August 17, 2007

Web Trend Map 2007, v. 2.0

Yesterday, in a comment to my post about the Antipocentric World Map, I mentioned another map that's based on the Tokyo subway system map. Here it is:

This map, by Information Architects Japan, shows the 200 most successful websites on the web, ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective. Their webpage has several different versions of this map (by size and resolution); the map above is their most readable version (1600 x 1024). Below are some of IAJ's comments to help decipher the map:

What’s New?
First of all, the new trend map features much more websites than the previous one. While the focus is still on English language websites (because that is where it’s at), we have added some Japanese sites (a mystery to most of you gaijin), some German sites (yeah, there are some popular ones) and a Chinese line (the second Internet).

More Consistency
The different trend lines have been renamed, simplified and cleaned up. Now, if you follow the tech line – you will find tech sites, if you follow the news line – you will find news sites.

Less Japanese Jokes
There are less insider jokes about the different stations and more consistency within the connections and the neighborhood of the different sites. People who know Tokyo will still find lots of little hints and sarcastic comments hidden in there.

Some Interesting Things to Note
* Google has moved from Shibuya, a humming place for young people, to Shinjuku, a suspicious, messy, Yakuza-controlled, but still a pretty cool place to hang out (Golden Gaya).
* Youtube has conquered Shibuya.
* Microsoft has moved to Ikebukuro, if you know what I mean.
* Yahoo is in Ueno, a nice place but nothing going on there.
* Wikipedia now is in Shimbashi, the place for the square and hard-headed Salaryman, like the Wikipedia watchdogs.
* The Chinese line runs parallel to the “share line” which starts with the main pirates…
* Paper info designer Tufte is right below the Federated Media, right before joining with the interactive information design circle in a 90 degree angle.
* "You" are in the Emperor’s palace, in the center of the network.

More Revealing Coincidences
* The main Japanese sites are all on the money line. I never notice before, but most big Japanese sites are financially successful.
* The northern part of the Yamanote line (”main sites”) is a boring unknown territory (just as in real Tokyo).
* Ze Frank ended up close to the German carousel.
* iA ended up close to the pirates.
* Adobe moved from Ginza (high class) to Tokyo station (anonymous, lots of money there), which is pointing at the fact that they continue to move towards the center of gravity without being too loud about it.
* Skype has conquered a place that doesn’t exist.

Trend Forecast
Of course you will notice that we added a weather forecast. The weather forecast is our six months prognosis for each candidate (no big surprises there).

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