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Instead of Writing a Thousand Words, Part One: Ideas (laphamsquarterly.org)
81 points by prismatic 35 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments



It took me a couple minutes to figure out how to navigate this on mobile.

Swipe right on the bottom block of text (not the map) to advance. Tap on it to read the story for that location, and tap again to return.

I found it annoying enough that I didn't read past the first two pages.


"scroll down for more"

where is my scroll bar, why don't space or cursor-up/down work, there's no scroll wheel because I use a drawing tablet instead of a mouse, guess I'm not reading this at my desk.


People on HN tend to be a bit picky about web design, but this site is absolutely terrible. In addition to the lack of a scrollbar it has navigation links that let you read _most_ of each section and has several different methods for scrolling in it (sometimes it gives you a big down arrow, sometimes you need to rely on the side bar, the side bar is apparently truncated for "ease of use"). Though, in firefox, arrow keys, space bar, home and end do work while pg up/dn randomly pan the map for some reason.

I am wondering if this was considered an interesting article or just a really good page to send front-end interviewees for as a "let's see how many terrible things you can find" game.


In defence of the author, they have used a standard ESRI webapp/story map template.

What blows my mind is that I knew it was going to be this before clicking through entirely based on your comment.

The service provided by ESRI is handy for those with minimal knowledge to make something decent, but it's also easy for people to get carried away and use all the features. This is like the modern equivalent to marching ants, I guess.


TLDR: is that humans have a "storied" history of using pictures to communicate. So much so that even space probes have been sent with diagrams of our solar system in lieu of text.

The site has nice interactivity with the map and the associated historic image from the some point in time.

For me the whole post was worth it just to find this little gem of a book tucked away at the end `Ost Trifft West` by Yang Liu [1]. It is a visual representation of cultural differences which I found both wonderfully light hearted and highly informative.

[1]: ISBN-13: 978-3874397339


We use pictures, but nearly universally those pictures require a shared culture to understand, knowledge of a complex language separate from the image. The images are metaphor, representations, of complex ideas. On the Voyager probe that language was math and physics. The image is not the communication, but a pointer referencing something in the shared database.




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