Not only is the right picture worth the proverbial 1,000 words, sometimes it’s the very best way to render complex, tedious or even mundane messages and get them noticed and, most important, understood. There’s a terrific example of that at tipstrategies.com, the website of an economic development consulting firm in Austin, Texas.
They’ve taken facts and figures about job gains and losses — numbing numbers that are starting to lose their meaning to us — and turned them into an animated graphic called The Geography of Jobs that traces job activity in major metropolitan areas since 2004. It’s an economic, not meteorological, weather map, but you can see Hurricane Katrina ripping through New Orleans’ economy as clearly as an angry red spiral making its way ashore.
We won’t make a comment on the issue at hand; rather, we admire the creativity that reveals the full impact of the national employment situation far more meaningfully than reams of statistics or pages of prose.— Gretchen Schmidt
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