The last couple weeks, I taught students about topics in Central and South America; here are a few of the interactive graphics I used in class.

Exploring Mexico through Dynamic Web Maps

Series of web maps built in ArcGIS Online and shared by Joseph Kerski that cover the physical geography of Mexico, and include some demographic information such as a population cartogram and locations of Mexico's indigenous populations. I use these maps to introduce the general geography of Mexico, and return to them throughout our thematic discussions of agriculture, migration, and race/ethnicity in Mexico.

Mexico Crime Report

Absolutely stunning series of interactive visualizations by Diego Valle-Jones that provide up-to-date information on the geography of various crimes in Mexico. I explore the maps and charts with my students; for example, we look at trends in homicide by state in Mexico, highlighting Guerrero as an introduction to the story of the 43 students kidnapped in Iguala, Guerrero in September of 2014. I also use the visualizations to point out the wide variations in crime rates by state/locality in Mexico.

Brazil racial dot map

Dot map of the Brazilian population by race by pata inspired by the Racial Dot Map of the United States. Each dot represents a single Brazilian resident, and the dots are color-coded by major racial/ethnic groups in the country. The map provides fascinating context for our in-class discussions of social inequality in Brazil; we also compare the racial geography of Brazilian cities such as Sao Paolo, as seen in the image above, to that of American cities.

Global Forest Change

This interactive map of global forest change prepared by the University of Maryland's Department of Geographical Sciences is a fantastic resource for teaching students about the dynamics of forest loss around the world. I use it here to discuss deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon; in the above image, forest cover is colored green, and forest loss between 2000 and 2013 is colored red. This helps contextualize our discussions about the scope of deforestation, and I use the map as well as part of our discussions of the sometimes-competing imperatives of economic development and environmental preservation.


Interactives I'm using in class - February 1

Mon 01 February 2016 by Kyle Walker

I've had this blog for about two years now, generally using it to share R code I've written to develop interactive content for my teaching. I'm going to pivot here and do something different. I use lots of interactive visualizations in my courses - some that I develop ...

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Visualizing international demographic indicators with idbr and Plotly

Fri 29 January 2016 by Kyle Walker

It's been a while since I last posted here - but I've been working on a new R package that I'm quite excited about, and I thought this would be the right place to post. My new package ...

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Should you visualize data with a map or a chart? Thoughts from teaching introductory geography

Wed 29 April 2015 by Kyle Walker

While studying geography for many years as an undergraduate and graduate student, my main connection to the world of data visualization was through the worlds of cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I learned about basic principles of data visualization in my geography courses, but it was always through the ...

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Mapping religious adherence in the US with CartoDB

Thu 26 February 2015 by Kyle Walker

Update 2/26: changes made after conversations with Steven Romalewski on Twitter. For the previous version of the post, check my GitHub version history.

Before coming to TCU, I worked as a data analyst for the Church Pension Group, which manages the retirement funds and provides other financial services for ...

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