Posted on August 3, 2007
Infographic: Minneapolis bridge
The New York Times has put its well-developed graphic template (made with Flash, naturally) to good use on the bridge collapse story. I really admire this template. It’s clear to me that it eases workflow a lot — with the template perfected, the news graphics artists can focus on the images to be used, the facts needed to accompany them, and the storytelling — without spending time on meta layout or scripting.
Previous uses of the NYT graphic template:
- Deadly Rampage at Virginia Tech (April 2007)
This is where they perfected the template. A truly great infographic.
- Light Beneath the Streets (January 2007)
The subject matter here fails to interest me, but the movement within a large 2D graphic is nice. (NYT registration required for this one.)
- Small Plane Hits Building in Manhattan (October 2006)
This grabbed my attention last fall because it is such a fantastically effective way to tell the story.
The numbered-button navigation (upper left corner) is deceptively simple. It instantly tells you that this package has substance. It assures you that you will not get lost. No instructions for how to operate the package are necessary. The functionality of the buttons relative to the animation is impressive — very adroit.
And — hallelujah! — with just a bit of scrolling, the graphic almost fits into a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 (the width is perfect, but it’s slightly too tall).
Although the new Minneapolis bridge graphic is not nearly as complex and rich as the Virginia Tech shootings graphic (which really is a masterpiece), the bridge graphic demonstrates how good planning can enable a multimedia team to produce animated graphics on deadline.