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Visualization Turns America’s Rivers Into A Gorgeous Rainbow

A color-coded map reveals the directions of America’s rivers. Sound boring? Just look at the pretty picture.

Visualization Turns America’s Rivers Into A Gorgeous Rainbow
See the interactive graphic here

Andrew Hill is a PhD-holding biologist and digital cartographer who works for “cloud-based mapping platform” CartoDB. Recently, he has turned his attention to rivers. One of his interactive maps showed which rivers in the U.S. have received rain in the last hour. And now, he has made a beautiful map color-coding every American river according to which of the cardinal directions they flow toward. The map is gorgeous: tiny capillaries of color make up a rainbow of watersheds. There isn’t much insight to be gained here–unlike Hill’s rain map, mousing over the map doesn’t yield any further information. However, the topography of the U.S. is clearly visible, highlighting our biggest mountain ranges in brilliant hues.

About the author

I'm a writer living in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Interests include social justice, cats, and the future.

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