Visualising migration patterns

This wonderful CIRCOS-style chart (click to zoom) visualises migration data collected by the UN. Particularly noticeable are the flows from Mexico to the United States; and from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to the United Arab Emirates.

The chart is from Nikola Sander, Guy Abel, and Ramon Bauer. There is also an interactive visualisation of changes over time. Excellent data visualisation!

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Twitter and global mobility patterns

A fascinating recent paper on arXiv.org, entitled “Geo-located Twitter as the proxy for global mobility patterns” (also reported on the MIT technology review) uses Twitter to study human movement (the study is based on a dataset of almost a billion tweets). The CIRCOS image below shows the top 30 country-to-country visitor flows, as estimated by the authors. Ribbon colours indicate trip destination, so Mexico-based Twitterers visiting the US are a major category. While the US is the most common travel destination, Russia is the most common point of origin.

There’s lots more in the paper: it’s well worth a read. Twitterers may not be totally representative of the world population, but there are still many interesting conclusions to be drawn here, and an opportunity for even more interesting follow-up work.


Network diagram from Hawelka, Sitko, Beinat, Sobolevsky, Kazakopoulos, and Ratti: “Geo-located Twitter as the proxy for global mobility patterns”

Curved networks as art

This Dagstuhl workshop included a wonderful art exhibit, titled “Bending Reality: Where arc and science meet.” Exhibits included this image by David Eppstein, and also this one:

There were also several metro maps, including ones based on concentric circles and freeform Béziers, as well as some curved annotations of the world and images of curved relationships, like this poster:

See also this blog post, and my previous post about CIRCOS diagrams.

CIRCOS and networks

In an earlier post, I highlighted a nice visualisation of career paths, produced by Satyan Devados using the CIRCOS tool (which has its origins in genetic visualisation). As an experiment, here is a similar diagram I produced for the Southern Women Data Set. This famous dataset (originally from this book) links a somewhat divided community of 18 women to 14 events which they organised (click on the picture for a larger image):

It’s very pretty, but is it more or less informative than a traditional network diagram? What do you think?

Career paths visualised

From the wonderful Information is Beautiful Awards website, here is an interesting visualisation of careers chosen by 15,600 alumni of Williams College (right half of circle), given their majors (left half of circle). There is some aggregation here – “Cultural Studies” includes Anthropology, Sociology, and Asian Studies, for example. The visualisation was produced by Satyan Devados, and an interactive collection of subset images is also available here.