UX · UI · Data Visualisation

Visualisation showing causes of death on 5 tallest mountains

The death zone is the name used by mountain climbers for high altitude where there is not enough oxygen for humans to breathe. This is usually above 8,000 metres (26,247 feet). The atmosphere gets really thin, even a fit individual struggles to survive. Most of the 200+ climbers who have died on Mount Everest have died in the death zone.

Lack of oxygen is not the only reason because of which adventurers have lost their lives in an attempt to summit most coveted peaks in the world. This info-viz is an attempt to visualise the number of people who have died each year on the five tallest mountains of the world and the cause of their deaths. This data is presented according to the origin of such people.




2 weeks




UX Designer


The idea was to show all the recorded deaths till present (then 2015) in a single page. The plot can be filtered based on causes of deaths. This will help in understanding what are the major causes of deaths at such high altitude. They have been categorized according to their country of origin & mountain in the info-viz.

Data collection The data set was easily available on wikipedia. The data set found contained name, country of origin, cause of death, year, age (partially recorded) for each mountain. The first recorded death was in the year 1922, hence the info-viz's starting year was set to 1922. The quantity of data for 93 years was huge, and quality was poor. Data set was refined and re-structered before it could be used for the info-viz.


One of the focus points that could give an interesting take on the data is to bring forward the causes of deaths at such high altitude for each mountain. It will help mountaineers when they are planning to summit these peaks. However, the predectability of behaviour of terrain above 5000mtrs is least or completely unknown. One of the things that caught my attention when looking at the data was how many people from each country have died on these expeditions. And it was really saddening to know that majority of the casualities belonged to Nepal. At least one person has died climbing mountain in Nepal every year since 1900 (source: cnn). Sherpas who belong to Nepal have been more or less solely taken up the responsibilities of fixing ropes & ladders at high altitudes every year.

Sherpa: They Die, We Go Home - This article talks about how dangerous it is to climb Mt Everest, and balatant exploitation of the Sherpas.

So understanding number of deaths according to the origin of coutry was given the highest importance in this info-viz. The bubbles were labelled as the national flag of the effected country to make it easier to understand.


The second part would be to show the magnitude of each event, a natural calamity like avalanche, extreme weather conditions would take higher toll as compared to other causes of death. Showing magnitude of the event combined with the country of origin will highlight the issue discussed earlier.


MICRO INTERACTIONS Highlighting a year User can highlight any year by simply hovering over it. All the casualities that happened in that particular year will be highlighted with a white line in the background.

More info of the event On hovering over any bubble infoviz will give you additional information like, nationality & total number of casualities.

Filter down using casues Dataset can be broken down visually by using filters or cause of death. On choosing any filter, the dataset is regenerated and rendered to give fresh visualisation.

FINAL DESIGN A working prototype of infographic was created using HTML5-CSS & jQuery: Please note: The prototype might not work for every screen size. Recommended size would be 1600x900 or higher, with full screen enabled in the browser.

Seems like you've reached the end Hope you enjoyed it, if so I would be very thankful if you'd share this project :)

More projects

(C) Designed & Developed by Abhishek Umrao | 2016