Sunday, May 9, 2010
The Geography of a Recession
This video shows a series of visualizations depicting the unemployment rate of each county in the United States. The visualizations, which is a picture of the United States split into different counties, shows the increase in the unemployment rate starting in January 2007 - October 2009. The visualization uses color to show how high or low the unemployment rate is in the county with white and yellow representing a low unemployment rate (0 - 2.5%) and dark red and purple representing a high unemployment rate (7.5% - ??%).
There isn't too much wrong with the visualization; in fact the only problem that I can spot is that the visualization doesn't do the best job of labeling. The dates are easy to spot out (February 2008), but the number below that isn't labeled (4.7%) and it took a second look to realize what the number represented, the average unemployment rate in the US. Each individual visualization of the United States is 'valuable' with regards to the amount of information that it shows you, but showing each visualization over time is what makes the visualizations even more 'valuable.' Using color and time you can clearly see the relationship between unemployment and the recession; you can see that the majority of the map is yellow from 2007-2008, but from the middle of 2008 - October 2009 you can clearly see the map get more red/purple.