via Slate: The 7,000 streams that become the Mississippi River.
A new online tool released by the Department of the Interior this week allows users to select any major stream and trace it up to its sources or down to its watershed. The above map, exported from the tool, highlights all the major tributaries that feed into the Mississippi River, illustrating the river’s huge catchment area of approximately 1.15 million square miles, or 37 percent of the land area of the continental U.S. Use the tool to see where the streams around you are getting their water (and pollution).
I hadn’t seen this when it originally launched, but was thinking that it would have been great to have it. Boston Globe was a step a head of me. This interactive lets readers add their own story based on where they were. Very cool.
LA Times did a great job making a ton of heavy data easy, accessible, fun and shareable. Home run!
I like this approach for showing a complex network web: Rather than displaying it all at once (which doesn’t tell a story), sort a list and only show selected section of the web at a time.
Source: The Guardian, via Brian Boyer.
Compare the viz on the top to the one on the bottom. Both serve the same basic function: applying a set of filters to manipulate data on a map. Both are heat-map-like in that they’re using a colored key to represent a frequency of something.
Which one is more usable? I can’t even figure out how to use the second version.
- Clickable filters over dropdown menus
- Less information is more. Normal consumers aren’t researches who want to dig into every possible facet of the information. Pick the best stuff so they don’t get lost.
Source - NYT
Source- Seattle Times
Yet another example from the NYT, this time an example of what not to do. As more newspapers are putting up paywalls, it’s important to remember to respect the users that already pay. Sure, with this popup they’re targeting people who may not already pay for a digital subscription, but for those who do, make the login button easy to find. I don’t see it anywhere on this popup.
#cause and effect
Another one from the NYT. It’s such a dead-simple concept, but further proof that not everything has to be crazy and flash and interactive. Less is more. Pull the lever, see impact. Simple, visual demonstration of cause and effect.
#leading you through the story
NYT does it a lot and I’m going to copy it for something, someday. It takes a lot of complex info, segments it into header sections, and gives you a sticky nav that highlights the newest section as you scroll through. It’s a way of guiding you through content and helping you keep your place as you scroll in context of the whole page.
One of my favorite parts of Engadget’s latest redesign is this extremely useful “reviews” page. Utility-based design that gets beyond simple excerpts as a way of summarizing a content item.
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