A morbidly good infographic

By Steve Outing

A few days ago Charles Apple pointed to what I think is a brilliant — if controversial — infographic by Todd Trumbull of the San Francisco Chronicle.

It shows graphically at what location on the Golden Gate Bridge suicide jumpers — of which there have been more than 1,200 known ones — leaped off the structure. It’s absolutely fascinating information, presented in a way that an infographic can do best. It’s interesting that more jumpers used the east side looking toward the city than the west, looking out to the Pacific. I never would have guessed that some people jumped onto land, not water.

This is basically a static print graphic, and was presented on the Chronicle’s website in the same way — no multimedia or interaction. It’s a great infographic as is, but it got me thinking if the possibilities of online presentation could improve it even further. The one element I can think of is to turn the numbers (the dots, each representing a suicide) into the human story. Each dot when moused over could bring up a pop-up with information known about that specific death — perhaps even linking to stories about the bridge suicides from the Chronicle archives.

Again, I don’t mean to take anything away from what’s a great infographic. As an alumni of the Chronicle’s graphics department (I was there during the early ’90s), it’s great to see wonderful work from the news artists there today.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

5 Responses to "A morbidly good infographic"

  1. Derek Scruggs
    Derek Scruggs 9 years ago .Reply

    What they really ought to do is investigate why there are so many? There’s solid evidence that California officials are not doing enough to prevent suicides there.

  2. Derek Scruggs
    Derek Scruggs 9 years ago .Reply

    What they really ought to do is investigate why there are so many? There's <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/10/13/03101…rel="nofollow">solid evidence</a> that California officials are not doing enough to prevent suicides there.

  3. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 9 years ago .Reply

    You’re absolutely right … a window opening to all known details of each jumper would humanize the entire project and maybe give it the heft to bring the kind of action Derek is suggesting.

  4. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 9 years ago .Reply

    You're absolutely right … a window opening to all known details of each jumper would humanize the entire project and maybe give it the heft to bring the kind of action Derek is suggesting.

  5. JohnofScribbleSheet
    JohnofScribbleSheet 9 years ago .Reply

    Al-Jazeera English have a fairly good new channel on You Tube, definitely worth a watch.

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