Look: the record of change in Alberta
The third visualization in this series is the first opportunity for the audience to look at the climate data itself. Viewed in the order I’ve intended, the audience enters this visualization with an understanding of the diversity in Alberta’s landscape and the time scale of the data. The visualization begins with a short introductory video explaining the data and its source. It then arrives on a map of Alberta showing the total trend changes for one of the indices, visualized as colour values for each 10km2 location across Alberta.
The design of this piece facilitates a broad overview of the trend analysis conducted by Dr. Kienzle. Each index is given a unique colour range, which was chosen based on the qualities of the data being represented (ie green for growing season, warm colors for heat waves and days over 25C, and cool colours for the cold indices). Since the colour ranges needed to show both increasing days and decreasing days, an opposite colour was required that had the same saturation and lightness. In doing so, similar degrees of change in both directions would be represented with the same optical perception of value.
The value of total change of an index’s trend corresponds to a color value on the range. The resulting colours are then assigned to their grid locations on a map of Alberta. As each location has different amounts of change, a mosaic is created of different values of change across the province. The relationships in the data that this visualization method is able to show include nominal comparison, deviation, and distribution as they relate to different areas of Alberta as a whole. As the user mouses over the map, the visualizations on the right update for each location. Double clicking or scrolling allows the user to zoom into the map to an area of interest, perhaps where they live or enjoy recreational activities.