Information design: A twisted trail of trash

PublishingMojo's picture

Here's a graphic that appeared in the July 25 Boston Globe illustrating an article on how MIT researchers are using tiny transmitters to track where garbage goes after it's collected at the curbside in Cambridge, MA. Here's the graphic that appeared in the Globe:


After puzzling over it for a while, I realized that this is what they're trying to show us:

Is this just design run amok, or are they deliberately trying to make a simple process appear complicated and wasteful?

russellm's picture

A wiring diagram looks like a simple grid with a few switches and things here and there.
Actual wiring often looks like a tangled mess of wires that may or may not have anything to do with each other. My impression, just looking at the diagam is that they want to show that the routes are convoluted.

What your version shows is that there really wasn't any need to track the garbage with radio transmitters :o).

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