In and Out

This interactive map shows the migration influx and departure of residents in Alameda County, Oklahoma. But this map is packed with data, because as you click from polygon to polygon, new lines and graphs appear. The supplementary bar graphs that depict how many people leave and settle in the area gives us the statistics of each place. The data was collected from the United States Internal Revenue Service or IRS. The author, Jon Bruner, has also done similar but less impressive maps from years before for Forbes. From the particular county, results show that migrants leave for Las Vegas the most while people from the upper west coast such as New York and North Carolina flock to the area.

For me it is a very effective interactive map. The United States is a very large East-West running country so lines can be utilized to show the paths of migration. And the direction of movement, whether inbound or outbound, is differentiated via the color of the line. The choice of color was excellent because it was very easy to distinguish one from the other, being from opposite ends of the spectrum. Also, the place of origin and destination takes on the color of the line, and its intensity will vary according to the number of migrants. The state and county borders do not interfere with the migration lines even if they look like a mosaic because a much lighter shade was used to draw the boundaries.

One problem when mapping the United States, which depends upon the nature of the map to be produced, is that it has a disjointed territory or an exclave, Alaska. Because of the shape and orientation of the greater land mass, the map maker placed Alaska on the lower left corner. This was advantageous because the state has low migration rates so it will not look disorderly when intersecting other lines. The map has the main title: American Migration but visually, the subtitle below it changes into the location of the county you have clicked. Only one county can be clicked at a time and the bar graphs would be automatically shown.  The map was made to look neutral and balanced with its layout. One can also hide the lines if he or she intends to focus on the places of destination and origin.

Forbes (2011). American Migration [Interactive Map]. Retrieved January 5, 2012 from
Bruner, J. (2011). How to Build an Interactive Map with Open-Source Tools. Retrieved January 5, 2012 from


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