For the third year in a row Information Architects Japan have produced a new version of their Web Trend Map (see 2007 / 2008). This year they have surpassed themselves again with a striking new design style based on the Tokyo Metro map. Each trend line on the map is colour coded by industry with each company depicted according to its success and stability. The top 50 influential companies are connected via the “main line” with 111 individual people considered as trend setters also shown clustered around their respective interests (with Steve Jobs, Barack Obama & Eric Schmidt right in the centre at the Emperor’s Palace).
It’s nice to see WordPress (ranked 21) featured as an intersection of the Publishing, Creative & Filter lines with Drupal (ranked 43) situated as its neighbour. Interestingly most of the China web properties (Baidu, Sina, QQ etc.) lie on a branch of the Filter line without any interconnections suggesting that they’re still relatively issolated to that part of the world. Whilst this still the beta version taking a look at it full size is an absolute must – the final version should be released very soon apparently.
I’m thinking I should start some sort of collection to catalogue these types of maps which seem to becoming an increasingly popular form of information visualisation outside their tradition domain of the subway system.