This article, the first in a series on global climate migration, is a partnership between ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center. For most of human history, people have lived within a surprisingly narrow range of temperatures, in the places where the climate supported abundant food production. But as the planet warms, that band is suddenly shifting north.
While the cinematic visualization approach can violate traditional rules of visualization, we find that through careful control of the camera, cinematic visualizations enable immersion in data-driven, anthropocentric environments, and can naturally incorporate in-situ narrators, concrete scales, and visual analogies. Our analysis guides our design of a series of cinematic visualizations, created for NASA’s Earth Science Communications team. We present one as a case study to convey design guidelines covering cinematography, lighting, set design, and sound, and discuss challenges in creating cinematic visualizations.