Hello! My name is Luz K. Molina and I am a Marine Scientist interested in interactive data visualization. I am originally from Colombia. I did my Masters on Phytoplankton Abundance and Composition at USM. Due to my background, I have sampled, tested and analyzed data. Now I enjoy finding hidden patterns in data and displaying it. I currently live in Manchester, UK, where I pursue my PhD in Visualization at Manchester Metropolitan University. I am part of SAF21, a project that studies Social Aspects of Fisheries in the 21st Century. If you would like to look at my current research click here!

These and other visualizations have been done with R, css, html, and d3.js. Looking forward for a bigger data challenge to visualize!

Do you have challenging data to present? Contact me! For more information and samples of my work scroll down.


I started creating visualizations while doing my Masters degree thesis. I realized I liked trying to explain my data to the public through graphs. I discovered that there was a field of science communication. This field was about what I was trying to do. I also discovered that among them, there where scientists using data visualizations to communicate complex topics in their fields. I decided to pursue a PhD in the field. This gave me the opportunity to research other works related to maps, charts, and graphs.

I created this space to answer questions I had in relation to different topics and to learn as I practice what I have learned. As a Biologist with a background in Oceanography I had the initial intention of displaying only such topics. I realized that there were many other subjects I wanted to explore. I also wanted to look into areas that the public would like to learn about. This is why the range of topics is so wide. Lately I have made a lot of maps. This is not just because I love geography, but also because it is a graphical form that most viewers understand. Some of the first visualizations were part of visualization challenges. These are not as popular as they used to, but they helped me try different software libraries and eventually see how other competitors where showing their data. Comparing graphs, methods and ways people represent the data is an excellent way of learning more about visualization. Many of these first attempts have different designs and forms. This was great to experiment. Now I am more tame in my displays.

I am still daring on the use of color. I am personally attracted to strong and vibrant colors. I blame my upbringing in the Caribbean for this. Nevertheless, I am starting to look for color palettes. This way I am less likely to offend viewers with a pop of color. There are different resources like the Color Brewer for maps and Datawrapper suggestions for choosing colors. These are great ways to accomplish colors the viewer will understand. I am still experimenting, and I find some of this suggestions repetitive. It is just a personal choice and I am still working on finding hues that satisfy me and the viewers.

I have not ordered the visualizations by topic or type, but you can clearly see some of the designs have been reused to create new visualizations. I have used the code of a successful visualization, made some changes to use new data, and adapted the graph to present a new idea or topic. This way I can publish more visualizations in a shorter time. It also allows me to show different topics of interest quickly. The first of these series was the population pyramid set. These couple of visualizations show U.S. population by Race and Ethnicity in that order. To explain a bit about them I wrote a piece on MEDIUM.

Later I wanted to recreate the Colombian election and the relationship between education and Real Estate values. I found information about Bivariate maps and how they could be used to look at 2 variables in one map. I like creating this type of map, but it takes a while to understand them. I would love to make more but not sure if they get the message across. Later I created 2 choropleth maps. One about Real Estate values and one about Coronavirus cases. Both maps show changes in a timeline in all the counties of the U.S. Both maps are being updated as the data will keep pouring in. They are both animated and show interesting trends through the USA.

The habitat maps started as a look into one of my favorite animals. Sloths are native to South America and are found in different overlapping habitats. I thought it was worth making an interactive map that showed where each species lived. This is also why Llama and Alpaca map was made, and later the Tiger subspecies map. This last one, focuses in the extinct subspecies and habitat loss. I finally focused my attention in Bears. The beauty of the Bear habitat map is that it includes most continents, and a lot of species. Regardless of the number of species, I think the map works. The interaction allows for the viewer to see each species independently. As mentioned before they are quite colorful, but I made them thinking of attracting audiences to a serious topic in ecology, which is habitat loss. I also wanted a good contrast between species habitats.

My last group is the name maps. I wanted to make a name map of different geographic features. It is an interesting way of looking at the history of an area. Since names are assigned depending on the people that live or lived in an area, you can differentiate areas where a particular name prevails.

The British Family Tree stands alone as a directed force graph. I loved creating this visualization about the Genealogy of the English Monarchs. It is a bit complex as is the history of the family. I look forward to changing the code and removing some of its mobility. I think this scares some of the viewers, when they initially see the motion of the royals. Once it settles it is quite interesting to see the relationships between royal members. If I achieve this improvements I plan to make one for each one of the major European families.

As mentioned before if you would like a tailored visualization I would be glad to offer my services as a freelancer in Data visualization!

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