Miniature Earth

Miniature Earth is a website that displays a simple 3-4 minute Flash movie that envisions the world if only 100 people lived on it. The movie outlines a handful of statistics against world’s 100 inhabitants – e.g. there would be only 8 North Americans.
The site uses these “miniature” statistics to shed light on the global poverty problem. What struck was how compelling these numbers appeared. I’ve read numerous articles on poverty in the past and I often glaze over the statistics that throw percentages, “millions” and “billions” at me. They’re harder to conceptualize quickly as I’m reading – and thus their impact is dulled.
By working against a number like 100, the site is able to better convey the gravity of these statistics. Or in other words, it takes my brain less work to fully appreciate what’s being said.
Which leads to a good self-auditing mechanism for information designers: what are you doing to your data representations to make it easier for your audience to digest and appreciate?

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