Geography 970

February 22, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jing Gao @ 11:36 pm

Metropolis is very much self explanatory – an animation made out of printed static maps, a narrative history of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. “Starting around 1755 on a Native American trading path, the viewer is presented with the building of the first house in Charlotte. From there we see the town develop through the historic dismissal of the English, to the prosperity made by the discovery of gold and the subsequent roots of the building of the multitude of churches that the city is famous for. Now the landscape turns white with cotton, and the modern city is ‘born’, with a more detailed re-creation of the economic boom and surprising architectural transformation that has occurred in the past 20 years.  …  Ultimately the video continues the city development into an imagined hubristic future, of more and more skyscrapers and sports arenas and into a bleak environmental future. It is an extreme representation of the already serious water shortages that face many expanding American cities today; but this is less a warning, as much as a statement of our paper thin significance no matter how many monuments of steel, glass and concrete we build.”

This also made me think about the usage/purpose of maps: the desire to navigate physically or mentally led to the birth of reference maps; to show a phenomena, to make a point, we designed thematic maps;  to tell a story that has a time line, we discovered animated maps; to provide an experience, to let the user explore on their own initiatives, we developed interactive maps.  What’s the next?


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