Syrian Refugee Crisis Visualization


  • Data visualisation is a technique used to make the invisible, visible
  • Data visualisation is being deemed the modern day equivalent of visual communication
  • It aims to present information or data in a clear and effective manner through the use of images such as tables, graphs, charts or even through more artistic and non conventional forms
  • We believe data visualisation is very important for our society, which is suffering from a lack of attention and mindful infotention
  • As Howard, in the week six reading said, visualisation is a way of combatting these issues


  • We wanted to create a visualisation that is current and relevant
  • We chose the Syrian Refugee Crisis and focused on the number of people being displaced
  • Most of the facts and figures about this issue are being represented in a dense and difficult to digest manner
  • Our goal was to create a visualization that people could quickly and easily understand, informing them about this topic
  • This would allow them to form their own opinions and join in the conversation
Visualization by Monique Campanella
Visualization by Monique Campanella and Anna Daras

Visual Techniques

  • We chose to use the colours that are found on the Syrian flag – red, green, black and white
  •  These colours are used not only for their cultural and traditional significance, but also to help draw the eye to different data being presented – the red and black draw the viewer’s
    attention to the most important facts

Why this visualisation should be published

  • The purpose behind the publishing of this visualization would to be create a ‘buzz’ on social media
    • Preferably the visualisation would go viral with lots of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ as this would mean it reaches a wide audience
    • This visualisation would also inform people who normally wouldn’t spend the time trying to understand this topic
    • By creating awareness of this issue, more people will become informed of the facts and will potentially do something about it – e.g. donate to charity or sign a petition


  • The reading by Timo in week 8 inspired us to use the ever dashing dashed line to draw attention the amount of Syrian people each country have taken in – it also represents the refugees not ‘fitting in’ anywhere
  • We read a lot of newspaper articles about this issue to gain statistics
  • We did not find any representations of these statistics in such a simple form as the visualisation we have created
  • We found a lot of background reading is required to understand this particular topic, the simplistic nature of our visualisation aims to reduce this research

Strengths and weaknesses 

  •  We left out data from some countries as the information was inconsistent and not reliable
  • Visually concise and easy to read/understand data
  • Visually pleasing and interesting
  • Perfect for people who suffer from infotention



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