Death Penalty Laws

This week in mapping we are creating a map that contains a full story. I chose to map recent statistics on death penalty laws worldwide.

I ran into a number of problems along the way. The most difficult was, although I thought it would be simple, I could not find a complete recent datasource online. After a lot of googling, I ended up creating my own data in CSV from the most recent Amnesty International report and Death Penalty Info.

I then had to add my data to the geoJSON world map. It took me a few attempts to get the info matched up correctly as the names and the number of countries did not match in the two different datasets. From there I had to combine the two sets of data into one geoJSON file. I first tried to do this by converting the geoJSON to CSV using an online converter. Unfortunately, the geoJSON lat, long coordinates didn’t translate correctly, and as a result it wouldn’t convert back to geoJSON properly. In the end, this code by Mimi Onuoha allowed me to add my CSV data to my original GeoJSON file.

From there, I brought the data into the Leaflet.js chloropleth map.

One thing worth noting was how difficult it was to color this map. I didn’t want to be too literal with something like red for death penalty and blue for freedom, but I did want the colors to feel as though they had some relevance. In the end, I followed the Guardian’s lead in using red and blue tones.

Also, I felt really uncomfortable putting this map online, knowing that I wasn’t extra careful putting my data together. I decided to put a note in the code and credit line to make sure that if anyone stumbled across it they didn’t take the data for fact.

Here’s the map:

Code is here: