- Data Points
People-Powered Data Visualization
Through crowdsourcing and citizen science projects, the general public is making profound contributions to research. Can data visualization help make sense of this wealth of new information?
Data Points is a new series in which we explore the world of data visualization, information graphics, and cartography.
Last fall the National Audubon Society published an alarming report about the future of North American birds. Of the hundreds of species that they studied, more than half are threatened with extinction as a result of climate change. Accompanying the report was a series of animations, produced by the San Francisco firm Stamen Design, showing how each threatened bird's home range could shift over the next 65 years. Many of the maps showed suitable habitat drifting north in response to rising temperatures and in some cases disappearing. The breeding grounds of birds such as the eastern whip-poor-will and the Baird's sparrow, a tiny grassland bird native to the northern plains, may all but vanish.