Tuesday, July 30, 2019

U.S. Population Mountains

U.S. Populations Lines visualizes population density in the United States. On the map population density is expressed by the height of lines running across the map. The higher the line then the more people live there.

U.S. Population Lines is inspired by Joy Division's Unknown Pleasure album, designed by Peter Saville. The album cover was inspired by a visualization of the radio waves emitted by a pulsar, which was published in the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy. In data science a visualization which is inspired by the graph is often called a 'joyplot' in acknowledgement of the iconic album cover. However some people hate the term and refer to these type of visualizations as 'ridgeline plots'.

Joy Plots have become an established method of mapping population density. For example there is:

Kenneth Field has published a tutorial on how you can create a ridgeline plot map from a digital elevation model in ArcGIS Pro. His Joy Plots in ArcGIS Pro also includes a brief history of joy-plots.

Joy-plot maps have also been used to visualize Global Temperature Change, elevation in San Francisco Terrain and the Population of Wisconsin.

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