The Washington Post has created a data visualization allowing users to observe major technological transformations that took place during their lifetime. Users can enter their birth year and the visualization creates a series of charts illustrating how new technologies impacted people’s lives in the United States over time. For example, one chart shows how, until 1996, 100 percent of the time households were watching video entertainment they were using video tapes, but by 2006, 94 percent were using DVDs. The other charts illustrate the shifts from Americans having no Internet access, to having slow Internet, and then to having home broadband; from listening to music on cassette tapes, to CDs, and then to digital platforms; and from not having a cell phone, to having a cell phone, and then to having a smartphone.
Visualizing Technological Shifts in Your Lifetime
Joshua New was a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life.
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