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All of the following visualizations are taken from the following document:

Cronin, Patrick M., & National Defense University. Institute for National Strategic Studies. 2009 Global strategic assessment 2009: America's security role in a changing world / edited by Patrick M. Cronin Published for the Institute for National Strategic Studies by the National Defense University Press : For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O., Washington, D.C.

Good Visualization: Areas of Responsibility


Information: Each geographic location has two pieces of information coded onto it: 1.Department of Defense Geographic Command 2.Department of State Regional Bureau

The keys are fairly clear, although I'm not sure why they used squiggly lines instead of solid colors for the DoD key.

The additional focus boxes showing how things look at the poles also helps to clarify.

This map does a good job quickly communicating state, continent, and ocean boundaries of the various areas of responsibility in the State Department and the Department of Defense.

Mixed Feelings Visualization: Maritime Zones


I think this visualization does a good job illustrating a legal concept which is not always easy to do.

But there are some things that are confusing: 1. How is the Continental Shelf defined ? Does it depend on the depth (like "The Area" @ > 2,500 m) ? Or does it overlap with the Exclusive Economic Zone ?

After looking this up on Wikipedia it seems that it might have been hard to represent:

"The continental shelf is defined as the natural prolongation of the land territory to the continental margin’s outer edge, or 200 nautical miles from the coastal state’s baseline, whichever is greater. State’s continental shelf may exceed 200 nautical miles until the natural prolongation ends. However, it may never exceed 350 nautical miles from the baseline; or it may never exceed 100 nautical miles beyond the 2,500 meter isobath (the line connecting the depth of 2,500 meters). Coastal states have the right to harvest mineral and non-living material in the subsoil of its continental shelf, to the exclusion of others. Coastal states also have exclusive control over living resources "attached" to the continental shelf, but not to creatures living in the water column beyond the exclusive economic zone."


2. The language defining the rights for the Continental Shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone are so similar that it would seems that differences could be represented more clearly.

3. The fact that the language for the Exclusive Economic Zone extends past the arrow for the Exclusive Economic Zone is confusing.

Bad Visualization: The Need to Reform Interagency Coordination


This might not even qualify as a visualization, and the data is more qualitative than quantitative, but it is the kind of information I frequently have to deal with.

The italics added by the author allow for a quicker scan of the text in the right hand column, but there is so much text that one feels the need to read all of it.

I think the author still manages to accomplish the objective of emphasizing that the need for reform has been mentioned in many places over a long period of time.

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