Chris Sonneberg is an animator who has worked for Disney, and has been a member of the production team creating the animations there for many years now. He has worked on such films as Enchanted and Kung Fu Panda and when asked at a conference back in 2011 which method of animation he preferred – Hand Drawn or Digital, he responded that so long as the story told is engaging, then it shouldn’t matter the methodology used to convey it. It’s all about the content. Although animation isn’t the same as map making, both are used to display a succession of information and so the principles remain the same.
The Wolf Map tells a story in a much different form to those that i looked at previously which monitored a period of space over a set amount of time. This one marks the known and former territories that the grey wolves can be found in the upper states of America. The composition features a polyconic reference point in the top right hand corner to help users locate more clearly on the map just where these wolves can be found since their extermination back in the 1930’s. The key is very simple to use, showing information about the current wolf population and constantly comparing and referring to what it was like eighty years ago. It also shows through the use of this key where the wolves have been reintroduced from Canadian forests into the American states. The colours used are simple yet effective and don’t confuse the user by being too garish and over the top. This map was much more easy to decipher than The Maps That Tell Tales, even though the content could be construed as complex with the comparisons to two different time periods.
Physarum polycephalum is a type of slime mould that extends tendrils from food source to food source, finding the most efficient pathways whilst doing so. The mould has been tested extensively by the University of West England in Bristol and is used in the hope that it will revolutionize the way that our road and railway systems connect towns and cities together. During the tests it was found that the slime mould actually mimicked existing roads in it’s effort to find the next food source. Scientists simply set the food source where existing cities are located and in terms of the United States map this plan originated in the location of New York city.
The nutrients in the more rural areas are naturally eaten more quickly than those found in the bigger oat clusters (cities) and after a period of time when food becomes more scarce, the tendrils become more robust yet are still found to be adaptable to change.
Although the study of slime mould is interesting, especially in the way that it naturally mimics our roads and railways as the best route to get to the food, i don’t think that it is viable in terms of recreating our current networks to mimic those set out by the slime mould. It would cost far too much of tax payers money to recreate these systems in order for them to be seen as more productive and time effective, especially when there is nothing wrong with the current road systems we have in place.