Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Digging for Clues
Alan Alda's Scientific American posts this look at what bones can tell.
A War Summary
The Times caps its daily interactive graphic coverage of the military action with a overview of the Strategy Throughout the War

Completing the series:
April 14: Focus shifts toward Syria
April 12: Stabilizing Iraq

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Some random timelines
The interactive timeline seems an important component of online storytelling. They come in many different forms, with varying degrees of success. A number are already listed on this site; here are a few more.
Muhammed: Legacy of a Prophet
Queens Jubilee CTV
Cold War - Bay of Pigs Oregon Public Broadcasting
Comunity Foundation of Oakville I kind of like some of their approach.
Australia's Prime Ministers
Clinton Administration Nope, no Monica.
R/GAA design firm'scoroporate history, and very high bandwidth. But an approach to examine.
History of Computing PC Mag.
Salvation Army
US-Afghanistan timeline In These Times
No content An open source resource? Look here
Michael Jackson: Changing Faces Guardian Unlimited
Foot and Mouth ibid.
History of Papermate
Nine Months in Yorktown Continental Congress in York, PA
Alberta Archaeology

Not a timeline: Who'sYour Daddy A little project someone took on to ask about the mega media. Compelling use of flash, at least to ask a question.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Maps U. Texas Library Collection
This morning's news shows brought up the question "What Next?", with issues concerning places like the Bekaa Valley, Syria, and the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territory.

Whether looking to learn about these, or create interactive maps for other learners, you might remember the map collection at the University of Texas. Not only are they often good maps, most are in the public domain - you can reuse them to tell your story.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

On to Northern Iraq NY Times graphic.
I love this one: a satellite view as it looks from straight above Bagdhad, looking north. The Iraqi border is overlaid along the mountains shared with Iran; city limits of Bagdhad are lain on as well. Mouseovers give more detail. Nice.
The Birthplace of Civilization - Seattle Times
Not interactive, but a nice cummary of 10,000 years of history in Iraq.

Also, there's an interactive strategic map. While it was current events about 3 weeks ago, today it shows only history. This static map isn't bad.

Friday, April 11, 2003

"legitimacy is not something that can be imposed by the United Nations--or the United States for that matter. Legitimacy derives from the consent of the governed: the people of Iraq."
Speeking of the French....
While there's no interactivity in this timeline, I mention it because of the committment that fiction can teach as well as dry fact. The simple text timeline matches the Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower with real current events.
Here's a weird, but beautiful, little site promoting A&E's Napoleon. Actually, as a trailer its kind of cool. Just that it is chewing up my processor (and forget about dialup!). I think a little more text would help, too.

The History section lets you learn more about Napoleon's life. It includes a timeline, and an index of his battles. If the two were somehow linked, it might make more sense.
The News We Kept to Ourselves
From their bosses pen, here's what CNN didn't tell you as they breathlessly covered each new UN delay.
Lost Treasures of Tibet
PBS/NOVA offers a look at the wall paintings in Thubchen monastery, before and after restoration. More intesting as an interactive, perhaps, is Deciphering Buddha Imagery.

Tour Mustang has some fantastic images from this long-closed Himalayan kingdom between Nepal and Tibet. Includes a number of stunning Quicktime panoramas.
This morning, lets have a link having nothing to do with war, but dealing with violence on an uncomprehendable scale!

Nova offers a short "History of the Universe". It's really just a slider timeline with 14 picture/text segments. However, Birth of a Supernova is a simple animated graphic. And The Local Universe in 3-D uses VRML. (Still haven't figured out how to use it- guess I could read the directions). Open and Closed Universes illustrates 3 different ideas about how the universe evolves. Also, four Quicktime panoramic views in Spin a Spiral Galaxy.

Best of the lot? Not history, Moving Targets nicely explains doppler.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

History of Iraq
The Washington Post's interactive history. Great timeline; explains various eras. Map could change to show something.

Post' Audio Slideshow
A number of great slide shows with Post reporters narrating.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Washington Post Media Archive
Index of the Post's multimedia war coverage include its great maps, , graphics, video clips, and panoramic views(Quicktime).

Unlike the networks, the Post's video clips seem to be FREE

Post's Chronological index
This index lists all the Post war media by day.
VI Day
Anyone who had the priviledge of watching the morning's events can't help but feel we found the enduring image of liberation. There is good news, too, in the overall struggle of Islamic Arabs for faith, peace, and some prosperity.

I can't find any particular web multimedia to celebrate this moment, so I'll pass on some print news.
Scenes from the Liberation are offered in several day's editions of's Best of The Web. Here's one:
Jailed Iraqi children run free as marines roll into Baghdad suburbs
More than 100 children held in a prison celebrated their freedom as US marines rolled into northeast Baghdad amid chaotic scenes..., a US officer said.

Around 150 children spilled out of the jail after the gates were opened as a US military Humvee vehicle approached, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Padilla told an AFP correspondent travelling with the Marines 5th Regiment.

"Hundreds of kids were swarming us and kissing us," Padilla said.

"There were parents running up, so happy to have their kids back."

"The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years."

The children, who were wearing threadbare clothes and looked under-nourished, walked on the streets crossing their hands as if to mimic handcuffs, before giving the thumbs up sign and shouting their thanks.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

CNN Audio Slideshows

CNN also provides audio slide shows of the war coverage.
  • A Grisly Find
  • Urban fighters with the 82nd airborne as they secure Iraq's cities and conduct "cleanup operations". I like this one because the text also talks about the divisions history.
  • 4th Infantry The Army's 'digitized' division's deployment.
  • Double DutyMarine 24th MEU - arrived straight from duty in Kosovo, and several Africa / Asian deployments.
  • Devil Docs Dr. Sanjay Gupta's report on the Naval docs with the Marines.
  • March 28: Battle at Nasiriya
  • April 3: Misunderstanding in Najaf A pivotal moment in the way we win the long run.

    Sights and Sounds - CNN
    The index of CNN's audio slide showa and video. [CNN charges for video.] To get previous week's indexes, check the archive or click "past dates".

  • Battle Scenarios
    As noted 30 March, CNN offers a number of its simulations, in Quicktime movie format. Some more are:
    . Moment of Battle [a look at a column moving to contact along a desert road]
    . Urban warfare [Sadaam's underground bunker]
    . Hitting Infrastructure
    . Anti-Aircraft Artillery [Iraqi. Includes an SA-2 against an F-18]
    . EA-6B "Prowler" radar jamming
    . Radar
    . Silkworm

    Sorry, I can't now put links to each of these. Nor can I find an index at CNN. It seems that each movie window will link you to 5-7 others; if I can figure out their code, I'll still try to create an overall directory.

    Sunday, April 06, 2003

    Iraq: A Geography
    Not interactive at all, I mention this resource because it talks about land. Not just about Iraq, but about the subject of geography as it is applied to one specific place.

    One of the hopes I have for this site is that we use the medium to understand how events and people are affected by the shape and nature of the land.
    Chicago Tribune War Graphics
    Has some links to other papers graphics as well.

    Orlando Sentinel
    Weapons of War
    Modern US Soldier
    A blue ribbon to the tribune for its weapons systems viewer. While it doesn't offer a lot of detail, this is the way to navigate through 25 items.
    LA Times War Coverage
    The LA Times Iraq map has a nice feature where you can turn on and off the oil wells, piplelines, military facitilities. Link requires registratio - if you're not looking for ideas to develop interactive storytelling - don't bother. Although...

    There is a PDF page summarizing the week of Mar 23-29. Also, a 1 page pdf "War Briefing" for each day of fighting. Would fill a 3-ring nicely.

    Friday, April 04, 2003

    Mapping the War: Day in Review
    The Washington Post's take on the interactive map starts with one big plus: its bigger! (750 px or so, which is a start!) Different approach to a pop-up detail map, kind of nice.

    One content complaint that has nothing to do with interactive media: why accept Iraq's precise estimate of civilian deaths when they can't or won't give an accurate account of their forces? The count of Iraqi POW's is also wrong.

    Oh. Back to technology, shouldn't we be able to access earlier day's maps? A la the calendar feature of MSNBC's In the Battlezone?

    The Ballet Behind Battle

    Here's a Times graphic that adds simple interactive features; the tanks don't move forward, the map moves backward! Still, the interactivity does add value to the newspaper graphic - unlike their daily action map.

    Now, if the Times would just donate it to the Project so some enterprising Flasher could turn the tanks into flash symbols and move them over the terrain!

    Orchestrating Combat
    For comparison with the above, here is a Post graphic in normal newspaper format. Note that it's hard to know where to start looking. The Times graphic above nicely uses scenes to fix this shortcoming of static illustrations.

    (Still, I love the fact that I don't have to drag this map around just to see it in a too-small box--like many of the Times maps).

    Wednesday, April 02, 2003

    Where have all those divisions gone?
    You've heard all the reporting of US generals underestimating the strength of the Iraqi Army, and of the fight put up by Republican Guard and Fedayeen forces. So, have you asked yourself where the regular Iraqi army is?

    Sadaam had 14 regular army divisions before the war, organized into the I, II, III, IV, and V corps. So far, the only mention of these 180,000 troops is an early mention that two divisions in the south had broken up.

    Today, Strategy Page quietly notes on its excellent Iraq War Map that "It appears that regular Iraqi army units from II, III, and IV corps have faded away." Seems a decent accomplishment for a weeks work to me.

    Tuesday, April 01, 2003

    NY Times
    The Times continues its coverage in thoseteeny little interactive boxes:
    March 31: Gaining Ground
    March 30: Movement toward Karbala
    ADust Storm Nice little look at what happened in the air.
    Nasiriya: A Hot Spot Great use of satellite pic of the area.
    March 28: Central Pause,Northern Action
    More Interactives on Iraq
    The Associated Press' Inside Irag map offers six small overlays of the Iraq map. The geographic relief version is worth going to just for the quick visual of the Kurdish hills, the fertile Euphrates/Tigris valley, and the desert that comprises the rest of the country.

    BBC's Version of the interactive war map hasn't much to note - I mention it here just as an example of a different navigation approach.
    This Newsweek Map of Baghdad lists 24 sites on a satellite map of Baghdad. Click on the one you're interested in, and you get athe close-in view,with quick explanation. Interestingly, it lists the Ministry of Defense not as one of 14 targets, but as one of 10 'Other Areas of Interest'.
    Newsweek has an Interactive Showcase. I'll explore and comment later.

    MSNBC Interactives
    As mentioned, the complete list of MSNBC Interactives is long. Comments on a few:
    This graphic explaining several systems in an armored column would make a great set of components. I'd love to see the graphic elements used to expand a topic, say to illustrate the column advance with flanking protection
    The In The Battlezone interactive is overall not as useful as the half page map in my newspaper. However, it has one very neat feature - a calendar which lets you set the date.
    If I could have a full screen map, with terrain features, day's events, and this calendar function, I'd be thrilled!