26 January 2004

The same data in two forms

As a way of pressuring my friend John Dunning into becoming a blogger, I'm going to rudely share with y'all an email he sent to me.

The world's most attractive zipcode entry field

The applet starts by displaying every zipcode in the US as a white dot. As you type each digit in a zipcode, all the codes that begin with what you've typed stay white, while the others fade. So typing 9 lights up the West Coast, typing 4 highlights just the Bay Area, and so on. Simple, but kind of hypnotic.


The zipcode map is almost dot for dot identical to a nighttime picture of the US from orbit:


Considering how zipcodes are distributed, that shouldn't be surprising. But it's still remarkable that as soon as humans are concentrated enough to merit their own zipcode, they use enough light to be visible from space.

No comments: