data visualization

Type: Solo Academic Project

Skills: Javascript, HTML/CSS

Tools: Observable Notebook

Time Frame: Three Weeks

Purpose: Create an interactive visualization for multidimensional data as a Final Project for the course Introduction to Visual Analytics


How Weather Impacts human-wildlife attacks in Canadian national parks

Project Context

Human-wildlife conflict refers to the interaction between wild animals and humans, and how it negatively impacts people.

This project seeks to equip Canadian national park visitors with a better understanding of how changes in weather impact human-wildlife encounters. Specifically, I want to inform visitors on the types of animals they might encounter, on which days, and under what weather conditions.

The visualization includes:

1.  A selectable map that displays all Canadian national parks, and a heat map that shows where the most conflicts have taken place

2. A selectable bar chart that shows the correlation between the number of animals and the human-wildlife attacks

3. Three scatterplots that show the correlation between how the different types of weather affect human-wildlife attacks

4. A line graph that can be brushed over to show the daily attacks over the year

Selecting a park on the map changes the bar graph, scatter plots, and line graph to show the user which seasons had  the most attacks according to which animal. Selecting a bar updates the scatterplots and line graph based on the selected animals.

These are some of the questions I propose the visualization will address:
-How the weather affects the experience of national park visitors?
-Under what weather conditions do human-wildlife encounters occur?
-Are there seasons with encounters?
-Which animals encounter the most humans? Why?
-Which animals encounter the most humans? Why?

How it Works

This infographic poster I designed and showcases how to use the visualization and what the output appears as.

Feasibility Pilot

I conducted a feasibility pilot with someone who spends her time hiking and camping in national parks. She completed the test remotely and had read through the report before using the visualization. Her feedback after using the visualization was that “it could be useful for visitors to determine how to stay safe when exploring the parks, or when they may want to go visit the park depending on the weather.”

Described below is her feedback about the features that would make this visualization more useful:

-Ability to see the parks with the most attacks according to the weather and click on them to be able to see in the linked visualizations.

-The view that compared the temperature, wind, and precipitation against the number of animals attacks was good for combining the first two views together, which allowed to see how weather correlates.

-A correlation between the day which allowed for the season to be showcased helped with relation to time in the overall context.


Overcoming Challenges

Through showcasing my visualization, I learned that I would have changed the activity on the map to give more context. I  would have shown the number of people that visit the park daily, which would have shown the most frequented parts and how that relates to attacks. This correlation may have shown any differences between returning visitors and one-time visitors. Showing a graph of the different user groups would reveal any differences in visitor patterns. My current visualization only includes mammals. I did not show other types of species that could attack visitors, which could reveal more information about the effects of the weather.

A final feature I would have liked to add is weather trends in each park when hovering on the map. This would have given more context as to why some parks have more attacks than others, why some parks are not as active during inclement weather, and why some parks are visited less.

Overall, I discovered a correlation between weather and animal attacks for national park visitors. Temperature has the greatest effect on which parks people visit the most. However, given certain weather conditions, I have found that specific parks had a large number of attacks due to being located in a warmer climate along the west coast. These animals tend to come out of hibernation earlier, or just sleep less.


Final Result