Visualization of the Week: A better U.S. migration map

Jon Bruner updates his "American Migration" viz with more data and new code.

Jon Bruner’s “American Migration” visualization, based on IRS data, demonstrates how “Americans are enormously mobile: 37.5 million people moved from one house to another last year, with 4.3 million of them moving between states.” Bruner’s interactive map lets you click on a specific county and see both the immigration and emigration data for that location — where folks move from and where they move to.

American Migration
Screenshot from the “American Migration” visualization (click for full interactive version).

As Flowing Data points out, this migration map is “much improved” over the map Bruner created with the same data last year: “The colors are more subtle and more meaningful, and you can turn off the lines so that it’s easier to see highlighted counties when the selected county had a lot of traffic during a selected year.”

On his own blog, Bruner lists what he sees as the improvements:

It’s got five years of data instead of one; a brand-new layout; and some much-requested features, like a search tool and the ability to switch off the lines. But the upgrade that I’m most excited about is in the code: I built the map using nothing but open-source software, from Python and MySQL to handle the data right down to JavaScript to display the map. I’ve been steadily moving much of my data handling to Python and MySQL, but this is the first map I’ve made using JavaScript, and interactive JS maps are still rare elsewhere, too.

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