Graphic World Projection

An interactive data visualization engages commuters at Grand Central Terminal


Design, Development

The Financial Times, famous for keeping its readers up to date on global trends in world markets, wanted to provide New York City commuters with an experience that visualized their commitment to data-driven journalism. Graphic World was a short-term interactive projection inside Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall that included a user-controlled infographic visualization and several short films.

The project team included ad agency DDB UK, projection-mapping experts Klip Collective, and infographic expert David McCandless. They turned to Bluecadet to design an interactive interface for the project that would let users engage with and control the data visualizations.

The Floor is the Interface

Keeping in mind the bustling location, shifting light conditions, variable numbers of simultaneous users, and quick set-up limitations, we came up with a 225-square-foot sensor mat as the interface to explore statistics.

As users walked across the mat, animated footsteps followed their movements across the projected world. Whenever a visitor paused on a country, it revealed corresponding statistics, allowing the users to physically navigate the data.

Graphic World was intended to stop busy commuters in their tracks with stunning visualizations of economic data from around the world. By creating a fun and novel way to explore the information, we made sure that they not only stopped, but stayed, learned, and engaged.

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