Saturday, July 22, 2006

Charting Your Way Through The Murk

Slate presents "The Middle East Buddy List." Scroll down to the hyperlink in the last sentence (no direct link).

I don't know that I'd say the chart provides everything you need to know, being more of primer and necessarily constrained in scope and nuance, but it sure is a nifty idea, and does at least as good a thumbnail job as I've seen anywhere else. The map component is handy, too, for those who aren't geographically inclined.

Slightly off topic, but this sort of tool strikes me as a natural for bloggers/citizen-journalists, at least those with graphic and technological know-how. I'll bet students would find this kind of presentation more "friendly" than straight, traditional, explanatory text, for example. It reminds me, a bit and certainly with several twists, of the old multiplication charts we all made back in elementary school, before calculators. Talk about the old becoming new again!