Following a re-tweet about a post discussing web typography, sorry I forget who initially tweeted this one, I was confronted with a piece of information design work which had me absolutely speechless. I’ve seen previous versions of the Web Trends Map, but this latest installment is a real work of art.
Information Design to make your mouth Water
The Web Trend Map is a yearly publication by Information Architects Inc. (iA). It maps the 333 leading Web domains and the 111 most influential Internet people onto the Tokyo Metro map.
I can’t wait for this to be finalized so I can get hold of a printed copy for my office.
What the Map really means.
According to the creator’s of this map of juicy web goodness, countless hours of research was undertaken to assess to most effective, profitable and traffic generating websites and web gurus to put together a resource which is filled with the web’s most influential spaces and faces.
These web trends have been intelligently super-imposed over a map of the Tokyo Metro System, aligning those web venues which have similar characteristics to the actually Tokyo Metro spaces they virtually occupy. For example:
Google is placed in the busiest, most highly trafficked train station in the world: Shinjuku.
The width of an entities station represents it’s stability in the web space.
Metro lines were established to group similar web entities. Upon investigation you’ll quickly realise what a mammoth task of information architecture this must have been. Further more, characteristics like the height of specific stations on the Virtual Map, represent the web entities success in terms of both traffic & revenue, which explains of course why Google towers above the rest. The use of various coloured lines and the position of certain stations at intersections of 1, 2 or 3 lines expresses which trend lines specific web entities actually cross or overlap.
Just a quick glance across the Trend Map reveals a wealth of information and insight into the current shape of the web sphere. I can see this map being presented in thousands of boardrooms and strategic sessions world-wide. It’s got that buzz appeal which the Orielly Web 2.0 Tag Cloud held at the beginning of the entrance of Web 2.0 into the mainstream. The many so called “social media gurus” out there are gonna eat this one up for breakfast lunch & supper.
This is very much still a work of art and feedback is being taken currently to make it as accurate, error free and apt as it can possibly be.
I’ve spent only a few minutes glancing at this web wonder and have already foreseen endless hours of my future dissappear in the journey this one is about to open for me. I’ll stop myself from using the cliche’s of beautiful, stunning, elegant to describe this one, even though these and more over used adjectives definitely apply in this case.