Visualizing History

by Will Holcomb

I've been thinking about Freebase and it's application to memetics. I'm particularly interested in timeseries infographics. One of my all time favorites is the growth of Wal-Mart.

What I'd like to be able to visualize is the transition in the method of consumption. I want to see a variety of stores. The data's in Freebase, Google's got maps and jQuery's got sliders.

My next task is to replace the pins with meaningful icons. I've been collecing logos. I think watching McDonald's s and Wal-mart s march across the world would be interesting.

Where I'd like to go with this eventually is a visual history of the Earth. Show different types of dinosaurs roaming around during the periods they existed. I think it would help people get a better sense of what it means that 6000 years of recorded history is 0.001% of the 570 million years of life on the planet. 0.001% of 6000 years is 22 days.