VISUALIZING DYNAMIC SYSTEMS

 

HOW WOLVES CHANGED YELLOWSTONE

Context

This is the story of Yellowstone’s transformation as a result of the return of its top predators, its stewards, the wolves.  (Inspired by the  BBC Documentary.)

Wolves disappeared from Yellowstone National Park for nearly a century. Due to their interference with farmers' livestock, wolves were hunted almost to the point of extinction. Scientists and supporters of the International Wolf Center worked to bring the wolves back and Yellowstone transformed.

What I Did

1 Create a concept map of the Yellowstone ecosystem
2 Create system diagrams (pre-/post-return) using "stocks and flows"
3 Create an interactive version: Framer.js

2 WEEKS, SPRING 2016
SOFTWARE: Adobe Illustrator, Framer.js

 
 

Based on Donella Meadows' stocks and flows systems diagram.

 
 

Interactive SystemS

using sliders

Through this assignment I learned more about the benefits of using sliders and scale to visually represent data. I represented an approximate number of fauna (wolves, elk, and beaver) using sliders. Most users understand what a slider is already, and the drop shadow helps to signify the affordance. Manipulating scale works well using ratios...

My Critique

...However, manipulating scale doesn't visually represent an accurate number. The max number of wolves and max number of elk are not the same. Additionally, right now the beaver slider can be controlled by the user, but that makes little sense in the natural world. Of course, controlling the number of beaver has little to do with the elk and wolves though it does affect the flora (the green and yellow circles in the background).