I was lucky enough to receive Information is Beautiful as a gift. It’s a book of data visualisations from the guy behind this website – you may have seen his work on The Guardian’s Datablog. It is truly fascinating, both in terms of topics chosen (workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk drawing their souls), and innovative, beautiful ways of visualising information (a periodic table of condiments, organised by how long they take to go off). I was impressed by how well the balance is struck between style and substance, design and information, art and science…. you get the drift.
As always there were compromises made. Generally sources of the information are stated clearly but sometimes it was hard to know how reliable the data was, meaning some of the stats sounded like sweeping generalisations. Nonetheless there was something about the visualisations that made me connect emotionally with what I was seeing. Black and white numbers on a page would never make me let out an unexpected giggle. Nor would they compel me to reduce my carbon footprint (although I know they should). The impact the data had when visualised in a creative way was striking.
Reading, or rather seeing this book has rekindled my interest in visualisation and infographics. Makes me quite tempted to experiment and try and make my own (my very fact deprived one in the title pic was made using this website)! Has anyone else found an infographic particularly striking? I’d love to see what others have discovered.