Every 20 seconds, between births and deaths, the Brazilian population adds another person. That’s according to IBGE (Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics), which estimates the total population at 207.6 million people. How these people are distributed in the territory, however, is another matter. They are very unevenly spread, with some small regions containing large quantities of people, and huge swaths of land with very few inhabitants. This map is an interactive way to better understand the population density differences along the Brazilian territory.
What makes this project innovative?
The interactive map above was inspired by one made by Ben Blatt, for the American newsletter/magazine Slate, in 2014. Its innovation is related to the Brazilian context. The Brazilian census database is complex but little used in our local journalism, due to the volume of information available. Nexo has innovated by transforming extremely complex data into a simple view that reaches the general reader audience and can be used in schools.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
This project was the 5th most viewed interactive feature on Nexo Jornal in 2017. It was shared 795 times on Facebook, according to Crowdtangle.
Source and methodology
The shapefiles used to produce the maps were IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). The population data was estimates for 2017, also from IBGE, and for the comparison with countries, we used UN data.
For the interactive map, we used D3. When the user clicks at some point in the map, it sorts the dataset by the euclidean distances between the geometric center of the cities. Then, it sums the population from the closest cities until reaches the reference value. If the population of a single closest city is higher than the reference value, the city is skipped. We also used Adobe Illustrator to produce the GIFs and QGIS to static maps.
Murilo Roncolato - Journalist, Ariel Tonglet - Developer, Rodolfo Almeida - Infographist