To me, both make an impact, but I’ve always preferred first person accounts.
The video is an obviously informative quantitative Hurricane Katrina-specific visualization, but there isn’t anything to interact with. The Center of Higher Learning [which has a Visualization Center] at the Stennis Space Center offers this description:
This visualization illustrates the extent of the flood waters produced by Hurricane Katrina upon the coastal topography of downtown Gulfport. The topography data was produced and obtained from the US Army Corps of Engineers. The water was collect by FEMA and is not dependent on time; the simulatin is merely animating the data from “no water” to its proper height to fully depict the massive amount of water flow.
The visualizations you all reviewed in groups this week, as the ones discussed in the Manovich reading, featured data sets “bigger” than the second example, but given that it’s an open-ended archive and anyone can create an account and add their stories, I think it is a great example of an inspired qualitative project. Every square you see tells a story either through words, audio, or an image; video isn’t an option yet. In fact, the hosting site cowbird.com [which refers to itself as “a witness to life”] has a detailed FAQ that states,
Cowbird makes it easy for anyone to author beautiful multimedia stories, incorporating text, photos, sound,subtitles, roles, relationships, maps, tags, timelines,dedications, and characters — mixing elements of traditional storytelling with elements of technology.
I think we could have some great conversations next week about credibility, authenticity, the challenges of going public with a story, and the types of stories that some people may not want to read.