Multimedia projects that bring the world to life

It’s a complex world out there…a world that is better explained through multimedia. The following projects capture what could have been belabored or excessively long print stories and turned them into visually arresting online works.

“Who has the Nuclear Weapons?” isn’t the first expository video from GOOD Magazine, but it may be one of the best. The magazine explains who is controlling the world’s nuclear weapons in a video that is a cross between Sesame Street and a Nine Inch Nails music video with a little Michael Moore thrown in for good measure. Most importantly, the magazine presents facts in a visual, easy to digest way.

Non-profit organization Just Vision documents the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through an interactive timeline, which is itself made of interviews with the people who lived/are living through it. The project mixes personal and historical events to provide a multi-faceted view of the conflict.

Flight and Expulsion from new media designer Christian Behrens is an interactive map that shows the flight patterns of refugees around the world based on UN statistics. The Flash map has some technical issues (tiny hit states), but is a sobering way visualization of where the incredible number of refugees are fleeing.

The BBC’s History of Stonehenge is a computer-simulated time lapse video of one the world’s most mysterious structures. The video delineates the position and degradation of the monument over thousands of years.

The Discovery Channel online’s Volcano Explorer is a bit of creative genius — after learning about the fire-breathing mountains, users can adjust viscosity and gas levels to create their own virtual volcano and watch it erupt. It’s definitely a step up from the baking soda and vinegar models made in grade school.

Ironic Sans’ 60 Seconds series is proof that sometimes the news is happening right in front of us, if we take a moment to look. Each video spotlights a slice of life or nature in just a minute. There is something serene and American Beauty-esque about videos like 60 Seconds in the Life of Summer, 60 Seconds in the Life of an Aquarium or even 60 Seconds in the Life of a Fly. The videos are proof that you don’t have to go far to find great ideas for multimedia.