Is time-lapse-o-graphic the new infographic? 

I think so. Recently I’ve found infographics to be really annoying (unless they’re beautifully executed). I say annoying because they miss the whole point of an infographic, which is to explain something which would usually be incomprehensible, in a quick, easy and often visual manner. They started off great, mainly thanks to magazines like Good and Wired employing talented graphic designers and illustrators to tackle gross amounts of data, and sculpt the numbers into something that explains a complex issue like america’s food system in a minute of looking. Their popularity exploded, and viral internet machine Buzzfeed was soon spurting out infographics that were factually incorrect, poorly designed and didn’t really teach you anything. Infographics became more did you know’s’ in a popular typeface than anything half interesting.

So when I first watched 100 years of ships, a time lapse graphic which maps out shipping routes data (which was logged meticulously by the captains), it really excited me, like this war games inspired nuclear bomb video. There’s a lot of stuff you could do with the right data (and amount of spare time).

video is from kottke.

May 15, 2012