Client: Duane Elgin, the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), and the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)
Subject: Global Dynamics Map
Role: Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Interface Design, and Programming
The World Dynamics Project (WDP) is the first interactive global map to be published to the Internet.
In the year 2000, Duane Elgin, an internationally recognized speaker, author, educator, media activist, and social visionary (with support from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)), asked me if I could do something that had not yet been done: create an interactive world map that displays dynamic information on changing world dynamics, such as the globally accelerating trends of population, communications, and distribution of wealth. At the time (years before any interactive maps were on the Internet), this was still a completely novel idea (originally proposed by Buckminster Fuller over 30 years earlier). In 2000, it was an idea whose time had come.
The World Dynamics Project displays a visually rich and interactive interface for reviewing three (3) critical trends in accelerating global dynamics: population, communications, and distribution of wealth. Emulating a “windows” like operating system, various information modules can be moved and arranged in the application environment. A Map window displays global trend data plotted on a world map. A Graph window displays global trend data plotted on context specific graphs. An AV (audio / visual) window represents images and audio in specific context to global trends. All three windows are dynamically coordinated so that interactions and animations are synchronized, representing a media-rich a whole picture. An interactive timeline slider allows for a person to browse global trend data by time, automatically updating all display modules with rich, graphically represented information in real-time.
I worked with Duane Elgin (who in the early 1970s, worked as a senior staff member of a joint Presidential-Congressional Commission on the American Future looking ahead from 1970 to 2000) to distill the most critical global trends information into a highly interactive, visual, and intuitive interface. Once we outlined the general concepts into a coherent information design with high-level storyboards and plans for information architecture, I then led the way with graphic design, audio design, interaction design, interface design, programming (Flash / ActionScript), and content and data integration–to produce a compelling global dynamics experience.
The completion of the World Dynamics Project perfectly met it’s intended goal: to become a prototypical demonstration of a much needed application with visionary roots coming from several decades before. We set an inspiring example of what could be actualized with the emergence of the right people, with the right technology, at the right time. In 2001, Duane Elgin and I were invited to participate in a seminal meeting with key members of the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), engaging in a thorough conversation about how to bring about Buckminster Fullers original vision in a greater way. The World Dynamics mapping application demonstrated a new paradigm in technologically empowered media representation that few knew was yet possible, and resulted in directly informing and inspiring BFI to take further steps in initiating the EARTHScope project, an online geo-story-telling tool, and a series of associated projects (such as the EARTHScope CHGE) that all made a significant impact in bringing greater awareness to global and local ecological and sociological issues, and set new standards for how technology can better represent, systemize, and share complex information with the world.
- first interactive global information map to be published to the Internet