Time travel in Argentina: a new take on interactive timelines

Argentina. Alfajores, Maradona, steak and tango? Yes. A burgeoning data visualization community? Yep. In my occasionally quixotic quest to find out what data viz developers are up to in Latin America, I stumbled across Hacks | Hackers – Buenos Aires.

It seems that they’re drumming up some interesting projects, though nothing concrete to date, though I am looking forward to writing more about their progress. That said, Sandra Crucianelli, a recipient of the noted Knight Foundation fellowship, presented some terrific examples of data visualization projects in Latin America.

One worth mentioning is Proyecto Walsh, an interactive timeline/journalistic experiment which recreates Rodolfo Walsh’s 1956-57 expose on the illegal executions of Peron sympathizers, “Operación Masacre” (Operation Massacre) as an interactive timeline. Well, it’s much more than an interactive timeline but, to me, the timeline is a great hook.

The zoom feature on the interactive timeline, which most of us are more used to seeing in spatial relationships on maps (think: zoom to your house or zoom away to view a city) is used temporally (think: zooming in to a minute; zooming out to a month).

Conceived by journalists Alvaro Liuzzi and Vanina Berghella, this project uses this slick timeline feature as effective navigation through various layers of multimedia, ranging from interactive maps using, of course, Google Maps, to a photo gallery using the Google image search function. It’s fairly complex, and tells the story well. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, it’s worth exploring.

Proyecto Walsh

Proyecto Walsh

Bicycling in tranquility: Madrid map

There’s a certain beauty to be seen, and heard, when you stubbornly translate Spanish into English. By stubborn, I mean not how you *know* a phrase should translate (meaning, you are aware of the original author’s intent and honor it accordingly). But rather, how you *insist* on translating a phrase, mostly because a direct and literal translation of your native tongue somehow feels more loyal, more true, and sounds better, if not as accurate. For those of us who visualize information, this sounds like a familiar dilemma, and one I’ve written about before. To be right, or to be accurate? In this case, to be beautiful, or to be true?

I’ve chosen to translate this simple bicycling map as “Tranquil Streets for Bicycling Through Madrid.” It’s perplexing, but not disconcerting, that the map is designed in black, like a constellation map. Kind of adds to the beauty, in my opinion.

It takes a few minutes for the map to download. Take your time, wait it out, and imagine yourself rolling along, bicycling in tranquility. Enjoy.

Bicycling in tranquility