My article, Visualizing Water Infrastructure with Sankey Maps: a Case Study of Mapping the Los Angeles Aqueduct, California, was just published in Journal of Maps!!! In it, I dive deep into the theory and practices behind the signature Sankey map of the Aqueduct Futures exhibit with a peer reviewed research article. You can read the full article (it’s open-access thanks to the College of Environmental Design) at DOI: 10.1080/17445647.2018.1473815.
Creating resilience for urban water supply systems requires innovative thematic visualizations of the interface between infrastructure, ecology, and culture to viscerally engage lay audiences in the policy making process. Sankey maps (a hybrid Sankey diagram/flow map) embed the systemic accounting of flows between sources and sinks into a spatial framework. This allows a hierarchy of visual variables to encode environmental conditions and historical data, providing a rich multi-variate context supporting public discourse, policy making, and system operations. The article features a Sankey map of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system (California, USA) (not to scale).
If you want to learn more about flow maps after reading my article, check out the infrascapedesign post that shares many of the precedents mentioned.