Sarah Slobin, infographics designer for the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, and now the Wall Street Journal, has collected a list of 7 (and a half) steps to developing successful infographics. Many of her points apply outside infographics and into just visualization in general, such as this gem on dealing with source data:
Every time I start a graphic, I’m optimistic that my material will show up perfectly packaged with a lovely bow and some chocolate covered pretzels in a cellophane bag. Instead, it usually arrives like the black sheep cousin at a family wedding—late, disheveled and smelling like something stuck to the bottom of a cat’s feet.
Before you can visualize anything, you’ve got to make sure your material is clean, clean, clean and super-organized.
I can attest to that. Every researcher I deal with seems to think their own proprietary format is the best evar so I spend the first hours of any project writing new file readers.
via The 7 ½ Steps to Successful Infographics – Articles – MIX Online.
Financial Infographics has posted and infographic comparing the tax rates of nations around the world. The U.S. Federal rate varies from 15% to 35%. This does not include, however, any additional rates that the state, or even city, may impose. What may surprise you, is that the first income tax in the United States was in 1812, to finance the war against Great Britain.
via International Tax Rate Comparison/a>.
Financial Infographics has published another infographic (what else would you expect) entitled A Statistical Look at Wall Street Bonuses. While the poster is visually appealing, I find that I cannot make heads of tails of the 3-D bar graph. Fortunately a 2-D bar graph appears in the lower portion of the graphic, which is easier to understand. The take away from the poster is that Wall Street is giving out bonuses while Main Street is still hurting. Yet just one year ago, the taxpayer kept Wall Street from collapsing.
via A Statistical Look at Wall Street Bonuses |.
Sports Junkies with a love of pretty charts and posters rejoice, for InfoJocks is now running a special discount through the holidays: Buy 1 poster, get a 2nd for 50% off! That’s two posters for $30. No discount code needed, just hit the Infojocks store and shop away!
via Cool Infographics: Sports Infographic Poster Deal from Infojocks!.
Infographics fans get in the holiday spirit because WallStats, makers of the fantastic “Death & Taxes” poster and several other great infographics, is running a limited-time special right now.
- Retweet his message (on his site) and have a 10% chance to win a free poster with free shipping!
- Use the ‘freeship’ code and get free shipping on any order
- Use the ‘freehalf’ code and get your entire order 50% off.
- The “389 Years Ago” Limited Blue Variant is 50% off, but only 11 remain
And even more.. The deals run various timeframes, so get the full details on his site.
Black Wednesday holiday bonanaza!… psst, free stuff. | WallStats.com The Art of Information.
Information Aesthetics has decided to, at least temporarily, embrace the dark side of visualization and learn to love the ugly and useless of the visualization world.
While we keep discussing the necessity of theoretical frameworks, start dozens of vizblogs with endless “best-of” lists, and criticize the best practice of data visualizations, we seem to have lost the attention to a parallel universe, which no-one really recognizes the need to write a manifesto for. A field that is potentially more prevalent than all visualization “tools” and “artwork” put together. I mean those data visualizations that are neither “eye candy” nor “useful”, neither “beautiful” nor “functional”, neither “art” nor a “tool”, neither “user-satisfactory” nor “effective”, and neither stimulating the “heart” nor the “brain”. The challenge of this competition is thus for you to find the most “ugly”, “useless” and “disfunctional” data visualization online. It sounds easy, but can be more difficult than you might think.
If you think you have a contender, drop a line to [email protected] and you could win one of 2 copies of the FusionCharts Developer Bundle, worth $499.
via Competition: What is the most Ugly and Useless Visualization Online? – information aesthetics.
Jer Thorpe took the text of two great articles on studies of head injuries in NFL players, one in GQ and another in The New Yorker, and created an interesting interactive visualization tool.
Until this weekend. I spent a few (okay, more like eight) hours putting together a tool with Processing that would examine some of the similarities and differences between the two articles. The most interesting data ended up coming from word usage analysis (I looked at sentences and phrases as well, but with not much luck). The base interface for the tool is a XY chart of the words – they are positioned vertically by their average position in the articles, and horizontally by which article they occur in more. The words in the centre are shared by both articles. Total usage affects the scale of the words, so we can see quite quickly which words are used most, and in which articles.
The results are impressive, and he gets into great detail in his article, but that’s not the end of the story. Jeff Clark took a look at his visualization and used his Document Contrast Diagrams to perform a similar analysis.
I have previously explored the idea of comparing and contrasting document pairs with my Document Contrast Diagrams. The diagram below was created from the same two articles that Jer used in his analysis. There are obviously a lot of differences between the two visualizations both in appearance and in the technical means of constructing the diagrams but the underlying organizational metaphor is the same:
- Size of words reflect frequency of use
- Horizontal position reflects which document uses the word the most
- Vertical position reflects where the words are used in the documents the most
The two visualizations show the same data in different forms, and wind up emphasizing (and de-emphasizing) various points. Check them both out and see what you discover.
via Two Sides of the Same Story: Laskas & Gladwell on CTE & the NFL | blprnt.blg. and Two Sides of the Same Story by Jeff Clark
Verifiable.com offering data visualization and sharing capabilities for the low-low price of $30/year and has been selected by the Miami Herald to display their website infographics.
The MiamiHerald.com will be the first major media client to deliver Verifiable.com’s sophisticated data visualizations to its readers. MiamiHerald.com is using the Verifiable platform to provide its readers with a variety of interactive visualizations designed to complement the Herald’s award-winning content.
You can see the graphics at www.MiamiHerald.com/econgraphics .
via PR-CANADA.net – Tired of Numbers Without Any Context: Verifiable.com has the Answer.
Something just occured to me and I hope the VizWorld audience is large enough to share some information with the rest of us. Do you own a Kindle or KindleDX? If so, then I’m curious: How do large infographics look on the Kindle?
If you have a kindle and some time, then fill us in. Hit any of the infographics on Wall Street Journal, USA Today, or GOOD magazine and take a pic of what it looks like on your Kindle. With the popular use of color to denote information, does the Kindle do a good job as processing it? Or does the entire image come through as a single large black block? Is the Kindle audience large enough to warrant a renaissance in black-and-white infographics?
Let us know, we can’t wait to hear from you!
Graphics, Hardware, Science
I’m gonna take the easy way out of Twitter’s #followfriday by referring to a great list compiled by Randy Krum on his Cool Infographics site, where he has collected a list of 37 people (36 if you don’t count VizWorld, you’re already following us right?) that talk about infographics on twitter.
Instead of featuring an infographic today, I thought I would embrace the Twitter tradition of Follow Friday and share the list of people and companies I follow related to infographics. So here is my list of who to follow for infographics on Twitter (in alphabetical order):
via Cool Infographics: 37 People You Should Follow for Infographics on Twitter.