Sunday, September 14, 2008

WSJ Combines Imagery, Surge Maps for Ike Predictions

The Wall Street Journal exhibited one of the best illustrations of how a publication can segment its news for both its audience and medium. The weekend print edition of the WSJ (Sept. 13/14) showed a map sourced from both the National Hurricane Center and the National Coastal Development Center (NCDC) of Hurricane Ike's storm surge along the Texas Gulf Coast. The black and white thematic map showed a great deal of detail of the stricken areas and the shade gradation used in the maps was certainly adequate to differentiate the most afflicted regions. But online, the WSJ integrated imagery with these storm projects to illustrate just how much flooding would occur to the low-lying areas. (See graphic at right)

So, while in print, they decided to use just a thematic, the online version provided them a better medium to display imagery. Good choice because imagery never fares as well in black and white. And they surpased the NCDC website because after several tries to find the sourced map, I gave up.

Kudos to the WSJ on several fronts.

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