Interactive Map is Interactive. Zing!

April 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm (Reaction)

As I ventured my way to 10,000 Words I wondered to myself what exactly do we mean by interactive maps. Honestly, my first thought was that we were supposed to be looking at interfaces. They’re kind of close, but I was very wrong.

Anyway, the first map I looked at was USA Today’s map following the economic crisis. It’s a little scary (obviously, seeing how far we’ve fallen), but I think it was a pretty neat way to go about things.

The map starts entirely in the year 2000. You drag the bar at the bottom of the map, and as you drag it to the right, it reveals the status of the economy and number of housing loans in 2007 (which is much sadder than it was in 2000). One problem I felt was that I, at first, thought it was a time line, that didn’t work right. Then I realized that it was a comparison between 2000 and 2007. I questioned what would be more effective, but I think that this was the more powerful way to go. Instead of a gradual change, the ending result is much more intense this way. I do think the gradual change would be an interesting way to go, too. It would look kind of like a sped up spreading of a nasty fungus.

Second, I looked at the Capitol of Punk map. After you enter the main page, you get a very scrungy-looking Google map with some pop-up pictures to mark some important places. As you click on them, you are taken to a video which give overviews and visuals of the places. I liked it. The combination of all the different media was executed very well.

The last map I looked at was the Chicago, In Color. This was a nice visual collection of monuments dedicated to the diverse populations in Chicago. The main piece, in my opinion, was the mural on the side of a McDonalds. It covered all of the cultures through famous faces from the city. Of course everyday locals would be a good representation, too, but I feel the mural of famous Chicago locals brings a sense of unity in addition to a sense of pride. It also featured the two Native American statues (The Bowman and The Spearman)which stand at the entrance to Grant Park for the Native American citizens. It showed the statue of Mexican President Benito Juarez to celebrate Chicago’s Mexican population. The last monument showcased was Willie Dixon’s Blues Garden – which was viewed at different angles.

Each monument had a small description which shared the meanings of the landmarks. The one thing that I disliked about this map was that I couldn’t find a way to get back to the first map which showed all of the the monuments in which they stood.

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