Friday, August 10, 2018

Explaining Droughts in Taiwan

It rains quite a lot in Taiwan. However despite all that precipitation the country also often suffers from water shortages. One reason for these water shortages is illegal land use in reservoir catchment areas. CommonWealth Magazine has created a wonderful story map to visualize how such illegal land use around the Shihmen Reservoir has led to a huge silt build-up in the reservoir, severely restricting its capacity to store water.

Taiwan - The Water Starved Island is a cleverly designed story map which takes you on a journey along the Shihman Resevoir catchment area. To explore the story map use your mouse's scrollwheel. This will navigate you along the valleys of the catchment area and lead you to each of the highlighted examples of illegal land use (you can also just click on the map markers in the small inset map).

When you reach one of the mapped examples of illegal land use an inset close-up will appear of the featured location. If you click on this circle you can read all about the illegal land use at this location which is contributing to the reduced capacity of the reservoir.

The map was created using Leaflet.js using imagery from DigitalGlobe. You can read more about how the map was put together at Behind the Digital Newsroom.

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