Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wild West of Design

A while back I swapped emails with Keene Hayward the person at National Geographic responsible for the Ivory Wars Google Earth 'Zakouma' project. Whilst I thought their Google Earth file showed some fascinating data, especially about the trail of an elephant through virgin African jungle, I made some points about how the design could be improved, I'll get to those points later in this blog but I wanted to share part of his general response to the criticism with you now.

He stated that whilst National Geographic had a well developed magazine design, developing for Google Earth is new, and we are in a kind of 'Wild West' period at present - everyone is guessing at what is the best way to present data, there are no norms to guide your design. In case you're wondering what a 'norm' really is think about a newspaper: if you're in a new city and pick up a paper you've never read before you already know some things about the content. Sports will be on the back pages, the biggest writing on the front of the paper is a headline and the writing is arranged in a series of columns.

The theme of this blog is to explore the best way of putting a Google Earth project together, I have ideas about what works but part of the fun is that no one really knows the BEST way to design a Google Earth project at the moment - we're all on the new frontier just having a go. Which is why I'd like to encourage you to add comments to these posts or, if that's a bit scary, email me with your thoughts.

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