Innovative multimedia centered on the ordinary and everyday

Sometimes the best multimedia projects aren’t those that cover elaborate and complicated news stories. The following stories show that ordinary concepts make for extraordinary multimedia.

Spot the Knockoff

Can you tell the $1,600 Jimmy Choo handbag from the $55 knockoff? wants to know. The test puts the users plagiarism-detecting skills to use and is a simple but fun twist to the Flash quiz.

Rising Gasoline Costs

Everyone knows climbing gas prices are scary but this animated chart from Flowing Data may cause heart attacks. The chart illustrates how gas prices have climbed in the US from an average of about $1 a gallon to today’s hefty $4 a gallon price tag.

Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Visitors to the actual Vietnam Vets memorial can only stare at the granite walls and wonder about who the soldiers were. Visitors to the interactive version can read about the stories behind each name.

Judgement to the Wife

Journalists and audiences alike are big fans of This American Life in both its radio and TV incarnations. The animated video illustrated by Chris Ware takes a simple premise (the differing recollections of a single event by a husband and wife) and brings it to life.

Fold-Ins, Past and Present

Mad Magazine’s fold-ins are a great piece of Americana (as well as an encapsulation of the concerns of the times). The New York Times gives them a digital makeover, decreasing the need for actual folding.

Watching the Growth of Wal-Mart Across America

Along the lines of the aforementioned gas chart is this map of the spread of Wal-Mart stores across the country. It is interesting to see the megachain begin as a small clump of stores in Arkansas to several thousand stores that cover a large portion of the Western hemisphere.

2008 US Movie Box Office

Box office charts make good filler for the evening news broadcast or as anecdotal evidence for entertainment stories, but this well-designed chart shows the fluctuation of box office popularity for the entire year.

Fleshmap: Listen

Last but not least is this visualization of the frequency of mentions of specific body parts in different genres of music. Not surprisingly, the rear end is popular among hip hoppers and the hand is big among gospel artists. Possibly NSFW if you’re scared of (literally) a little booty.