How Orbitist transforms ordinary lists into useful visualizations

The "listicle."

It’s all over social media, and you’ve undoubtedly seen links to articles like BuzzFeed’s “21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity” or Huffington Post’s “25 Ways To Tell You’re A Kid Of The 90s.” As articles that display information in list form, listicles are made to be a focused display of widely relatable information that teaches, inspires, amuses, or motivates each reader. But what if we could make them even more user-centered by giving each viewer a sense of place, too?

“The 15 Best Mountain-Top Views in the World” is a topic that could easily be put into a bulleted format. But it also requires the reader to open a new tab and put an approximate address into Google Maps. So Instead, we decided to map it for them, eliminating any unnecessary steps for exploration.  

With the numbered point option on Orbitist, the individual elements of the list is clear. But the transformation from ordinary listicle to map creates a distinct visual element that allows viewers to personally interact and engage with information further. Every point implements a new awareness of geography and space unique to each reader, while still maintaining the easy-to-digest quality of the traditional format. Not to mention, it just looks pretty awesome.

Mapping has the potential to curate meaningful and entertainment-worthy content from all over the internet — and from all around the globe. The map above captures some of the best mountain overlooks from Instagram users across the planet, from Canada to Russia to Peru. (And embedding posts from social media still gives credit to the owner, which companies like BuzzFeed have struggled to do in the past.) Centralizing this information into a geographic space forages connections between people and between places in a way that a short-form article simply can’t compete with. 

You can make beautiful maps like this using Orbitist.  Learn how to get started