Longest Scottish Rivers Infographic

In 2020, Scotland celebrates its 'Year of Coasts and Waters', which includes elements of the landscape such as coasts, lochs and rivers. In support of the Year of Coast and Waters, the infographic below takes a look at the twenty longest rivers in Scotland that flow into the sea, depicting them from North to South to reflect their actual positions on the map. The infographic further illustrates their lengths and catchment areas relative to each other. Visualising the river data in this way highlights the differences in scale and allows comparisons to be made.

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longest Scottish rivers infographic
Supporting Year of Coasts & Waters 2020

Visualising the data


The twenty longest Scottish rivers are listed from North to South and divided into two groups to indicate whether they flow into the sea on the West or on the East coast. There are two datapoints shown for each river – the catchment area, shown as squares, and the length, shown as an arrowed line.


The catchment area is the drainage area where water runs into the river system, and is shown in square kilometres (km2). The length is the longest distance through the catchment area and estuary to the sea, and is measured in kilometres (km). The catchment areas and lengths shown on the infographic are proportional, so that the rivers can be appreciated in context with each other.



Scotland's longest rivers


The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland, running for 193 km to the east coast and into the North Sea. It also has the largest catchment area, covering more than 5000 km2. The shortest river in the top twenty is the River Dee (Galloway), which is 61 km long. The river with the smallest catchment area is the River Oykel, the most northerly river in the list, which covers 355 km2.


Of the twenty longest rivers, sixteen – almost 75% of the total – flow to the East coast into the North Sea. On the West coast, all but one of the longest rivers are to the south of the River Clyde, the exception being the River Lochy in the West Highlands.



Design


The infographic is styled to evoke a ‘vintage’ look, a post-war aesthetic that uses a limited colour palette, simple shapes and a contemporary font. The background shading enhances the 'retro' feel of the design by suggesting that the paper has discoloured over time, as if the infographic were in an old atlas.



Sources


www.almanacofscotland.co.uk
forthriverstrust.org
ness.dsfb.org.uk
deveron.org
www.nessandbeauly.org.uk
www.cononfishing.com
www.sepa.org.uk
nrfa.ceh.ac.uk
en.wikipedia.org


This infographic appeared in JONO Design e-news. The e-news is published once every couple of months and each issue contains a specially designed infographic.


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