Data visualization and storytelling


Announcing arc maps

Visualize any kind of geographic flows with our new template

Over the past few months we have built a whole new Flourish mapping system. The aim was to take the best open-source technology and make it easy to use for anyone with a spreadsheet, without coding. The new templates visualize data and highlight locations above gorgeous customizable vector background maps.

Today we are releasing the first of many templates to grow out of this work: a three-dimensional Arc Map template for visualizing any kind of flow data, from financial transfers between cities to a refugee’s migration path. Here’s an example showing a month of Citibike trips in New York City.

As with all Flourish templates, you can create a visualization in this style by uploading a spreadsheet in the right format. Check out the requirements and get started.

Among other things, the template allows you to:

  • Choose the style of background map
  • Change the color and width of the arcs based on columns in your data
  • Allow the user to “brush” over the map to highlight flows in certain areas
  • Animate around the map in a Flourish story to create a narrative

Behind the scenes

The data visualization layer of this template makes use of, a powerful open-source codebase created by the talented visualization team at Uber. Like most of our new map templates, this one also uses Mapbox GL for rendering background maps, the data for which comes from OpenStreetMap. We’re grateful to the many developers who have contributed to these projects.

Make your own arc map now »