Like the infinity of space, the immensity of geological time can be a tricky thing to get your head around. Here is Today (opens in new tab) is a simple but brilliantly effective interactive data visualization that brings it all home in a very real and easy-to-grasp way.
Designer Luke Twyman (opens in new tab) explains the motive behind building the site: “Being fascinated by the scale of time, I wanted to create something that would clearly give people a sense of that vastness, and a feeling of where we sit in relation to all that’s gone before. To do this, two important features on the technical side would be some kind of zooming/ scaling mechanic, and also a super clean layout.”
Twyman kept all widths relative to make the site’s message convey equally well on a smaller screen: “From the start I decided to do away with pixel measurements and pt sizes for type, and instead set my own measurement unit based on a fraction of the screen width. I set one unit to be 1/22 of the screen width and positioned and scaled everything using that unit, so the spacious layout would be maintained on different displays.”
This article originally featured in .net magazine (opens in new tab) issue 243.
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