Inspirational Data Visualization

Data visualization has come of age – there is now no excuse for not only having good information but also for presenting it in an engaging and informative way. Here we look at a number of sites that can inspire and inform the way you present your information.

Nathan Yau has a blog called Flowing Data that gathers together some of the best data visualizations on the web. He has also produced a book called Visualize This.

David MacCandless is another blogger at Information Is Beautiful who creates his own infographics and reports on others. He has also published a book. In the US, the book is called ‘The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide To The World’s Most Consequential Trivia” whilst in the UK, the book is called “Information Is Beautiful”.

Stephen Few is a consultant and eductator. His Perceptual Edge edge website contains a wealth of information, white papers, blog and he is the author of three books: “Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten”,  “Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data” and “Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis”.

Alberto Cairo teaches Information Graphics and Visualization at the School of Communication at the University of Miami. His blog The Functional Art and new book of the same name  and is described by Nathan Yau as “a healthy mix of theory and how it applies in practice, and much of it comes from Cairo’s own experiences designing graphics for major news publications.”

Hans Rosling is an inspirational speaker on both his topic (Global Health) and the subject of data visualisation. He has given a number of talks for TED: Ideas Worth Spreading including this talk about health and poverty and developed a suite of tools to help people understand good visualization of statistics at GapMinder

Hans Rosling bridges the gap between data visualization and information delivery. We conclude with two more examples of information delivery where data visualization is embedded in a wider context to deliver a message.

And once we have good data visualisation we can move on to great information delivery by combining inspirational data visualisation in the narative provided to the user.

To this end the London based RSA also has one of the most successful YouTube channels called RSAnimate. These are animations of current topics that are certainly beyond my skill level to produce but show just how engaging information can be

PhDComics also used the style of RSAnimate to explain the Higgs Boson particle

The Higgs Boson Explained from PHD Comics on Vimeo.

Oh and one last thought – choose the right font for your work – Typography for Lawyers has lots of good advice on this subject.

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