What would a map of wisdom from all around the world look like?

Project Context

  • Type: Collaboration with Project Fuel , funded by Art grant from SIF
  • Duration: 4 months
  • My role: Map design & data visualization

About the project

I collaborated with Project Fuel on designing World Wisdom Map — an inspiring collection of life lessons from people around the world. We built an interactive, map-driven repository of stories that we collected from every country, and then summarized it as a data-art-driven long narrative.

This project was funded as part of Singapore International Foundation (SIF)’s Arts for Good (A4G) grant .

My role

I designed a custom map in Mapbox to highlight each wisdom glowing like fireflies on a dark night. We used this map for the discover page with life lessons as clusters.

Discover page with clusters of life lessons on a blue basemap
Discover page with clusters of life lessons on a blue basemap

For the homepage, I removed the clustering so that the firefly effect really shines. We also added photos of a few randomly selected participants to tease into interacting with the map.

Highlighted life lessons on homepage on a dark blue basemap
Highlighted life lessons on homepage on a dark blue basemap

I designed a customized grayscale map to add some context to each life lesson’s page.

Dark map with exaggerated hillshading adds subtle context
Dark map with exaggerated hillshading adds subtle context

Once we had all the life lessons, I worked with Ruchika — NY-based Data Scientist — to turn the key insights into a data narrative. I used a metaphor of Ginkgo leaves — known for their resilience & longevity — to represent these insights that will stand the test of time.

Data narratives visualizing insights from all the wisdoms collected
Data narratives visualizing insights from all the wisdoms collected

Explore the project

Explore these life lessons on the website — preferably on your desktop, so you can soak it all in!

Response to the project

The project was featured on MentalFloss , LBB , FirstPost , Hindu & other publications.

Reflections

I loved collaborating virtually with an inspiring team . I used Miro to discuss information architecture, map concepts & wireframes, and I doodled on Procreate for sketching the narratives & illustrations. We also used Figma for collaborating on the website design with Mayank. All these tools really enabled us to collaborate seamlessly across timezones.

Discussions around wireframes on Miro
Discussions around wireframes on Miro

My favorite part was getting a chance to use metaphors in my work. After listening to a wonderful lecture by Nithya for our NID Haryana course, I became more conscious of semiotics in visualization. Making the firefly & ginkgo leaves metaphor work well in this project was a delight!

This pandemic year has been filled with anxiety, and this project gave me a reason to smile. Thanks to this project, I collaborated with a wonderful group of people — developers, UI designers, data scientists — who made this project come alive. This was my first such collaborative side-project, and I hope to do more of these in the future.