In order to cartographically represent the location of earthquakes from the last month around the world, I took the 3D image of a sphere and plotted earthquakes on it based on longitude and latitude. What I like most about this depiction of earthquakes is the fact that the user can interactively control how they see the world. My purpose in plotting the points on a sphere and using the ofxBullet addon, was so that the person viewing the map could change their perspective on the sphere as they please. I feel like looking at this data on a flat map may not provide the same sense of distance between the parts of the world that contain a high concentration of earthquakes, and would lack a general sense of “vast-ness.” (Globe Github)
In looking at the data available for earthquakes in the past month, the magnitude of the earthquakes was the most interesting piece of information to me. Some small, destructive, naïve part of all of us gets intrigued/excited at the idea of a large earthquake. I used a series of dots representing the different categories in the Richter Magnitude scale for earthquakes. There are two “modes” to this design. Mode one, (which is the first mode shown in the video below,) shows physically the relative intensity of the categories in the magnitude scale by vibrating the dots accordingly. Mode two resizes the dots to show how many earthquakes of each magnitude occurred in the past month. The two modes can be used simultaneously. (Richter Github)
These two visualizations could not be more different, but one thing that they do have in common, that I intended for them to have in common, is that the user can choose to represent how they view the data provided. In the cartographic map, the user can take any camera view of the globe they please, and can even physically grab the globe and move it around. In the depiction of earthquake magnitude, the user can choose whether they want to learn just about the Richter Magnitude scale itself, or about the number of earthquakes of various magnitudes in the past month. The user controls either what they want to learn, or how they want to view what I am trying to teach them.