NDUSTRY NEWS: Thematic Mapping
- 25 July 2011 by jenn 0 Comments
|Constuctions of Data Landscapes
Thematic mapping takes a picture of social, cultural, political or economic landscapes. Being able to compare and contrast geographies in a data context gives an instantaneous understanding that no written narrative could ever explain. The above example entitled Choose Your Weapon – The Global Arms Trade was created by the International Networks Archive is project initiated by Prof. Miguel Angel Centeno of the Sociology Dept. at Princeton University. The project seeks to answer the question: What does globilization look like? The project seeks to map 2,000 years of history and to create an “Atlas of Globilization” that maps “global transactions instead of geography.”
Although beautiful, these maps provide some warts-and-all data and grim news. As important as these thematic maps are, to what end are they used? To motivate change? To give people the data they need to make informed political decisions? To see the graphic representations of inflated spending and the unfair trade practices? To see America out of whack? Depressing.
Need some uplifting news? GOOD is ”the integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good. We are a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward. GOOD’s mission is to provide content, experiences, and utilities to serve this community.”
GOOD’s Road Map To Harmony is an interactive map that provides information on how we can do good. Brilliant design and interactivability! Check out the full interactive map here. It is imagining of how the world should be, could be if we all worked towards a peaceful ecosystem.
IMAGEre: Map History Redux
Click on maps
Even Google Maps have outgrown their original purpose. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) had a show in 2008 called Design and the Elastic Mind which included 14 Google Map Mashups including Capital of Punk, safe2pee and The Beer Hunter. According to MOMA, the show “focuses on designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and social mores, changes that will demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior, and convert them into objects and systems that people understand and use.”
For more on Design and the Elastic Mind, watch MOMA’s Design Curator Paola Antonelli give a preview lecture.
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