According to its creators at the London-based BERG firm, Dimensions is a Google Map–based “experimental prototype” designed for the BBC’s always-expanding, ever-impressive website. “We want to bring home the human scale of events and places in history,” the designers write. “How far would the Titanic stretch down your street?”
You can pick dozens of structures, or other space-based things or phenomena, which are split into nine categories—Space, Ancient Worlds, Cities in History, WWII, and so forth—and lay them over your own address, or any other. Some, like the area affected by the Chernobyl cloud, are unfathomably large—much bigger than we imagined them to be before plugging our hometowns into BERG’s prototype. Others (Stonehenge; the City of Paris, c. 1852) are almost intimate. Yes, this sort of thing’s been done before (click the links on our Venn diagram, above, to see for yourself). But doing it this well makes for a difference of kind, as well as degree.
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