The Risk Zoo

Animal kingdom metaphors are often invoked in the disaster risk world for their accessibility and familiarity when discussing difficult or uncomfortable topics. However, there are a great number of these metaphors and it can be hard to keep track on what each of them all mean, and how exactly they differ from one another! The Risk Zoo was created to illustrate as many of these metaphors as possible, and encode key information about each of the animals in the risk zoo within the visualization.

The Risk Zoo map encodes four parameters:

  • Probability: West = more likely, East = less likely

  • Impact: North = higher consequences, South = lower consequences

  • Visibility of hazard: Size of tree

  • Event onset: Length of grass

You can visit The Risk Zoo for a description of every animal metaphor, along with the sources on each metaphor to compile this visualization. You can also download The Risk Zoo map in wide and tall formats.

This project was a part of the 2020 Risk & Resilience DAT/Artathon. Read more about the DAT/Artathon here.