Using location-based information design to better understand the issues surrounding conflicting territorial claims in the South and East China Seas.
This project sought to use information design to distil the complex spatial, temporal, and conceptual aspects of a confounding global issue and to better communicate information to an audience that is otherwise unaware of the breadth and depth of the issue.
To view the parallax scrolling prototype, visit the link here.
Research showed that the dispute dealt with complex political, economical, military relationship amongst countries and it also involved understanding what each of these countries based their arguments on. It took some time to understand the presence of the different islands within the islands and the amount of land each country owns. The results we found were unexpected.
During the process, it was discovered that each of the countries had interesting historic ties to the other respective countries. There were a lot of complexity embedded in these ties which caught our attention. From there, we decided that we should focus on the relationships that take the form of defensive alliances and strong ties within the dispute area.
For the information on land and sea title claims in the areas, we tried to find ways of effectively displaying the information. We felt that the familiarity of bar graphs and pie charts would be appropriate. It was decided that the use of pie charts in relation to dividing the land proportions would be the most suitable option in this particular data context.
This revealed itself to be quite the challenge. No vectorized maps were readily available that were both geographically accurate and included the Spratly and Paracel islands. We resorted to tracing our own map of the South China Sea, making sure to find a dependable geographic map that accurately depicted the 9-dash line, the UNCLOS 200-mile nautical line, and the disputed islands.