2. South Carolina Historic Rainfall and Flooding, October 2015

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?
  • sarah dorrance

    1st sentence Average Recurrence Interval is ‘a’ notation. Very interesting map

  • John_H_Kelly

    Important, under-reported story, well described and illustrated. One suggestion: The “Maximum Intensities” map series (lower left) is perhaps more detailed, and therefore takes up more space, than necessary. Maybe it just needs two pairs of maps (e.g., “6-hour” and “96-hour”), not four. This would free up some space to allow the text and title at upper right to be less crowded.

    • Chuck Clark

      Regarding the lower left four-map series: I like seeing the four-map progression rather than just a two-map progression. But I agree with John that the upper right “main text” is crowded. Consider making the four-map progression smaller. It looks like they would still communicate visually (and the space between the individual maps can shrink as well), and you would gain the extra space to fix the main-text crowding.

      Also, consider flipping the “Flooding Graph” at the bottom and the associated text to the right of it. Then, if you put the vertical scale on the right, you’ll have space to slide the main map down a little, and add space to the main text.

      • Tangnar

        Thanks for the comments, I will try to rework those areas a bit to free up some space for the text.

  • Aly DeGraff Ollivierre

    Beautiful cartography! Maybe consider adding a mask behind the rainfall total text (especially over the average reoccurance interval points) and right-justifying the text in the top-right of the map. I really like the drop-shadow on SC and the muted color-scheme.

  • Very well done. I don’t think the Rainfall Totals need any masking at all, the negative (white space) text is very easy to read over complex backgrounds as long as their is good contrast. With the area spaced labels for state names I’d prefer to see them all caps, but other wise excellent work.

  • Daniel

    Extremely interesting map that is wonderfully dense. The map stunningly invites us to explore the distribution of new levels of rainfall across the state, and the peak flows pop out well; the inches of rainfall are perfectly legible against the ramp of rainfall levels. It seems perhaps unneeded to not elevations. I wonder if rivers can be mapped more effectively against peak flows, but the map is run to read. But the interplay between the maps of intensities and the general map of the state is very helpful, powerful and dynamic! It might be helpful to note the consecutive days of rainfall. I wonder what places qualified for disaster relief!

  • Melissa Brooks

    Great Map, nice page balance! Awesome job. Only two comments. for impact and to use up the space, make the “Nineteen people lost their lives” a new paragraph. And perhaps choose a slightly different blue/colour for the wash behind the line graph.. this is a minor issue but I’m loving the rest of the pages colour scheme and that blue keeps jumping out at me when it could just get washed back into the background a smidge.

  • Kate Brauman

    Great map! Iā€™d recommend reducing the text a little so it can be bigger. Some of the detail about the cause of the storm could be removed, as could some of the spatial details (e.g. unless the Gills Creek watershed is highlighted on the map, it seems strange to mention it in the text). Much of the text is also said in the graphic (17 stream gauges with peak flows), so you could reduce or remove this. You also might consider leading with the impacts then following with storm details.

    For the graph at the bottom, what does each line represent?

  • Beautiful!

  • AD

    I like the careful detail and layout of different sorts of information over one another. The term Average Recurrence Interval could be somewhat unclear to non-specialists, so perhaps a more clear and/or colloquial explantation on that … if there was some way to move the legends for ARI and storm totals closer to the chart of the 6 hour – 96 hour maximums graphs, that could be helpful, but may not what to fuss with modifying the layout too much. It’s hard to get a sense of the topography and course of the rivers … we can see that there is more water stuff happening in the bottom right, so perhaps making the river lines more bold or altering the color of the river lines could help. Could also consider moving up some of the important social/economic effects of the flooding earlier in the description to act as a hook for readers, and then go on to explain the cold front, days of rainfall, etc.

  • stephanie b

    Beautiful! I love a good hex bin. šŸ™‚ My only comment is on the text–a good use of the limited space, but a bit difficult to read the long rows. I think reducing the wordcount, making the font a bit bigger and splitting it into columns (if possible) might be a bit easier on the eyes. It might be nice to right-justify the text to create a cleaner line along the side of the map.