Sunday, 27 June 2010

The power of context, Part II

In preparation for tomorrow's TEDxOilSpill meet-up in Cambridge UK, let me highlight two among the many, many postings on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (I also wrote about here and here).

One is Ruth Lang's animated map in SVG using FOSS webware:

click on image to go to website

Another is ESRI's timeline map on their disaster response page:

click on image to go to website

My previous blogpost was a very simple depiction of a local archaeological site as seen through various web media. The two animations above extend the power of context not insignificantly: A picture is worth a thousand words, a map ten thousand and so on for the animations here and the video tomorrow at TEDx... Indeed the patent differences between two maps above surely underscore the power of the assumptions and parameters used in each.

That is why I helped the radio media report on current affairs in the industry, because it is so important that the voice of opinions be as well informed as they can. That is also why I posted that first blog in the first place, to try and help us sort through the sensationalism this incident provided. And why TEDx holds oilspill meet-ups around the globe to help us understand and contribute: crowd-source facts to help high-grade information and improve our knowledge.

Update: Here's a video of NOAA's Gulf Response webmap screenshots from 29 Jun to 15 July, showing the somewhat receding extent of the oil spill - the slight increase coincides with Hurricane Alex, and gives it a somewhat pulsating aspect - this shows how difficult it is to predict its extent over time.

view this on YouTube directly