The powers of zoom

One part of my thesis is about the anatomy of an interactive infographic. Obviously the most important feature of an interactive is the way it enables users to manipulate the visualization. Using interactive modalities like typing, clicking and dragging they can hide, reveal, add or filter information.

Or they can zoom. In 1968 Ray and Charles Eames enlightened the world with a brilliant short film that first zooms out to the edges of the universe and then zooms back in to the inside of an atom. Cary and Michael Huang did something similar in an interactive that gives you the opportunity to zoom the universe. The University of Utah used the same idea (and a much more talented designer) on this great site about genetics.

Stress and distraction

Financial website Portfolio.com made an inventory of factors that can increase stress in metro areas, ranging from unemployment and traffic to pollution and even the weather. These were quantified for the 50 largest cities in the States. The results are visualized on an interactive map. A good idea but the implementation could have been better. For one thing I would have liked to be able to compare the areas on each individual factor. Secondly I prefer a click instead of a mouse-over to reveal popup windows. Last but not least, the animation of the steam doesn’t contain information but certainly adds distraction.

Beer, bratwurst and dirndls

The famous Oktoberfest in Munich is celebrating it’s 200th Anniversary. The festivities- drinking beer, eating bratwurst and watching women in dirndls – started yesterday and will continue until, well… October. Students of the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam created some kind of advent calendar with all kind of information for visitors of the festival in pixel art. Functional? Probably not. But for sure nice to click through.