More countries are urbanizing as we progress through the 21st century. Since 1950, urbanization has increased globally. Certain countries now, like Saudia Arabia, have become exclusively urban when they were once largely rural countries. Researchers and data journalists at KILN, a London-based data visualization organization, have created an interactive presentation on urbanization. They found that average income, fertility rates, childhood malnutrition, and illiteracy affect a country’s rate of urbanized growth. They have also found that most countries around the world have turned to urbanization and to this day, are still migrating towards the urban life.
KILN’s interactive presentation succeeds in presenting a large amount of information through simple and visuals mediums. The amount of reporting behind the project is evident, and facts are stated in a chronological manner. Readers will clearly see that most countries have increased in urbanization from 1950 to 2015 through color-coded line graphs.
The presentation’s narration also aids the progression of the information, allowing readers to sit back and view the presentation before setting out to explore the project themselves.
Organization is a problem that I found with the project. Navigating through the graphs is slightly confusing because readers have the option to view countries by average income, continent, country, and change since 1950. Graphs will sort themselves according to which buttons are pressed, but the color-coded distinction between countries becomes overwhelming when the graphs are stacked on top of each other. All countries in Africa, for example, are colored blue. Once these graphs are combined, the user has no way of deciphering which country is which if they don’t hover their mouse above each individual line that reveals the country’s name.
Not all countries are shown in each section and it’s not explained why certain countries were included while others were not. There are no source citations throughout the presentation. Rural areas seem to have the higher fertility rates in all countries. The dates of the data sets for the fertility rates vary from 1998 to 2012. This is not updated information.
The presentation succeeds in capturing visual attention, but the speediness in which the project is presented restricts viewers from properly understanding the information and the accompanying narration. KILN seems to be an innovative organization unlike any other, but the flaws for this particular presentation are evident.