Friday, September 30, 2011

Explaining the Causes of Famine


Voice of America has used a series of Google Maps and over 10,000 separate data points on rainfall, food prices and refugee movement to explain How Somalia Descended into Famine.

The visualisation explains over a series of Google Maps how the non-occurence of last year's rain season in Somalia has led to crop failure, this year's spike in food prices and then widespread famine.

The rainfall map lets the user view rainfall levels throughout Somalia. If you click on one of the rainfall markers you can view a graph of rainfall at that location comparing 2010's rainfall with rainfall in 2009.

The food prices map allows the user to select different towns in Somalia and view graphs showing the sharp rise in price of a number of different crops and other essential commodities.

Finally the famine map provides a heat map of Somalia showing the scale of the famine at different locations in the country.

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