Mapping Camping Locations for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Mapping Camping Locations for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Find camping locations within the path of totality of the 2024 solar eclipse by viewing our data visualizations, which merge eclipse and parks geo datasets.

Reading Time 2 mins

The data visualizations in this blog post—which are tied to best camping locales for viewing the 2024 total solar eclipse—are not optimized for a mobile screen. For the best viewing experience, please read on a desktop or tablet.

I once read about a married couple who annually plan vacations to travel the world in pursuit of solar eclipses. They spoke about how, regardless of their location, food preferences, or language abilities, they always managed to share a moment of awe with whoever stood near them as they gazed up at the hidden sun.

While I can’t speak to the experience of viewing an eclipse abroad, I did travel to the path of totality for a solar eclipse in 2017, and I can confirm the feeling of awe and the sense of shared experience with strangers. Chasing eclipses around the world isn’t something I can easily squeeze into my life, but when an eclipse is nearby, I make an effort to go see it. 

On April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will pass over the United States. It will cast the moon’s shadow over the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, a sliver of Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

As I’ve been making plans for this eclipse, I’ve been using NASA’s data tool for exploring where in the path of totality I might view the eclipse from. This tool is exceptional and includes the time the eclipse will begin by location, a simulation of the eclipse’s journey, and a weather forecast. I have several friends who have traveled to see an eclipse only to be met with a gray cloudy sky, so keeping an eye on the weather is very important

But, as I was using this tool, I found myself wanting to know what camping options fall within the path of totality for the 2024 total solar eclipse. I, like many, prefer to make a small camping vacation out of the experience, and the location of parks is information not provided by NASA’s data tool. So I found a dataset detailing the location of 57,000 parks in the United States, isolated the parks that fall within the path of totality, and plotted them.

Below is the final visualization, with an added tooltip for viewing the details of the park.
For those interested in the code for this project, check out the links to the data and my data manipulation and visualization code.

Happy eclipsing, everyone!

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Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of April 1, 2024. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

About Jo-l Collins

Jo-l is a data scientist and artist based in Chicago. They currently work as a senior data scientist for Flatiron School.

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