A New Way To Visualize Data: BBC Dimensions Puts History Into A Personal Context

A New Way To Visualize Data: BBC Dimensions Puts History Into A Personal Context

The latest iteration of BBC Dimensions gives personal context to history by allowing you to compare the number of people in your networks to the number of people involved in historical events.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 21 september 2011

BBC and BERG have collaborated to develop Dimensions as a series of experimental prototypes that will help visitors place historical facts into a more personal, relatable context. While How Big Really? was the first iteration a year ago, How Many Really? will now compare the number of people involved in key historical situations to the number of people you know on Twitter or Facebook (or to a custom set of comparative numbers you add yourself).

According to BERG and BBC:

We want to bring home the human scale of events and places in history. For example: had the D-Day landing beaches been in Britain they would have measured from London to Norfolk; how far would the Titanic stretch down your street?; and if we lived in the democracy of classical Athens, would you have got the vote? Dimensions simply juxtaposes the scale of historical events with the size of things you know – your home, your neighbourhood, your social networks.

We love this idea for its simplicity in communicating the breadth and impact of historical events in a way that people can relate to in their microcosms. The internet 0- in spite of its wondrous ability to connect us — generally still falls short of personalizing statistics and their meaning. We hope Dimensions evolves to include more contemporary, global events, as well, so that a student in America, for instance, can attribute more personal meaning — and dimension — to what x number of children dying of starvation each year truly means in the context of the number of people they know.

We also can’t help but wonder if this prototype presents a new way to visualize data within a more personal context.

BBC Dimensions: How Many Really?


Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

Arts & Culture Today

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Today

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Today

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Today

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

Related Expert

Tikva Morowati

Experience Designer, Product Strategist

Fitness / Sport Today

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Today

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

Design & Architecture Today

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs Today

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

Latin America Today

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination

Culture Today

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World’s Largest Open-Air Gallery

Tiger Beer and a neighborhood-minded nonprofit celebrate and promote New York's creative spirit by beautifying 100 security gates

Automotive Today

Bike-Share Program Helps Students Save Money And Get To Class On Time

Zipcar and Zagster are creating sponsored programs across 500 U.S. college campuses

Technology Today

How Technology Can Save The World By Saving Time

PSFK attends the Social Good Summit 2016 to see how new tech is changing the world for the better


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising Today

Lancôme’s Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Rosie Batty is the new face of the Love Your Age series, and is using the platform to bring awareness to a prevalent and deadly problem

Travel Today

Marriott’s Gravity Room Installation Gives Travelers A New Perspective

The luxury hotel chain's #MGravityRoom invites visitors to snap and share pictures of its inverted set up

No search results found.