Taking a 2,650-mile (virtual) journey

For my first #IronQuest challenge, I decided to dust off an old project that I had started many months ago. The theme of “Travel & Vacations” provided me the perfect opportunity because my viz was about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

I live in Washington and have always wanted to do at least one or two sections of the PCT. A few years ago I did part of a section and even just those few miles that I did — with 11 other people, three horses and four dogs — was spectacular.

But, I don’t think I’ll be venturing out to do an entire section anytime soon. So this visualization of PCT data will have to be sufficient for now.

In one of the newer updates of Tableau Desktop, the ability to have “show/hide” buttons on basically any element on a dashboard was added. Excited by this baked-in option to a workaround I had used previously, I used the crap out of this new feature.

The viz structure is unique in that the first page starts with a lot of text as you scroll down the West Coast of the U.S. As you get to the bottom, there’s a button for you to press, which takes you to the viz — to the bottom of the viz. Since a very heavy majority of PCT thru-hikers start at the Mexico border and head north, I thought it would be fun to also start this data story from the bottom and have viewers scroll up.

Without further ado, here’s the viz (click the image to go to Tableau Public and interactive with it).

Side by side screenshots of the U.S. west coast states: California, Oregon and Washington. The left side has a lot of text that scrolls down the map, the right side has a trail marked from Mexico to Canada with annotations and icons along it.

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