Brexit’s Impact on Irish Shipping

Today’s post is, I think, the first time I’ve featured the Politico on my blog. Politico is, I confess, a regular part of my daily media diet. But I never thought of it as a great publication for data visualisation. Maybe that is changing?

Anyway, today’s post highlights an article on how the Irish shipping/logistics industry could be affected by Brexit. To do so, they looked at data sets including destinations, port volume, and travel times. Basically, the imposition of customs controls at the Irish border will mean increased travelling times, which are not so great for time-sensitive shipments.

This screenshot if of an animated .gif showing how pre-Brexit transit was conducted through the UK to English Channel ports and then on into the continent. Post-Brexit, to maintain freedom of movement, freight would have to transit the Irish Sea and then the English Channel before arriving on the continent. The piece continues with a few other charts.

Brexit strikes again
Brexit strikes again

My only question would be, is the animation necessary? From the scale of the graphic—it is rather large—we can see an abstracted shape of the European coastlines—that is to say it’s rather angular. I wonder if a tighter cropping on the route and then subdividing the space into three different ‘options’ would have been at least as equally effective.

Credit for the piece goes to Politico’s graphics department.

Maps Being Useful

I often rail against the use of maps. I often hear “They’re pretty!” or “They’re colourful!” or “But I really do know where Guatemala is!” or “I can see my house!”. They’re often just a crutch, unless you can use them to show an actual geographic distribution. Thankfully from Quartz we get a series of small multiple maps that look at the geographic distribution of top trading partners for a select set of geographies.

Global trade
Global trade

For this set, I think the colours could be the same and perhaps the chosen country perhaps outlined or otherwise signalled on the map. (Only because my utter lack of faith in people being able to identify countries on a map.) Still, it’s a good piece overall that makes nice use of maps.

Credit for the piece goes to David Yanofsky.