Monday, October 7, 2019

The Unwelcomed: mapping an ongoing tragedy

Mohamad A. Waked's The Unwelcomed, longlisted at the Information is Beautiful Awards, combines true storytelling with data visualization to map the thousands of migrants and refugees who, according to the International Organization for Migration, lost their lives or disappeared between 2014 and 2019.

I just wrote “true storytelling” because the project consists of two parts, and one is a fictional narration inspired by real events, followed by a summary of the main numbers.

The other part of the project is a big visualization—you'll need to see it in a large screen—that shows times and places where migrants perished or went missing. It's a haunting combination of a proportional symbol map, a strip plot, bright lines that connect the former to the latter, and controls that allow you to modify the display.