Monday, July 28, 2008
I was a little frustrated with the New York Times' interactive map of the Tour de France. The pop up that appeared when you moused over the stage number "pin" had no particular locational purpose. At first I thought if you dragged the pin along the route of that stage that you would see the route itself in video or picture form, but that was not the case. Some of the pop ups displayed the topography in profile view which was a nice touch but not all did so. The pop ups served as a reference to the coverage of that particular day and included either links to articles, photos or audio news bites. The map which served as a back drop to the tour route was not particularly pleasing cartographically but I can see that the designers did not want to distract from the remainder of the map information. However, what would have made the map better would have been a Google-style perspective view to bring the viewer down to the surface level to truly see the terrain. You can also download the Tour routes from the Google Earth Blog or just use the StreetView feature in Google to view the route which was recently released.