Why the Soviets doctored this iconic photo

With the recent 75 year remembrance of the Normandy Landings (D-Day), I was reminded of this video by Vox, from the Vox Darkroom series:

“Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” and “Raising a Flag over the Reichstag” are similarly iconic photos from World War II. They’re both beloved images of victory, and they’re both taken after the fighting ended in significant battles. But the Russian Soviet one is different, because parts of it are altered.

The Fallen of World War II


The Fallen of World War II is an interactive documentary that examines the human cost of the second World War and the decline in battle deaths in the years since the war. The 15-minute data visualization uses cinematic storytelling techniques to provide viewers with a fresh and dramatic perspective of a pivotal moment in history.

Be sure to watch the interactive version. It’s an impressive WebGL powered visualization which you can pause and interact with.

The Fallen of World War II →

The Code: A Declassified And Unbelievable Hostage Rescue Story


How do you reach soldiers held under 24-hour armed guard in deeply rural territory? Juan Carlos Ortiz’s mind raced between ideas: Sky-writing? Aid parcels containing secret messages? […] They had to create a message that could be understood by the hostages, but remain invisible to their captors. They needed to give the hostages hope, and encourage any soldiers harboring plans of escape that now was the time. Ortiz agreed to participate, and boarded the next plane to Bogotá.

Fascinating read. Be sure to also read the part about Jeremiah Andrew Denton Jr – a United States Navy rear admiral who spent almost eight years as a POW in Vietnam – and how he sent a message to the U.S. Intelligence.

The Code: A Declassified And Unbelievable Hostage Rescue Story →

Poppy Field – Visualising War Fatalities


What I like about this visualisation is that it represents 3 dimensions into 2: conflict startdate (X-axis), conflict duration (Y-axis), and number of fatalities (size of the flower). Another interesting thing is that the duration of the conflict is actually visualised in two ways: next to the Y-axis the length of the stem represents that very same piece of data. Clever use of a logarithmic scale too.

Poppy Field – Visualising War Fatalities →
(Scroll to the 4th pane, and click “Explore”)

World War II From Space

World War II From Space is a 90 minute documentary visualising key events from World War II from the vantage point of space. This was a huge task as there were 300 animations (most between 20/30 secs) and 79 VFX shots completed in 8 months. This is a montage of some of these sequences.

You can watch the entire documentary on YouTube, apparently.