Monday, September 1, 2008
Inc. Magazine (print version) made a valiant but failed attempt to display the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies on a map. A prism map of the highest average 3-year growth rates coupled with a pin map of the 500 top companies truly confused me. I get the pin maps but the improperly developed prism map (accredited to L-Dopa Design + Illustration) was terribly hard to read. The pins in the map for Tennessee looked like they were in Alabama. They simply made the perspective in the wrong direction. They tilted the map and prisms southward when typical prism maps show the "elevated" or extruded graphic in a northward or "up" position. This double + flip out page spread had a poor choice of colors; most of the states were gray and the prisms in lime green. The map also contained a complicated legend with small icons that indicated specific industries that were just plain difficult to understand. The online version of the article contained a Google Maps mashup of the top 100 companies by growth but the map did not display because of a database query failure. The online map of the top 100 companies by revenue was simple and uninformative.