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Visualizing Time with the Infinity Hour Chart

by on June 13, 2013

Doug McCune has an interesting way of representing 24-hour cyclical data over an infinity symbol (the lemniscate).

You follow the time by working your way around the infinity. If you start at the top of the symbol at noon, you would start moving around clockwise to 1pm, then 2pm, etc. You’ll reach the center at 6pm, at which point the symbol crosses itself and you then read it counter-clockwise around the bottom.

What you end up with is a way of dividing up the times of day into quadrants. The top-left quarter of the image is the morning, from 6am-12pm. Then the top-right is the afternoon, from 12pm-6pm. Then you have the evening in the botom left (6pm-midnight) and then late-night is in the bottom-right (12am-6am). These quarters match well with how I mentally categorize times of day.

It definitely looks neat, and has some interesting properties, but all in all seems to be a bit more confusing than beneficial.  Perhaps his chosen data is simply a poor example, or perhaps expanding the symbol’s width would help to eliminate some of the clutter and confusion.  Either way, it’s an interesting idea.

via Visualizing Time with the Infinity Hour Chart | Doug McCune.