They get especially annoying in visualizations. Info is, well, daunting. It crowds, it muddies, our own dyslexias misconstrue and confound. Which is why I often love to resort to the age old adage I learned while being toted around in a shopping cart. Let’s face it, there isn’t much to do being 2 feet tall, besides imagining you are in a crazy mobil prisoner, then to watch mom do a side by side comparison of the various nefarious fruits and vegetables I’ll be forced to consume for dinner later. Tomatos. Cantalopes, Lift, poke, color, size. Without the use of any words whatsoever, the fate of nature lies in the balance. Literally. Suddenly, mother become a human scale, left, right, left, right. It’s my own childhood Thunderdome. 2 fruit enter, 1 fruit leaves.
Of course, in the world of trending, this is pretty much the best weapon we have. Placing similar objects next to each other gives us all the insight we need to further a project. Things get REALLY interesting though, when you inadvertently start to apply this. I realized this while sitting in Taqueria Mercado watching the MLS game of the week. The game of the week, is often considered the best matchup that would bring high scoring and weekly ratings. But Euro Cup this isn’t. Having been watching Germany, Italy, England and the nauseating Spanish for the better part of a month, going back to MLS is almost laughable. Now, I love me some Donovan. I’m a huge fan of the Union. But the side-by-side comparison isn’t pretty. With all the talk of how far we’ve come, there’s much further to go.
Next up, cities. You’ve all heard my poetic love for Philadelphia. It’s all the good parts of NYC (culture, food, people) without all the bad parts (cost, size, …cost). Recently I had a chance to literally, go from the best Cincy has to offer (a tremendous weekend out and about with friends), to an evening back in Philly (also with friends), to a week back in Jersey. Ok, so you can all mark the date, cause I am going to have it written in documented form here. Like Cincy. I think it’s quite an interesting little city. It was growing on me in leaps and bounds, and dare I say the weekend I wish to reference actually had me thinking, I was back East, if only for a moment. Then, came Philly. One, not even that crazy night, meeting up with friends past, quickly reminded me how far Cincy has to go. In the 8 months I have been gone, so much has sprouted up. More people. More hotspots. More neighborhoods. The city is growing faster than the lawn of the abandoned house next to mine. The speed difference has always bothered me. The side-by-side really put it into perspective however. I don’t know if it’s more driven people, or just the sheer number of them, per square foot in each city that makes the difference.
I always joke and say its like hitting Command+S, grabbing the corner of NYC and scaling down. But, it’s different. The SbS reveals so much more. Density, color, height, weight, food, diversity, art. It’s not just scaled down, it’s flat out different. Over the next few weeks I am going to try to make apps to show these. Again these are just visual observations, made within hours of each other. It’s hard to capture feeling, but we’ll see what we can do.