D3 Meteorite Map Retrospective


The D3 meteorite map project maps all of the meteorite impacts on a map of the world. The size of the circle on the map corresponds to the mass of the impacting meteorite.

When I first started with D3, this was the type of thing I really wanted to create and this was, along with the force directed graph, my favorite of the D3 projects. Using a bunch of D3 paths to draw a map is almost like magic.

I used a video tutorial by Jonathan Soma to help me use geoJSON and build maps for the first time.

Code Review

I followed the video tutorial above pretty closely since this was my first attempt at using geoJSON and things like projections and geoMercator() and geoPath(). Most of the difficulty came in figuring out an appropriate threshold for sizing the circles based on mass. The thresholds I ended up using were pretty arbitrary based on what made a nice looking map. Choosing colors that worked well for the circles was also a struggle since there are so many meteorite strikes in places like Europe so there are lots of overlapping circles.

Future Improvements

I think it would be really cool to add a zoom feature to this map so that you could zoom in on parts of the map that have lots of meteorite strikes and the locations of the circles would adjust appropriately. I have an idea for another map that I want to draw with D3 though. I want to see if I can find geoJSON data for building maps of Middle-Earth and use D3 paths to display the paths taken by members of the Fellowship across Middle-Earth.