Algorithm Connects 9/11 Victims

The National September 11 Memorial will open this fall in New York City. The names of 3,500 victims of the terrorist attacks that day will be inscribed on the wall surrounding the fountains. Instead of arranging the names alphabetically, they will be grouped by affinity: police officers together, firefighters together, passengers on each plane together, and for those who were in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon, friends and co-workers will be grouped together.
"It’s about making meaning not just for the people who know the individuals, but for the people who are going there," says Jake Barton, Local Projects' founder. "In that way, people can learn the human relationships and stories underneath the names themselves." If, for example, you see the 650 employees from Cantor Fitzgerald together, you realize that an entire company was nearly wiped out. Had they been arranged alphabetically, that bit of meaning would have been lost.

"The Memorial Finder, covers the gap," says Barton. "It tells you the specific panel and number, where you can find an individual, but begins to reveal the connections between the names themselves. As you move around the site itself, a smartphone app will reveal adjacencies as well as the stories behind the names." While the project makes intuitive sense, wrangling 3,500 victims’ names was anything but simple.

An algorithm created by programmer Jer Thorp allows, for instance, the names of firefighter John T. Vigiano II and his brother, police officer Joseph Vincent Vigiano to be placed next to each other, while both are grouped with the other victims in their respective units. Read more about this project at Fastco Design. Link -Thanks, Joe Jalbert!

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Beautiful idea.

I just have to say one thing though. I don't think anyone ever will make true sense of what happened that day.

I don't think I will ever comprehend.. and in a way I suppose it's a good thing that I can not understand that kind of hate and violence.
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