Friday, March 20, 2020

America's Migration Corridors

For at least 8,000 years pronghorns have migrated south for the winter. In the last 100 years those well-worn migration routes have become a lot more dangerous. Mainly because of highways and cars. The Washington Post has created an interactive map which follows the migration of one pronghorn, fitted with a GPS corridor, to visualize the dangers to migrating animals from humans in cars.

As you scroll through the Safe Passages story-map you can follow the movements of a pronghorn, romantically named 700031A, as its migration is animated on an interactive map. As you continue scrolling through the story the animal's track moves further and further south. During its migratory journey information windows appear updating you on the obstacles faced on this journey (such as highways and rivers) and how they are overcome.

Eventually 700031A reaches Interstate 80 - where her migration comes to a sudden end. Interstate 80 runs across the USA from San Francisco to New York. The highway acts as an unnatural barrier to migrating animals. Fences along the highway stop animals crossing the road. If the animals manage to get through those fences they then face the dangers of speeding cars.

The Post's story-map follows the I-80 westwards, showing the tracks of different animal species, revealing how their migrations are all stopped by the road and its fences. As you scroll westwards proportional symbols litter the I-80 showing where animals have been hit by cars as they try to cross the highway.

The Washington Post's map is a fantastic illustration of the dangerous barrier that roads create for migrating animals. The Safe Passages story map was created using Mapbox's new Scrollytelling Template. This template is designed to help you create 'scrollytelling' map stories. This Mapbox scrollytelling demo introduces the scrollytelling map format and shows you what it is possible to do with the template.

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