42. Sea Level Rise in the Eastern Caribbean

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

    Looking at this again myself, I should probably emphasize that the SLR displayed is 2m on the map (not just in the text)!

    • Chuck Clark

      One problem you’ve got is that you’ve selected volcanic islands, which have a steep rise at the coast. The land lost to SLR does not look all that bad! (All that dark green to just a narrow band of loss around the perimeter.) I realize that’s a misperception. The reality will be severe, but the map choices encourage that subliminal reaction “oh, is that all?” But steep topography concentrates human settlement on the rare gentle slopes. If you zoom in on those capital cities, and show settled area land loss, you’ll focus the viewer on the real problem of SLR. (The way the capitals show right now, with a star well inland of the submerged zone, implies that the capital itself is not greatly impacted. But I’m guessing those cities actually hug the shore, right?)

      • Aly DeGraff Ollivierre

        Hi Chuck, great points! My issue is (as always) data! I have building footprints for St. Vincent and for the Grenadines, but not for mainland Grenada, same with elevation data. I think I have complete road data for all of the islands though, so I’ll see if adding that in gives it a bit more clarity. You’re quite correct about the capitals, I’ll see if showing a few zoomed in sections helps, thanks for the thoughtful and useful comments!!

  • Chuck Clark

    No need to give us the acronym (IPCC) for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, because you do not use the acronym in the text! Okay just to name the organization (in caps) and leave it at that.

    I’m guessing that if you reverse the two green colors — using the darker one for submerged areas — the extent of change will be more dramatic.

    Consider adding a legend explicitly denoting the lost area.

    • Aly DeGraff Ollivierre

      Good ideas, thanks so much!

  • sarah dorrance

    I like this map in its simplicity, both visually and in its use of language. I would “personally” like to see it with roads, but just out of curiosity. I like this clean and clear map and don’t think it needs roads.

    I found the text clearly stated and easy to understand. I might say St Vincent, the Grenadines and Grenada.

    I might bold ‘1300 square kilometers of land’ if you are worried about folks not realizing the enormity of loss. I would like a legend for clarity, this might clear up minimization of land loss. They are islands, so any loss of land seems huge to me.

    • Aly DeGraff Ollivierre

      Thanks for your recommendations and compliments! I definitely want to go back through my text and add a little more attention to a few words/phrases. I agree, any loss of land seems huge to me! So it was great to get the feedback that not everyone is on the same page as us. I’m going to try and demonstrate the extent of the land loss more clearly with additional data that I was able to acquire and a few zoomed-in mini maps at key locations. Thanks!

  • Annaleigh Yahata

    I would also like to see roads; I think it would give a sense of the extent of development. Or you could chose a spot to “zoom in” on, take an aerial photograph (if available) and shade the affected land. It may give the reader a better idea of how much land is being lost.

    Also, I recognize the alignment of the text with the divide between the maps, but I think you should see how the map looks when you center the columns at the top.

    I really enjoy the color and style choices of your map! Excellent job.

    • Aly DeGraff Ollivierre

      I was able to get ahold of the necessary data (which I didn’t have for this draft), so I’m going to try adding in building footprints and roads and see which (if either) better demonstrates the extent of the SLR. I also love the idea of pulling out a few areas to show the extent of SLR at a better scale that you and Chuck suggested. Thanks!

  • sarah dorrance

    Roads will give an idea of the elevation and the topography. My concern is that it might make these islands seem busy. I look forward to seeing the changes.

  • boring. do one island or two?