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The Economist put forward the idea that an interactive chart to display some of their data over different time spans would be a great piece of content for their website. What better technology is there for web based interactive charting than Flex? Especially when there are brilliant third party libraries of code developed to achieve just that, such as Flare.

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At the end of 2008 I worked on a Flash project for The Economist called 'The World in 2009'. There was a graphic designer who was responsible for producing a world map vector and I wired it all up.

As you can imagine this artwork was intricate. Each country had a border and a background colour that were separate objects, some text fields for labels, and as you would expect also grouped into continents. The designer was using Adobe Illustrator to create the vector shapes and importing these into Flash and sending me the .fla

The process was not very smooth. There were changes to the artwork of course, Illustrator does not create MovieClips in the same way that you would manually and also when dealing with such an complex piece, old fashioned user error creeps in.

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I have been using Google's excellent free Webmaster Tools to make sure that this blog is in good shape as far as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is concerned. One of the things I needed to improve were the description meta tags on each page but I could not find a plug in that would help me achieve this. So I wrote one myself and it is free for anyone who uses the Nucleus blogging system to use.

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