Maps can show the scope of a story in a way that words and pictures alone cannot. The New York Times has produced a simple map that shows the impact of unemployment across the country, county-by-county. Roll-over boxes show how the unemployment rate has changed from a year ago.
As the caption notes and the map makes clear, “Job losses have been most severe in the areas that experienced a big boom in housing, those that depend on manufacturing and those that already had the highest unemployment rates.”
USA Today combines a map of home loans with a timeline “scrubber” that lets users compare data from 2000 and 2007. It’s a dramatic illustration of the huge increase over that time period in mortgages that were four times greater than the applicant’s annual income.
Embedded in the maps are personal stories, like that of Fai Nomaaea [left], who lost her rented home when the owner defaulted on the mortgage. Additional maps show the estimated effect of the federal stimulus bill on jobs in each state. It’s a great example of a “sticky” site giving users a lot to explore.
Please let us know if you’ve produced or seen other recession-related maps so we can share more good examples.