Ford Motor Company has been playing a television ad for the past few months. In it, Ford points to the international flavor of the developers of its 2013 Ford Escape SUV. Go to YouTube and search on “Ford Escape Hands-Free Liftgate Commercial” to see it.
What caught my attention was the atlas used to make the point about the engineer who “grew up on two continents.”
The map is similar to the maps from The Global Atlas–A New View of the World from Space. This atlas, published by Simon and Schuster in 1958, featured physical models of the Earth’s terrain.
Fast forward to today.
Notice that Ford didn’t use the familiar Google satellite or map image to show North America and Europe. Is that because it would’ve looked too flat, too pedestrian on television?
Using images built with expressive terrain models look far more dramatic. They provide more communication value for the cost of occupying several seconds of film in a TV commercial.
A similar map product is Mountain High Maps from Digital Wisdom. This set of dramatic terrain images is a digital enhancement of physical models. View this product here.