Chicago, the Universe, and Everything: Infographics Then and Now

The city and its buildings, in context: like, the whole context, from Burnham Park to the Willis Tower to the Virgo cluster to the edge of the observable universe and back.

One of the most famous infographics of all time is Powers of Ten, one of the many wonders from the design power-couple Charles and Ray Eames. It begins at a picnic in Burnham Park, because… well, it is an awful nice place for a picnic… and then expands out to encompass the solar system, the Milky Way, the Clouds of Magellan, the Virgo cluster, and then returning home to Chicago’s lakefront. “This lonely scene, the galaxies like dust, is what most of space looks like. This emptiness is normal. The richness of our own neighborhood is the exception.” (Space: forever free and clear.)

I thought of Powers of Ten when I was playing with Magnifying the Universe (h/t @muziejus), something of a tribute infographic, which features cameos by the Wrigley Building, the Willis Tower, and the State of Illinois in its journey from the proton nucleus of a hydrogen atom to the edge of the observable universe.


Copyright 2012. Magnifying the Universe by Number Sleuth.

Also from Killer Infographics, which co-produced Magnifying the Universe: History’s Most Educated Serial Killers (including two Chicagoans).

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