19. Central Asia: Depletion of Water Resources

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?
  • John_H_Kelly

    At first glance I thought the map’s unusual design — black-and-gray landforms (for stereoscopic viewing?), subdued (or absent?) national borders — was too “artistic,” but soon I realized it is an appropriate background for telling the main story: the journeys from the two main sources of water to the “Aralkum Desert” (!!). Like Minard’s famous 1800s map of Napoleon’s army diminishing as it progressed to and from Russia, the important thing here is the thickness of the dashed lines as they wax and then wane. One big problem, though (easy to fix): I couldn’t tell what the names of the two main rivers are! I had to look at another map to realize that the northern river is the Syr Darya, and the southern one is the Amu Darya. I suggest their labels be placed in more conventional locations. Also, a minor typo: the uppermost paragraph that starts “2005” was cut off (“…from the former to the”).

  • sarah dorrance

    Fascinating! I like the look. The map information is very disturbing and the map mimics the feeling I have upon reading it.
    Sentence beginning 1970 …..fertilizers and…last word missing.
    The bottom of the page, the final thought could have a bigger font or is it more pixels? Does the map need more pixels? It seems a bit difficult to read in places..
    Words below UZB, TJK are too small to read easily.

  • Jonny Jew

    The look of this map is so dystopian and so its its subject matter. Very powerful. I especially like the strike through of Aral Sea. There are a few grammatical errors and typos in the bottom paragraphs as well as the text beininning with “1960…” is incomplete.

    great work!