Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Think Old Newspapers

So last week I was involved in the a conference call with various people about the IPY Google Earth project. We were discussing how to promote the project further, a consensus that seemed to come out of the discussion was that there were some key stories that would be very attractive to the public that weren't being brought to the fore. For example, Frank Taylor of Google Earth Blog suggested talking to the National Snow and Ice Data Center about bringing in their layer showing the recent retreat of arctic sea ice.

The content in the IPY layer is good already, its just the best stories aren't most apparent. Rather like a newspaper, its key to emphasize the big stories on the front page.

Old Newspaper layout

Think about all the immediate rules that you interpret from the layout of this Newspaper: newspaper title at the very top (Cheboygan Daily Tribune), headline is the biggest font near the top(Japs Declare War on U. S.), summary of the headline story is underneath (Jap Planes bomb both Hawaii and Guam) and photos relate to the columns of text they are close too.

Designers should be looking for the central narrative that they are trying to present to the public and emphasize it. At the current time we haven't evolved the 'norms' of how this should be done in a virtual globe such as Google Earth but, as with newspaper design, that will evolve.

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