Very cool! The BBC is experimenting with a new prototype in data visualization called Dimensions “to bring home the human scale of events and places.” A better name for it might be what they’re using for a URL: “How big really?” It’s a pretty simple concept involving a map overlay and (as Ron Popeil used to say) it really, really works.
Check out the dimensions of the flooding in Pakistan or the Gulf oil spill, then plug in your zip code to see how extensive the damage would have been closer to home. It’s a great example of how making data visual can help tell a more complete story that people can relate to.
The BBC is still beta-testing the project, but the site says that eventually it hopes to make the technology publicly available. Now that would be even cooler. (Hat tip to Mindy McAdams for sharing the link.)