Client: SuperPro Racing
Bicycle event promoter Murphy Mack wanted to brand his latest epic ride with a tribute to the iconic Joy Division “Unknown Pleasures” album cover. I was intrigued by the original artwork - an early example of data visualization*. I wanted to create something that would visualize the extreme nature of the course (a secret until the day of the event). This led me to discover a Google Maps utility that allowed for the creation of elevation profiles. But how could I transfer the course data?
Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest - I traced the route onto acetate and then used that as a guide in the elevation profile utility. After creating a series of slices of the entire course, I then adjusted them in Photoshop so that the vertical scales all matched. Then I traced the adjusted slices in Illustrator. The traced elevation profiles were used to create mask shapes in Adobe After Effects which were then staggered in 3D space.
Voila! The final product is faithful visualization of the route, highlighting the extreme elevation profile, yet abstract enough to not give away its secret location.
* The lines are pulses from a neutron star.