Note — Jan 31, 2021

Earth at a Cute Angle

Seen in → No.158

Source →

Come for the gorgeous satellite imagery, stay for the philosophical conclusion on knowledge sharing. More seriously, Robert Simmon shows, through multiple examples, the value of oblique views vs “nadir” or map-like views we are used to.

But to me, the most interesting aspect of oblique imagery is the way it reveals the form of a landscape and acts as a bridge between our lived experience and abstract data. […]

The connection between what we see from the familiar ground-level viewpoint and the novel, top-down perspective of a satellite view is what makes oblique imagery so powerful. Likewise, presenting new information in the context of pre-existing knowledge is an essential element in successfully communicating unfamiliar ideas. In both science communication and data visualization, it is essential to use the familiar to build a bridge to the novel. […]

In your own discipline, try to find the examples that connect the tangible to the intangible, the every day to the exotic, and the known to the unknown.

Related → Also at The Journal of the Data Visualization Society’s Nightingale, Understanding Map Projections.