Here are a couple of jaw-dropping videos, courtesy of TED.com. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, an annual conference that brings together thinkers and doers from these three realms to give the presentations of their lives.
Two things before we go to the videos. One, there are many more videos, freely available for viewing and for download, at TED.com. However, the videos below are not in the format found on TED.com, since WordPress does not support that format. Two, I think all of these great presentations share at least one thing: passionate presenters who know their stuff and who are keen on sharing their ideas. It’s a powerful combo.
This first one is a stunning demo of how Photosynth can piece together photos of a certain location (Notre Dame is used in the demo) to create a 3D object that one can navigate spatially (e.g. one can move from one spot of the Notre Dame to another), visually (the amazing thing about this to me is how one can zoom in to a seemingly infinite depth) and even via hyperlinks (tags to other related photos, pictures etc.). This is a fresh and potent way of synthesizing user-created content (the disparate photos) to create something more than the sum of its parts. Again, stunning! (You can see the video at TED.com at this link.)
This second video was as visually captivating to me as the first one. Those of us who struggle to present statistics in an arresting and informational way will be inspired by the way Hans Rosling (the presenter) was able to make trends come alive. Here, among many many many other things, you will see how child health correlates with GDP, over time – for example, how Mao Zedong’s time as leader of China corresponded with an improvement in health, and how Deng Xiaoping led China to economic growth, and therefore how, over time, China joined the world’s mainstream in these two areas. (You can see the video at TED.com at this link.)