A few days ago, the Sunlight Labs blog put a post up, titled "Should data.gov Visualize? Probably Not" [sunlightlabs.com]. In terms of provoking you to read, I have copied their title for this post as well. Should data.gov Visualize? Probably Not.
Data visualization and all things related continued its ascent this year with projects popping up all over the place. Some were good, and a lot were not so good. More than anything, I noticed a huge wave of big infographics this year. It was amusing at first, but then it kind of got out of hand when online education and insurance sites started to game the system. Although it's died down a lot ever since the new Digg launched.
Data Visualization: Who are today's leading data visualization companies
Gov 2.0 for Providers of Official Statistics
Information Graphics “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” —Albert Einstein Our everyday lives are filled with a massive flow of information that we must interpret in order to understand the world we live in. Considering this complex variety of data floating around us, sometimes the best — or even only — way to communicate is visually.
The Don’ts of Infographic Design Written by Amy Balliett of Killer Infographics, the post in question is basically tips for how to create linkbait that doesn't work. Or at least I hope it doesn't. Let's take it from the top. Infographics are visual representations of information, or "data viz" as the cool kids call it these days. The term "data viz" comes from "data visualization," which implies that sets of data will be displayed in a unique way that can be seen, rather than read. I'm not going to get into the semantics.
Now that Obama's dog has won the War on Christmas, or something, it's time to get down to a war that really matters: the war on terrible, lying infographics, which have become endemic in the blogosphere, and constantly threaten to break out into epidemic or even pandemic status. The reservoir of this disease of erroneous infographics is internet marketers who don't care whether the information in their graphics is right ... just so long as you link it. As a Christmas present to, well, everyone, I'm issuing a plea to bloggers to help stop this plague in its track. Below the break, a tour of some of the more egregious examples, and some thoughts on why they've become so prevalent. For those of you who can't sit through all that boring writing, however, I will first deliver my message in--ahem!--a more visual format: Business - Megan McArdle - Ending the Infographic Plague
Infographics – the Long and the Short of It – Defining the [infographic]
A New and Important Content Marketing Tool: The Video Infographic
Powerful Free Infographic Tools To Create Your Own Infographics A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Infographics Infographics are everywhere, and we can’t get enough of them! By presenting information in a compact and creative format, infographics are able to quickly convey knowledge and engage its viewers.
We get a lot of infographic pitches. Almost all of them suck. Why? Because while they may well be "information plus graphics," they often lack what designer Francesco Franchi calls "infographic thinking." This isn’t just "how to make some numbers and vector graphics look clever together." It’s a narrative language--it’s "representation plus interpretation to develop an idea," to quote Franchi.
There’s a growing backlash against that form of content known as the infographic. Useless eye-candy or handy reference? Om Malik, in a post, asks: Can someone please stop the infographic madness? Kill This Infographic (infographic) |
Journalism in the Age of Data In the words of Terrell Owens, get your popcorn ready, because this video (below) is awesome. During his Knight Journalism fellowship at Stanford, Geoff McGhee interviewed visualization trendsetters on how they deal and what they do with data in Journalism in the Age of Data: Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays? Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viègas kick things off with some of the work they did with IBM.
Recently, we shared LUMA Partner's insane infographic showing how complicated social media has become. The post received a lot of feedback, largely centered around what was missing. There were a few major social media outlets that seemed near impossible to miss, mainly 2012's darling child Pinterest. The largest problem with LUMA's graph was that it was created in June of 2011, long before Pinterest became nationally popular. Period Table of Social Media
Infographics on the web are so bad and so broken. They are everywhere, yet few actually do a decent job of conveying information (click on the one at left to see what I mean). Some even argue that they are ruining the Internet. Infographics Are Broken. We Can Do Better. | Erick Schonfeld: TechStream
Correlation or Causation?
Layar Creator - Welcome to Interactive Print
Eulerian Video Magnification for Revealing Subtle Changes in the World Abstract Our goal is to reveal temporal variations in videos that are difficult or impossible to see with the naked eye and display them in an indicative manner. Our method, which we call Eulerian Video Magnification, takes a standard video sequence as input, and applies spatial decomposition, followed by temporal filtering to the frames. The resulting signal is then amplified to reveal hidden information.
Sauber cutaway car The Sauber team has come up with an interesting way to show a Formula 1 car from a new angle - by cutting it in half down the middle. "Formula One is all about cutting-edge technology," says Chief Designer Matt Morris in the film. "We've all seen countless pictures of racing cars, but wouldn't it be great to really explore inside it - as if peering into the core of an apple?" The team has put out the following video: Sauber cutaway car > F1 News > Grandprix.com
Livehoods – Use-based urban analytics In conceptualizing and exploring the city we rely a range of smaller areas—neighbourhoods, boroughs, wards and districts—in order to make urban space intelligible. While we can readily discuss how neighbourhoods are shaped by physical geography (topography, adjacency to lakes or rivers, etc.), ordinance (zoning, access to public transit) and economics (real estate prices, average resident income), machine learning does not really spring to mind when we are considering how we might define ‘a neighbourhood’. Livehoods is a new project hatched within the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University that leverages 18 million Foursquare check-ins to draft up new urban ‘activity zones’ based on the patterns of frequent visitors.
Create Infographics | Data Visualization Tools | Visual.ly
What data visualisation tools are out there on the web that are easy to use - and free? Here on the Datablog and Datastore we try to do as much as possible using the internet's powerful free options. That may sound a little disingenuous, in that we obviously have access to the Guardian's amazing Graphics and interactive teams for those pieces where we have a little more time - such as this map of public spending (created using Adobe Illustrator) or this Twitter riots interactive. But for our day-to-day work, we often use tools that anyone can - and create graphics that anyone else can too.
Robert Plutchik's "Wheel of Emotions"
What David Lynch Can Do With a 100-Year-Old Camera and 52 Seconds of Film
A Nice List of Data Visualization Tools — Search Marketing Wisdom
Am I an Alcoholic? – Alcohol Abuse Facts | Screening for Mental Health
Gamers Get Girls | Visual.ly
Dossier | Life of a Hashtag | Create Infographics | Visual.ly