Automated layout of origindestination flow maps: U.S. county-to-county migration 20092013

Stephen, D and Jenny, B 2017, 'Automated layout of origindestination flow maps: U.S. county-to-county migration 20092013', Journal of Maps, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 46-55.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Automated layout of origindestination flow maps: U.S. county-to-county migration 20092013
Author(s) Stephen, D
Jenny, B
Year 2017
Journal name Journal of Maps
Volume number 13
Issue number 1
Start page 46
End page 55
Total pages 10
Publisher Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Abstract Visualizing large movement datasets with flow maps is difficult because overlapping flows create significant graphical conflicts that make accurate interpretation difficult or impossible. Interactive flow mapping applications allow users to explore large movement datasets by automatically generating flow maps from subsets of the data in response to queries by the user. However, even a small number of flows can overlap and cross each other in a way that impedes accurate interpretation. We introduce an interactive flow map of migration in the United States from 2009 to 2013 that uses a force-directed method to automatically lay out migration flows at the county-to-county and state levels. This map, available at http://usmigrationflowmapper.com/, aims at improving readability by automatically creating origindestination flow layouts according to identified cartographic design principles. Map users explore high-level state-to-state migration patterns as well as detailed county-to-county movements through a custom user interface and interactive map features. We show migration flows between counties of different states by representing other states as nodes with a circular arrangement around the selected state, and connect county flows to those nodes. This constrains the map layout to a smaller area, reducing clutter and the amount of interaction required to view flows. © 2017 The Author(s).
Subject Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience not elsewhere classified
Human Geography not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Cartographic design principles
Flow mapping
Migration mapping
Origin destination flow maps
U.S. Census
DOI - identifier 10.1080/17445647.2017.1313788
Copyright notice © 2017 The Author(s)
ISSN 1744-5647
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