Food is highly related to everyone. This visualization is designed to help explore the food flow within the USA. The potential users are farmers, citizens and food managers or officers.
I designed the project and participated in the front-end development.
See it Online: http://bit.ly/foodVis
The data comes from the Commodity Flow Survey, which is done through a partnership between the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The survey is administered every five years, which are 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012.
The data provides the following information:
What would the farmers, citizens and food managers want to know about the data?
The next step for me was to work on the visual output.
Two main aspects of the data set should be presented. First of all, every states and their data and secondly the connections between them resulting in a “network”. Therefore, I started with a research to find already existing visualization projects which are either geo-based or network visualizations.
Several attempts were made to visualize both the geographic information and "networking" between states.
Several attempts have been done to choose a right color palette for the representation of 10 categories.
First, I attempted to group categories. The problem is there is no scientific classification could be applied on the foundation of current food categories.
My second attempt is to use the Color Brewer, which offers pre-made color schemes to use based in cartography. However, the colors are too common. The color scale should show a customized aesthetic to be recognizable.
Thus, I decided to customize the color palette. Three important considerations that I adhere to are:
Arc Diagram does well in visualizing flows among different states, but how to represent flow within the same state?
How to show long data label in limited space is also a challenge in common data visualization.
Default screen shows the overview of food flow in U.S.
This screen shows the relationship between Georgia and other states. When clicking any state, that state would be highlighted.
Users can also color-code the arc diagram by food types and transportation modes.