September 25, 2007 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Superfund365 is an online data visualization application by Brooke Singer. Each day for the next year, Superfund365 will visit one of the EPA’s Superfund sites and collect data on contaminants, corporate responsibility, photos of the sites, and stats on local inhabitants. In the end, it will have 365 visualizations of some of the worst toxic sites in the U.S. [Via The Underwire.]
posted by homunculus (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is pretty much what I do for a job.
posted by smackwich at 3:16 PM on September 25, 2007

Well, that certainly is a lot of data. Most of it inscrutable, to me at any rate.

Though, I am shocked by the average income and ethnicities, though to be fair I only got through the first 5 or 6 starting from the beginning.
posted by absalom at 3:16 PM on September 25, 2007

fun road trip, but i agree, a bit unscrutable:

When you roll over a colored spoke in the contaminant visualization on each site page, the name of the contaminant appears. If the contaminant name is one of the worst 275 contaminants as determined by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the name is highlighted in red and a number will follow indicating its ranking (1 being the worst). You can click the spoke to go to a ATSDR webpage for that contaminant if one exists. ... The color of each spoke relates to [one of 17] media type[s] in which the contaminant is found.

if the point is to offer user friendly data, then the toxic tour approach is a drawback compared to a searchable list of superfund sites by geography.
posted by ioesf at 4:17 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

That oughta push all these to cleanup and closure much quicker!


This is what I used to do for a job.
posted by Big_B at 4:28 PM on September 25, 2007

They're going to be spending a lot of time in New Jersey...
posted by backseatpilot at 4:48 PM on September 25, 2007

Good site, ioesf, although it doesn't appear to say WHAT the contaminent is for the locations I've looked up.
posted by davejay at 5:37 PM on September 25, 2007

Seems like good data and all, but, yeah, totally crap presentation.

I guess the audience must not be the average person? There seems like very little human element here, or ... really any help at understanding what is going on.
posted by blacklite at 5:38 PM on September 25, 2007

Oh, and about the superfund365 site: why do people think that tiny little text boxes with scroll bars is a great way to present long sections of text? I can't bear to futz with it.
posted by davejay at 5:40 PM on September 25, 2007

Interesting idea, agreed about the terrible execution.

This is what I love about our love of corporate America. Businesses can pollute all they want for years--wouldn't want to be less profitable!--but when its time to clean up, taxpayers are supposed to foot the bill.

I say we just shoot the fuckers responsible and use whatever assets their estate has to help fund the cleanup.
posted by maxwelton at 7:24 PM on September 25, 2007

The first five sites I looked at were all in New Jersey, then the bad site design made me give up
posted by sfts2 at 9:49 AM on September 26, 2007

I have a friend who was personally contacted by Ashcroft and hassled under the auspices of "Homeland Security" for planning environmental rallies, organizing letter-writing campaigns and hosting petitions concerning the Superfund and questioning how its funding and management were being handled.

Apparently there is some funny business going on with our government. Who knew?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:53 AM on September 27, 2007

That's great. How about visualizing what is happening all around us, not just at the 365 sites? I am talking about global warming of course. Global warming is a global phenomena. The problem is most people, myself included don't really experience it. Most of our knowledge is intellectual, and that can only go so far. Does anyone know of any technology that can help folks visualize, feel the invisible reality of the changes that are taking place around them?
posted by lamarguerite at 8:28 AM on October 1, 2007

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