12 & 13. A River Runs Toward It: Visualizing the Direction and Flow of US Rivers


Now it’s Your Turn

In the comments, please ask questions or make suggestions that will help the cartographer improve the map. Key things to think about include:

  • Does the map orient the viewer?
  • Does the data tell a story?
  • Does the map support the story being told?
  • Does the map make assumptions?
  • How could the map be more readable?
  • Are there any errors or typos?
  • Aly DeGraff Ollivierre

    Trippy and mesmerizing, I could look at this all day, I especially love how the north arrow doubles as your legend. Keep up the great work, Andrew and Mamata!

  • Andrea Magarini Pellini

    Very beautiful, it looks like a poster for a megawall!

    Does the map orient the viewer? Yes, the object is clear and the image well rapresent the idea.
    Does the data tell a story? Ohh yes
    Does the map make assumptions? not particularly, clarity is already sufficiently powerful.

  • Chuck Clark

    Striking and lovely.

    But to my admittedly colorblind eyes the yellow is a touch too bright compared to the other colors. Consider dropping the yellow value just a touch.
    Again for the colorblind viewer: can the red brightness come up a bit (and not adversely affect so-called normal color sensory appreciation)?

    Also, I see how colors indicate direction — the color-key compass is wonderfully succinct! — but what indicates “flow”? Is this “Visualizing direction AND flow of US rivers”? Or Visualizing direction OF flow?

  • David Gibbs

    This is a lovely! What a neat design and very intuitive. I am curious how the colors are assigned to the NHD layer. Is it segment-by-segment?

  • jdw78

    I’m not following the relative line weights. Take the Colorado River. In the upper watershed some of the tributaries are readily visible but at the confluence with another tributary the thickness of the line seems to assume the smallest width of the joining rivers. Along the border between Arizona and California the river is mostly indistinguishable. The Mississippi is similarly vague as it grows larger. The Pecos and Hudson Rivers, for example, are vivid from start to finish

  • Sohei

    Reminds me of the black light posters I had hanging up in my room as a kid in the 70’s. Makes me want to listen to some Hendrix!

  • Chuck Clark

    Consider enlarging the subtitle font (“Visualizing the direction and flow . . .”). It’s too small, I think, to read well in the hard copy version.

    The credits could similarly be a little larger. Again, for the print version. Works fine in digital because we can zoom. But for print these lines are too small.

  • nice!