Interactive story of the comeback of gray wolves in the contiguous US
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Lauren Richie & Rosa Choi

COMEBACK is a data visualization and storytelling narrative that describes the history of the gray wolf in the contiguous US, from persecution to restoration. It features a map visualizing wolf populations over time, interactive infographics and a story of wolf OR-7, a wolf that traveled over 1,000 miles across Oregon to become the first wolf documented in California since 1924.

Intended as a tool to educate and build awareness about one of the country's most iconic endangered species, COMEBACK provides a visually appealing, interactive story and data visualization that replaces the need to dig through antiquated websites.

We are currently undertaking a major rebuild of the code, implementing test-driven development with Jasmine and RSpec.

Technical stack:
  • D3
  • TopoJSON
  • Data parsing with Ruby
  • Google Maps API
  • Javascript

To build the project, we:

  • Collected data on wolf populations from pdfs and government websites
  • Parsed the data from spreadsheets & converted into CSV files convenient for D3 mapping
  • Wrote a script to collect location coordinates of wolf management regions and wolf OR-7's journey
  • Mapped population data over time for each management region with D3 & TopoJSON
  • Designed & created an animated, SVG-based infographic illustrating the interactions between wolves and ecosystems
  • Animated OR-7's journey with Google Maps API
  • Added interactive information boxes to tell the story of wolf eradication and recovery

D3 wolf population map Animated SVG infographic OR-7 journey map