Tuesday, October 17, 2006

At Least Some People Can Find the Middle East on a World Map

The wonderful information design blog Info-aesthetics recently featured a great online application to show various empires rising and falling, as they sought dominion over the Middle East. Maps of War also keeps the visitor oriented with a timeline, as territory grows and shrinks under different manifest destinies.

Of course, digital applications always have a political agenda, as you already know, even if you've just stumbled onto this blog. They aren't just representing geopolitical information neutrally. The timeline ends at the present (and raises the implicit question of future doomed empires), where we see Baghdad and Jerusalem as isolated points. The faded version of the animation runs across them again to remind the viewer that these moving maps are designed to be disquieting.

Often the claims are more explicit in animated Internet topography. The pro-Israel "History in a Nutshell" PowerPoint is one widely disseminated example; the Iraq Flash Game is another. Both of these pay homage to other Internet genres (PowerPoint and online Flash games), in addition to giving the user what is ostensibly a geography lesson.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home