Reshaping New York

I looked at the interactive multimedia NYT article, The Bloomberg Years: Reshaping New York, which visually and graphically documents the various changes the city went under Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure.

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/08/18/reshaping-new-york/  

The main page is a white and grayscale map of the buildings and bike paths in New York’s various boroughs. The color red is used to highlight new buildings developed during Bloomberg’s term and green to symbolize the bike paths, which is indicated in a key. There is a brief nut graph on this page, followed by a button that says “Begin the Tour.”

homepage

After that first initial click, the site almost navigates itself. The page zooms across the map to one area, then displays a picture of a particular area years ago. A downward scroll from the mouse at that point prompts the upward transition to a current picture of the area from the same angle.  The website repeats this pattern for the remainder of the tour. A small paragraph of text goes along with each of the stops on the map.  There is also an arrow function alternative to the scroll at the top right of the page.

before after

newbuildings

bikepaths

There are a number of things that I like and dislike about this page. Overall, I like how the information was presented. The automatic zoom function gives the effect that the user is being guided through a story or a timeline. I liked the idea of past and present photos and how they were set up to fill almost the entire webpage.

Although the site is user-friendly, it didn’t allow for much exploration and I didn’t feel like I could play around with it as much as I would have liked to. It would have been nice to be able to navigate and pick and choose which areas I wanted to tour on the homepage without being guided through the webpage in its entirety.

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2 responses to “Reshaping New York

  1. I definitely agree with you on this site being easy to navigate. Just one click takes a viewer to the previous and next page, which I thought was very convenient. And the map moving itself—it’s pretty cool. I also loved a short paragraph on each section because it gives brief explanation and background on information the site presents. However, I wish I could move the map around and zoom in or out. When I tried doing that, it kept taking me to the next page, so it was a little irritating. Just like you said, I think this page is interesting overall, but there could be few changes that can make the site even more interesting.

  2. Great site with excellent photos. Does seem a little rough at some points—I clicked on it to start and it did this weird “I’ma flash black and white real quick at yo’ eyes” type of thing. Would be interesting to see how this could be used to tell another type of story besides the history of a city. Maybe the layout of a war-torn country? Would certainly be interesting to see Syria presented in this monochrome landscape and have a virtual guide take us from city to city, explaining the major forces active in each area.

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