Monday, August 8, 2011...9:00 am

The animated rise and fall of US newspapers: 1690-2011

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If you saw the fascinating Stanford University data visualisation of US newspaper expansion and contraction over 300 years or so, and thought “hey, I’d really like to see an animation of that,” this video is for you. 

The original visualisation took the directory of US newspaper titles compiled by the Library of Congress and plotted them over time and space. But although it’s packed with insight about the development of newspapers geographically and linguistically since the earliest settler days, it doesn’t quite convey the full impression of history’s ebb and flow.

Seeing the data actually move, however, gives quite a stark sense of how newspaper publishing is receding in the US. Where will we be in a decade’s time? Will there just be a few lights left in the darkness of a newspaperless land? Never mind – we’ll all doubtless be subscribing online via the iPad du jour…

[UPDATE: it seems someone from Stanford has done their own animated version of the infographic – but it’s r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w. So I still like mine more…]

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