Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Getting a Web perspective

Getting a Web perspective

Tags : 

I don’t watch a lot of TV news these days, largely because I often find the news a little quicker online.  Just like watching the news on TV, though, it can sometimes be tough when following news to judge the scale of events, especially those of a tragic nature. I find that the often obvious TV film script is usually more concerned on the fate of individuals, because there’s no easy way to convey a disaster of any scale in simple TV terms.

The Web isn’t constrained by the terms of television, however. I’ve recently become aware of a fascinating project being undertaken by the BBC, called Dimensions. Dimensions is, in its own words, an experiment in “in trying to find new ways to communicate history.”. Specifically, what Dimensions does is use global map data — if you can name it you can find it — and then superimpose the effects of a given historical event over that area, to give the reader a genuine sense of the scale of an event.

There’s some fun stuff in there — like being able to see how long the Space Shuttle runway would be if it was located in the middle of Melbourne (http://howbigreally.com/dimension/space/shuttle_runway#Melbourne) or what would happen if you dropped St Peter’s Basilica in the middle of Canberra (http://howbigreally.com/dimension/festivals_and_specticles/pope_st_paul#canberra).

What really grabbed my attention were the disaster superimpositions. It’s all too easy to forget about a crisis when it’s a thirty second news spot and the camera only focuses on a couple of people. But drop it into your neighbourhood, and you get a proper sense of the scale, and almost inevitably start thinking about the consequences. The recent floods in Pakistan might seem quite far away, but if you dropped them, on say, Adelaide (http://howbigreally.com/dimension/environmental_disasters/pakistan_floods#adelaide), the scope of the disaster shifts from distant to breathtakingly close.

Or take the Pacific Garbage Patch. This was one I didn’t know anything about, and the short version is this; there’s two large swirling patches of garbage floating either side of Hawaii, held in place by ocean currents. When you think of Hawaii, you probably think of dusky island maidens and delicately lit beaches, rather than fetid stinking pools of swirling plastic and muck. But hey, it’s only a little garbage in a big ocean, right?

Well, not so small. If you superimpose it over, say, Alice Springs (http://howbigreally.com/dimension/environmental_disasters/great_pacific_garbage_patch#Alice_Springs) you’ll get a better idea of the scope of the problem — especially as that’s only half of it!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

pc-clean

Most people, if given the choice, will try to skip out on doing the evening dishes, or for that matter even loading a dishwasher. It’s not exactly the most thrilling of chores to undertake, but if you don’t clean your dishes somehow, everything ends up dirty and unusable. It’s much the same story for your… More 

fb

Facebook is a service beloved by many, because it makes it so very easy to keep in touch with friends, family, acquaintances and more in an environment that’s generally easy to use and that can be quite fun. It’s one of the world’s busiest web sites, and one of the tech world’s most valuable companies…. More 

browsers

The chances are good that when you browse the web, you’re doing so via Google’s own particular browser, Google Chrome. Chrome has anywhere between 47% to 60% of the browser market sewn up. That might not seem that impressive, but the next largest market share is usually given to Apple’s Safari browser at between 13%… More 

mackeyboarda

Apple sells itself as a premium brand, both in style terms, but also for the quality of the computing equipment it sells. That’s a proposition that can very much become quasi-religious for some folks, although few would suggest that Apple sells bad computing equipment. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, there’s no doubting that consumers… More