Southeastern Louisiana is losing 16 square miles of land a year to the Gulf of Mexico. This leaves the United State’s offshore oil and gas production, seafood production and millions of homes at risk. Propublica created a multimedia package anchored by an interactive map to examine this largely unabated issue. The map allows users to see the physical changes to the coast of Louisiana. Over the past 80 years, 2,000 square miles of the coast are now open water.

Centering a multimedia package on an interactive adds a powerful visual reference to the issue. As users enter the package, a current satellite image of Louisiana is displayed. The user is then shown a map of the state from 1922. This immediately captures the issue, as land is noticeably missing. Users can also highlight levees, canals, oil and gas rigs, as well as see projections for future land loss. While the map is zoomed in, users can also control a timeline that provides a more detailed view of the rapidly sinking land. With just a few clicks, users can immediately identify the issues, why it land loss is occurring and the potential for resulting catastrophe.

The map also signals users to specific points of interests where they can find a short narrative about the former culture of the area. The stories are accompanied by visuals and sound bites from former residents. This adds a sense of urgency to the story as locals recall what the area used to be like.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 at 9:53 am and is filed under DATA VISUALIZATION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.