October 14, 2005


Shari Motro: "Maps record facts, but whether by design or accident, they also project worldviews and function as arguments. Every map reflects a set of judgments that influence the viewer's impression of the underlying data. The choice of colors and labels, the cropping, and the process of selecting what gets included and what gets left out all combine to form a visual gestalt. A skilled designer can make peace seem inevitable or impossible, reassuring or terrifying, logical or jumbled."

That quote comes from a fascinating piece about how, regardless of what the "two-state solution" in the Middle East ends up looking like, it ought to have a well-designed and well-colored map to convey the final concept. No, really. Check out all the graphics too; how the maps are colored really does make a difference. Meanwhile, we have a helpful map in our office that shows the proper area of different regions, while sacrificing shape. (Most maps do the reverse, obviously.) So Greenland doesn't look bigger than all of South America, and it's easy to see that Sudan is really fucking massive. As it should be.
-- Brad Plumer 1:41 PM || ||