US-Mexico Border Crossings

US-Mexico Border History

Student Artist: Carlos Moradel
Course: Data Visualization with Lucy HG Solomon
Researcher: Dr. S. Deborah Kang, CSUSM History

Project Description
Dr. Deborah Kang’s work involves the protest against building a wall between the US and Mexico. Through her work she is trying to show that immigration has been around since the beginning of the 20th century and that we have benefited from the migrant workers. Most politicians know that a wall is not realistic, as in actuality a wall would kill most of the US economy, especially local businesses. Having good relationships with Canada and Mexico is a matter of necessity.

It started with the first railroads in the US and Mexico, who with the emergence of industries such as corporate ranchers and farming industry, brought migrant workers or turned to Mexican nationals. This was due to the ban on Chinese immigrants, since China was at war with our allies. The data is a direct reflection of the activity that is happening now, where people migrate to work, study or visit for a while.

I started with table full of data, which had the first recorded migration numbers by the United States Department of Justice. The table was provided by Dr. Kang, and it is the basis of her research and soon-to-be published book. I must say that at first the data was overwhelming, but after consulting with Dr. Kang, it became clear that it was much simpler than looking at a bunch of numbers. It is here that I decided upon me objective – to make this chart easier to understand through an illustration.

I proceeded by taking the most essential pieces of data needed to understand the overall concept, and later through a bunch of rough sketches and multiple layouts on paper.

I was able to come up with a conception that conveys the overall notion from the table and, at same time, gives the viewer the information need it to decipher the set of data.

3 Replies to “US-Mexico Border Crossings”

  1. Your project is an interesting and fun representation of how the United States has grown in size following the Industrial Revolution. The poster is a visual representation of how diverse the country is and also how this country relied on immigrants to grow the country technologically and culturally.

  2. Carlos, from a graphic designers perspective, your composition of art work was very interesting to me. How you were able to compose that complicated looking chart of data into a more visible and well depicted project. I really like how you kept it old school. By making your project black and white, the usage of fonts, and images. By using the rail road tracks to show the data was awesome. Personally, the overall message I got the point. What the professor said too made sense. Why we shouldn’t build a wall, because the immigrants do bring a lot of income. Even though we can’t because of politics. Overall, I really enjoy seeing you project. Great work.

  3. Carlos, This is fantastic! I think that you have done a wonderful job of conveying the broader significance of the border crossing data. As I deliver a series of talks on my recently published book in the coming months, I am going to direct my audiences to your website. Many congratulations on a very fine piece of work!

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