to show on the map. For a viewer like me, except knowing that the bird range is moving, I would like to know some detail data and information. For example, what is the acreage of bird range of Baltimore Oriole in year 2000, what is the predicted acreage in 2080? Is it an increase or decrease in total? What is the percentage of bird range in each state? Is there any bird range in that state at that year? To make this visualization, I think the author should have these data, and it would be better to show them.
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09-12-2014, 01:48 PM
Post: #3
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
This animated choropleth map convey its message easily and i agree to its critique to most part.

The following points worked well for me -
1) The original area being highlighted all the time for reference. It was really helpful to keep track of the base for understanding the trend.
2) The year being highlighted with the moving area. It was a wise choice to do this rather than marking the year in the map itself.

The points that didn't -
1) Even I was unable to identify the both season area as Chaomeng pointed out. Green color is a very poor choice, something of a contrast color would have been easier to identify

u788158 mentioned the use of stippled lines around the projected area, but i feel that if we do that then the purpose of having the reference area would be beaten, as there would be multiple area lines which would only cause ambiguity
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09-13-2014, 02:03 PM
Post: #4
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
This graph shows the habitat of bird species change overtime. The animation makes it very clear how the area changes every two or three decades. It's very helpful for understanding the trend, and I like that the "Year" is highlighted one at a time with the change of the area.
However, what worries me is that:
1. The "Year" starts at 2000 and ends at 2080, while now it's only 2014. All the figures after "2020" are pure prediction. Are they based on the trend in the past several decades? I think it will be more convincing if the graph could show a few more changes in the past.
2. The blue color is winter change and yellow color is summer change, while the green color is "both seasons". However I didn't see green in the graph. Is it supposed to be the overlap of yellow and blue? Maybe it's just too small to identify...
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09-13-2014, 08:19 PM
Post: #5
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
I liked the visualization used. It conveys the information easily. With the use of 3 different colors, its easy to differentiate between different seasons over time. The animation used also helps to understand the future aspects of bird migration from one place to another and the effect of climate change on threatening of birds.
However, as specified by u0788558, it's difficult to have a look at blue portion as compared to yellow portion. Some other more bright color could have been used to make it noticeable quickly. The green color portion is somewhat going unnoticed. Otherwise, the visualization is well designed.
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09-14-2014, 05:21 PM
Post: #6
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
I would agree that it is useful to have a way to compare current ranges with the projections, i.e. the outline. However, unless you are looking at this visualization close up, the light yellow often blends in the with the great lakes and state lines. A darker color would have been more effective.

Speaking of state lines, does this visualization really need them? Does the article make a point of discussing which states birds are migrating to? The dark blue lines are much more prominent.

I do think that using animation is an effective way to show projected data over time. I would agree with the op that the visualization is too choppy. This could have been solved in a few ways. The data could be subdivided into smaller time chunks allowing for a smoother animation. Or, the animation could be slightly slower. Combining both of these solutions would really make this vis effective.

I found it hard to see any green in this visualization. I know that it is the combination of both seasons(yellow and blue), however, the animation is way too fast to distinguish any overlap. I think that the green key could be omitted. It is fairly obvious that overlap means birds fly to that region in both seasons.

Overall, I actually like this visualization because there isn’t an overload of information like many of the visualizations that have been posted. The data encoding was well chosen, but the color choices and data chunks could have been more clear.
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09-14-2014, 08:26 PM
Post: #7
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
Whats been said is very spot on in my opinion. The color choices are not great. The current bird habitation areas should be in a color that pops out a little better, as to not get lost behind the predictions. The blue color does not really suffer with this but the yellow outline is easily lost.

Besides that I think the visualization does a very good job getting their data across. When gazing at it, even for just a moment, it is pretty clear that the birds' habitation zones are moving to the north. You do not really have to sit there and break apart the data, its just there.

Changes some colors around and I would not really have any complaints.
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09-14-2014, 08:35 PM
Post: #8
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
The visualization explains the topic very clearly and is interactive and detailed.
I liked that apart from the general bird habitat in the visualization we can also look at various birds (individually) and their habitats over several decades too.
I also liked the borders on Zoom In signifying current range for different seasons.

I agree to most of the points in the critique. I concur that there is an ambiguity because of lighter colors being used and probably darker and contrasting shades should have been used.
One thing that did not work for me was, I was not able to see the green (signifying both seasons).
The venn diagrams do give a high level of the change in habitat. But I feel that they should have been a little more descriptive. The existing description could have been displayed on the side of the diagrams instead of being displayed on clicking the question mark.
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09-14-2014, 08:49 PM (This post was last modified: 09-14-2014 08:51 PM by tulasi.)
Post: #9
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
The visualization is very interactive because of the animation from which we can easily identify the migration of species over the years in various regions.
It is very informative as I can select specific bird and see the visualization for that bird independent of other birds.
The color selection is good, but as said by U0788158 while overlapping the blue color is getting invisible due to yellow color, so winter would have been showed by dark color.
I agree with the critique written, the interactive zoom feature in the visualization is good and the Venn diagrams would have been there next to the visualization.
I think Venn diagrams would have been illustrated much better by writing specific year over Venn diagrams and animation may be included in them.
I couldn't find the green color which shows the range in both seasons. The border or boundary line in the visualization is good which shows the species are enclosed with in that boundary.
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09-14-2014, 09:16 PM
Post: #10
RE: Week 3: More Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
I disagree with your assessment that the visualization is not very informative. By simply clicking on a bird thumbnail image and then looking at the corresponding map, I can quickly visualize where these birds currently do their summering in North America and where the study indicates they're headed in the future. I feel as though I have been informed to the minimum level in which the Audubon Society was hoping for with a casual viewer like myself.

I agree with you that a smooth animation would be a nice improvement. I also like the idea of being able to toggle the different seasons.

As I was clicking through the different birds species, I noticed that some of the birds do not appear to winter in North America. Most of us familiar with the fact that it's common for birds to migrate seasonally and “fly South for the winter” will assume that the birds are wintering somewhere outside the range of the map. For those of us new to bird basics, this visualization might make us assume that some of the birds somehow don't do winter.
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