18. Water Depletion in Global Watersheds: A Continual Perspective

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?
  • Tangnar

    Very nice and fascinating map. A few comments…

    1) The colors between sectors and depletion are similar, which leads you to believe that they are somehow related. I would change one, probably the depletion categories color ramp, so that they aren’t so similar. 2) I generally think of time series when I see the style of graph to the right. The continuous areas imply that the data are continuous, but actually they are discrete locations. Maybe columns instead? 3) I think you could use a font that’s a little more readable.

  • Chuck Clark

    I agree with Tangnar: pick a more readable font (perhaps merely by switching to bold, say).
    The graph at right should be bars (or something similarly discrete).

    The main paragraph font should be larger.

    Consider cropping away Antarctica (it has no relevant info on it, anyhow) and enlarging the other continents vertically — all that fine detail would be nicely served by being larger!

    The right graph’s vertical quantities are overly busy with all those zeros. Instead of calling them out in cubic meters, could you sat “trillion cubic meters”? Then you’d only need to show the significant digits.

  • sarah dorrance

    This map is very scary and very important. It reminds me to look not so far back and forward in time. I would love to see a now map of this, another time….. 1st paragraph should have larger/darker font size. I like the entire map shown because you said “…..that the Planet counts”. I might add Earth after planet….for future generations that live on other planets… again just personal preference and paranoia. Take out the zeros use correct math word. I would darken all of the words in each of your legends, possibly make them larger.

  • Jonny Jew

    Very compelling story to tell and good looking map.
    The last sentence in the opening paragraph does not really make sense to me, perhaps it could be rephrased. Is 90% of land area omitting antarctica and greenland, or does 10% of land exist on watersheds smaller than 1,000 sq km.
    To echo previous comments, the balance graph should be a histogram or other discrete graph.

    the title “Sectors of consumption” reads a little awkward to me. perhaps just “Types of consumption”. Either way, the work “consumption” after each category seems redundant if it is in the title.

  • sarah dorrance

    Just looking at this map again. I really like and noticed some other things.
    3rd word 3rd line down ‘characterizes’ mispelled.
    dark blue that looks like rivers is not on the depletion legend.
    Maybe your legend colors should be different it is confusing between the circles and the plot.

  • Helen Springall

    Great map! However, I sugggest a minor editing thus:

    Water depletion occurs when the fraction of renewable fresh surface water and groundwater available in a watershed DECLINES over a number of years. This is mainly due to human consumption and changes in seasonal, annual or permanent climatic conditions. This map characterises the intensity of water depletion for the year 2005 based on data from the world’s 13901 watersheds larger than 1000 km2.

    The changes: rephrasing the first sentence, removal of a comma, removal of full-stops as thousand indicators (not in English), other minor edits

  • Bernardo Loureiro

    Fascinating map on a very important topic.

    I was a bit confused by the circle plots vs. the map colors. I would probably move the plots away from the continents and place them say at the bottom of the map. This way I think both the map and plots would read better.

    The word “consumption” is redundant in each of the label categories, it could be removed except for the label title.

  • dump the balance figure and expand the map to show stressed areas