Update 12.20pm: Frank points out that its worth watching the video in HD version if you have the band width to do so.
Back in June I reviewed a visualization of mobile (cell) calls around Washington on Obama's inauguration day. The visualization above comes from the same people (One People page).
- By using a flat projection of the Earth instead of a virtual globe the visualization avoids problems of countries being hidden by the curve in the earth.
- Translucent loops are sensibly used so that many loops can be rendered on the same screen
- The Base map is low contrast, this muted look allows the eye to concentrate on the loops
- The moving timeline graph illustration at the bottom of the screen adds lots of extra information in a digestible form.
- The base map could be simplified further than noted in pro #3, just one single color for land and cities as bright spots would be better. I'm not even sure what the current shading represents.
- The moving spots on the loops to illustrate call rates doesn't really work. I suspect a better scheme would have highly transparent and yellow color loops illustrating low call rates and highly opaque and red colored loops for high call rates (with mid transparency and orange shades for mid level call rates).
- There is no key or scale for the graph
Convergence GMaps and GEarth: IMHO Google seem to be moving away from the GEarth client towards the GEarth API, which of course integrates closely with GMaps API. So I'll probably get my wish sometime soon.