Introducing Kiln and the Carbon Map

Today sees a mini trio of launches. Robin Houston and I have just published our Carbon Map, a website that explores climate change responsibility and vulnerability using a newly developed type of interactive moving map. That site is the launch project of our new partnership, Kiln, which will explore the middle-ground between journalism, web development, data and graphic design. And the Guardian Datablog team have used the site to launch their own new project – a Google-sponsored data visualisation series called Show And Tell.

I’ll write more about Kiln and the Carbon Map later when I have more time, but for now here’s a brief summary of some of the things we were trying to do with the map:

  1. Create a new way of visualising national-level data that’s both more legible and more pleasing to interact with than boring old choropleths (shaded maps).

  2. Create an intuitive way to view two layers of data simultaneously – one using country sizes and one using shading – to see how they relate.

  3. Pull together the most comprehensive collection of data on national contributions to climate change, including past emissions; current emissions, measured at the points of extraction, combustion and consumption; and possible future emissions. This required quite a lot of manual gap filling and estimation for smaller countries, but I hope the resulting data is interesting and useful. I’ll make the spreadsheet available once I’ve tidied it up with explanations and so on.

  4. Showcase some climate vulnerability data, which as a rule doesn’t get as much of a look-in as emissions data.

The original impetus for creating the Carbon Map was the World Bank’s Apps for Climate competition. We’ve entered and there’s a Popular Choice Award as well as a judging process, so if you like the site we’d be hugely grateful if you could vote for us. Voting opens on April 1 and I’ll post the link here then.

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