Making an Impact

My intentions for the finished artefact (of which this blog, and indeed this entire website are an intrinsic part) are that a selection of amazingly impactful and compelling data visualisations will combine with a powerful written narrative to bring to light the issues connecting human and earth health. In honesty, I’m hoping it will show a connection or a correlation, because it makes sense, but either way I will be able to explore the topic and investigate what the data is saying.

I have struggled with deciding on which data to use to express which measure, because there is such a wealth of data available, and so many different interpretations of what actually constitutes environmental degradation. I have decided that use of forestry resources and pollution are good and appropriate measures of environmental degradation, and possibly also CO2 emissions.

In terms of the human health aspect, or the social degradation aspect, I think that looking at mental health, health outcomes, and possibly crime or education would be good measures. I have been looking into data sets in this area, and will investigate further and create some more experimental data visualisations.

Data Viz

After playing around with the data and cleaning it up, making a few decisions about how to best measure environmental degradation, I came up with a few data visualisations using

Protected areas, habitat species management, and strict nature reserves could be reasonable measures of environmental protection (or possibly of degradation, hence the need for official protection).

First Data Exploration

After a bit of a Google, I found some reliable sources for possible data sets.

The OECD online library gives access to environmental data and is certainly promising as a source for data sets. The data here is quite dense, and could be considered comprehensive.

A wealth of data can be found at the UN, specifically here about women around the world, and how their lived experiences of inequality impact on other aspects of life.

The UN also provides access to data on gender statistics, which could prove valuable to this project and the explorations within it.

Data Searching

The first step is to locate the data sets and decide what my measures will be. If I want to explore the possible correlations between environmental degradation and social degradation, for example, first I must decide how those things are measured.

Are carbon emissions an accurate measure of environmental degradation? What about forestry use? What criteria will I use? How will I display my data?

So, I must decide on the measures, look for relevant data, and find a tool to display that data, not necessarily in that order.