The goal of this project is to show where in the United States a particular bird species is during different times of the year. This type of visualization is educational and allows us to see where bird species live and how they migrate throughout our country. Maybe some birds prefer the east coast, while others the west, and yet others reside in only one state in small or big numbers. This visualization shows an overview of some bird species' migration patterns in the United States. The data used for these visualizations is not publicly available and was shared by Stephen Pope. The data consists of frequency vectors of bird sightings around the United States.
The project was created using Processing and used the following libraries:
Unfolding was used to create the interactive map. ControlP5 was used to create the drop down menus.
The interactive map required additional data to create the mouse-roll-over interaction. I worked off the MarkerSelectionApp that comes in Unfolding's examples, and obtained the coordinate data here, however, the center coordinates required further fine-tuning.
In addition to the above, I used Google Images API to connect to the internet and get images corresponding to the bird data being displayed. No extra downloads are required for Google Images; I modified the code sample in the link.
These preliminary sketches show how the project changed as colors and layout were worked on. The theme became blue, grays, and black leaving the states roll-over action as red to draw attention. The circles were initially too small and without much additional movement so more animation was introduced. Perlin noise, transparency, and a slight radius increase while the week lasted made a big difference to the visual result. The addition of a timeline also helped visualize what part of the year was currently being displayed and how much time was left. The images below show the preliminary sketches of the project.
Since there is little to no data for Alaska or Hawaii, the map was zoomed in on the other 48 states. The timeline was removed and a color bar replaced it. The colors were too plain, so the new color themes had at least 3 different hues to make the changing weeks more obvious. There are two color schemes, one of 3 hues, and a rainbow color scheme.
The migration pattern is more obvious on some birds, while not much on others. For example, the Acadian Flycatcher begins to appear around April and the data continues to extend out until around August. However, not all birds have this type of animation that appears to spread.
Images of the final layout design are below, videos are down further.
This video shows a visualization with the timeline drawn as many lines.