Where has Hillary really been, and under what circumstance? Check out this use of the Google map-customization features…

In the wake of the "Platoon coming into a hot LZ" story that Hillary floated last week – and that rose up to bite her in the ass, and make her a reliable butt of jokes for a few news cycles – comes this bit of multimedia storytelling.

It kinda threw me for a loop, at first – I was trying to see what message it was that the map was trying to tell me.  And then, I realized that this was a more sophisticated use of the web than the traditional use of infographics, that normally serve to cram complex information at you in as short a time as possible. 

No, this is use of multimedia that is far more demanding – it demands that you have the time, patience and attention to really browse through all the data collected here, and that you arrive at a conclusion on your own (should you so wish).

And also, should you also not wish. Because if you were only interested in a few segments of the story (such as, what the hell was Hillary doing in Dakar? GIving away a trophy to some dust-caked winner of the Paris-to-Dakar rally?) – well then, you can just skim & browse over the map and pick out the bits of information that you are interested in and that are relevant to you.  A more trenchant hypothetical would be if you’re a foreign minister of one of these countries, and you want to see how long it’s been since the Clintons swung by on an official visit.

Anyway – brilliant use of non-linear storytelling techniques, and the possibilities offered by the web.  This is an infographic that works on a lot of levels, from the most sophisticated, to the most casual interest.  And yeah, it kinda sucks you in after a bit – you want to keep mousing over all the points and trying to imagine from the sparse description what the hell was going on during that visit back in the ’90s.