Visualizing how our population reached 7 Billion so fast

It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population.

Watch how our global population exploded from 300 million to 7 billion in this brilliantly visualized video by Adam Cole and Maggie Starbard for NPR.

For more detailed information on the topic, read the related article on NPR

Moreover, I highly recommend you to watch Hans Rosling’s eye-opening and entertaining talk on global population growth (infact, this is a must-see). 

Infographic vs. Video

During this year’s See Conference there was an interesting discussion whether facts and figures are better transported via infographic or video. While there obviously is no clear answer to that – the “best” format being dependent on content, audience, situation etc. it is worthwhile to compare the different effects of each format.

Here are two examples in which the same information is presented as infographic and in a video. Choose for yourself:

Obsessed With Facebook presented this infographic, Alex Trimpe the according motion graphics video:



The Billion Dollar Gram / Debtris US

In the second example, both infographic and animation were created by data journalist and information designer David McCandless (Information is Beauftiful):


Which format do you prefer and why?

Finger Tutting meets Motion Graphics

In this commercial for the launch of the Galaxy SII in France, Internet-famous Finger Tutting artist JayFunkY (Los Angeles) performs his awesome finger choreography illustrated by some nice motion graphics.

(Click through to YouTube to watch in HD and full screen!)

By the way: Finger Tutting is a “contemporary abstract interpretive street dance style modeled after Egyptian hieroglyphics” and related to other street dance styles such as Robot or Popping.  

Via Design you Trust.

Visualizing the Invisible – Choreographer Gideon Obarzanek

My last post reminded me of the work of Australian choreographer Gideon Obarzanek, who is the founder and artistic director of the renowned dance company Chunky Move. Taking video projection one step further, he utilizes tracking camera systems and special software developed by German interactive software engineer Frieder Weiss to generate light and sound in real time in response to the dancer’s movement.

With the use of this technology, he explores how we perceive our own bodies and the space around us. The organic symbiosis of dancer and interactive projection visualizes layers of images and movement we cannot normally see but which we feel or know to exist.

Here is an interesting talk of Gideon, in which he shows examples of his work and explains the work behind.

Having been Chunky Move’s artistic director and CEO for 15 years, Obarzanek will step down at the end of 2011. By doing so, he wants to reconnect with performing and the things that initially drew him to dance in the first place: “I decided that I started this company and I was very excited about starting this company but I wanted to spend more time in the studio, more time working with other artists and less time being responsible for an organisation.”

With “Faker”, Obarzanek will  be returning to the stage as a performer after 15 years. Here you can watch an interesting interview about this new piece.

Stunning Samurai Shadow Play

If you like Japanese Sword Fighting, this is a must-see. In this performance, Taichi Saotome perfectly matches his sword choreography with an amazing shadow video animation created by techno-artists TeamLab. From the Special New Year Performance of Dragon and Peony, Sword Dance and Shadowgraph at the Galaxy Theater in Tokyo.

(click through to YouTube to watch in HD and full screen!)


Making Future Magic: iPad Light Painting meets Stop-Motion Animation

Watch this stunning work of Dentsu London and BERG. Asking themselves “…what might a magical version of the future of media look like?”, they used the iPad to create typographic holograms captured with long exposure photography as the iPad was moved through the air. They explain:

First we create software models of three-dimensional typography, objects and animations. We render cross sections of these models, like a virtual CAT scan, making a series of outlines of slices of each form. We play these back on the surface of the iPad as movies, and drag the iPad through the air to extrude shapes captured in long exposure photographs. Each 3D form is itself a single frame of a 3D animation, so each long exposure still is only a single image in a composite stop frame animation.

Read more about “Making Future Magic” at the Dentsu London blog and the BERG blog.

What really motivates us

This cleverly illustrated excerpt from Dan Pink’s talk at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) gives you astonishing insights in what really motivates us and why monetary incentives are often counterproductive.

If you’re interested in the topic, be sure to check out Dan’s new book “Drive” on (or

You can also watch Dan’s full 40-minutes talk or other illustrated RSA talks.

“This is the end of publishing” or: How to look at things from different angles

Watch this astonishing video, originally produced for an internal sales conference of Dorling Kindersley Books. Be sure to watch it up to at least the halfway point, there’s a surprise!

The way, this video is constructed, it serves as a powerful reminder that our (first) perception of things may not always be right and things might turn out to be completely different looked at from a different angle.