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A Giant Mathematical Equation Puzzles Downtown NYC

A Giant Mathematical Equation Puzzles Downtown NYC
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The Giant Chalkboard displays an equation in downtown New York City, inviting visitors to solve it - and determine the meaning of the formulas and associated figures.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 22 september 2011

As an example of data as storytelling and marketing, we found the Giant Chalkboard at Broome and Crosby in New York City to present an interesting challenge. The billboard features a lengthy mathematical equation consisting of several formulas – ultimately challenging passerby’s (and visitors to the site) to solve particular formulas within the equation. Both the solution to each formula and the combination of numbers themselves are related, and represent a particular ‘story.’

The Giant Chalkboard appears to be part of a new campaign for DOW. According to its Twitter profile, the chalkboard is:

Just a simple 46-ft-tall chalkboard who believes solutionism™ is the new optimism and fears nothing but rain and fingernails. The more we talk together, the more we solve together.

You can follow the Chalkboard on Twitter or on its site, and participate in solving the equation and its meaning(s).

We love the idea for several reasons: it uses data to create meaning that visitors are invited to research and determine for themselves. And of course, data itself is the (puzzling) story – we’ll just have to see how DOW plays into that.

Giant Chalkboard

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