visual data
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visual data
learning, conceptualizing + communicating data with infographics, visualizations, etc...
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Keiichi Matsuda: Augmented Hyper-Reality

Keiichi Matsuda: Augmented Hyper-Reality | visual data |

Watch the designer’s films that depict a future in which a virtual layer of data is a continual presence in our lives 

For our latest issue we met designer and filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda, who creates films that depict a future in which our everyday lives are densely stuffed with information via a digital overlay, in an effort to spark debates about how technology can and should shape our world.

Now, everyone has a camera in their phone, and can produce and distribute their own content,” he says. “I was thinking about how that could be applied to architecture, to the creation of space. What if an ordinary person could not only customise their own house, but their own street?"

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NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost

NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost | visual data |

Even for the most direction-savvy New Yorker, emerging from the dark pit of the subway can be a disorienting experience. New York City streets are bright, they’re loud, oftentimes they’re smelly, and worst of all, maps are virtually non-existent. Or at least that used to be the case.

Just this week, the Department of Transportation unveiled its WalkNYC initiative, a program that will bring comprehensive pedestrian maps to all five boroughs. In a city where an estimated 30 percent of all trips are made by foot and one out of every three locals can’t tell north from south, they’re probably going to come in handy.

Though NYC’s public transportation is top-notch and we are technically on a grid, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed when traveling by foot. That’s why the DOT enlisted the help of PentaCityGroup, a consortium of urban planners, engineers, designers, cartographers and geographical information specialists, to solve the problem.

Their goal? To create an information-packed map that would orient pedestrians and help them find the gems each NYC neighborhood has to offer. The first of these new information kiosks was installed earlier this week in Chinatown (they’re already located at every Citi Bike station), and it’s expected that others will be popping up in midtown Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn this summer

luiy's curator insight, July 3, 2013 8:49 AM

If the style of these maps looks familiar, that’s because it is. The design team wanted to marry the current design to the graphic language that was was established for the subway system in the late 1960s. The typeface is still Helvetica (albeit with a slight twist–the type’s square dots are now round) and it uses the same organizational conventions (white type on a dark background). “All of this was deliberately echoing the way the subways look,” Bierut explains. “We wanted people to be able to ride the subway, come out and orient themselves.” Bierut says the design of the maps is meant to be accurate, trustworthy and friendly. But not too friendly—this is New York City, after all. “We wanted these things to be beautiful in a way, but also characteristic of the best of New York.”

ParadigmGallery's comment, July 8, 2013 4:02 PM
great...can't wait to try these...
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Infographic: An App That Maps The Web In Real Time

Infographic: An App That Maps The Web In Real Time | visual data |

Mankind loves making maps, and the world wide web, densely interconnected and phenomenally complex, always makes for a nice visual.

Typically these take the form of neon blobs floating against black backgrounds, like frames captured from old Winamp plug-ins, and while they’re always nice to look at, they don’t always do much in the way of helping us understand the massive global network we traverse every day. This latest effort, however, is a little different. Called simply Map of the Internet, it’s as informative as it is beautiful.

The map, which takes the form of a free app for Android and iOS, features 22,961 of the Internet’s biggest nodes--not individual websites, but the ISPs, universities, and other places that host them--joined by some 50,000 discrete connections. The app gives you two ways of surveying it all: geographically, on a globe, or by size, which rearranges the nodes into a loose column of points. Both views are interactive; instead of showing the Internet as a static neon blob, the app lets you explore the neon blob in the round, with all the familiar multitouch gestures. It may not look like the Google Maps app, but it instantly feels like it, which makes exploring the underbelly of the web all the easier...

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Snail Mail vs Email [infographic]: old school direct lives on...

Snail Mail vs Email [infographic]: old school direct lives on... | visual data |

Snail mail – the original form of direct marketing – lives, according to a recent consumer survey, showing that the average Australian receives around seven letters per week, with government departments the most prolific users of the medium for communication purposes.

Read rates were high for most sender categories, much higher than standard email open rates, with special interest clubs and government leading the pack with open rates of 79% and 78% respectively. Read rates were less favourable for correspondence from real estate agents and local restaurants, while supermarket communication proved more likely to be read than department store mail.

For all categories respondents of the nationally representative survey preferred to receive correspondence via snail mail than email, although there were high numbers of people with no preference either way. Snail mail is preferred for lengthier or important information while email is preferred for brief information. As could be expected, older generations are more likely to be receptive to mail than email...

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11 Infographics About Infographics

11 Infographics About Infographics | visual data |

People who create infographics do their work partly because they believe infographics are a great way to communicate information.

Since the people in this field also need to communicate information about their work, it was inevitable that infographics about infographics would eventually be created. Here are 11 of those meta infographics.

Ignasi Alcalde's curator insight, February 25, 2013 10:49 AM

Buenas bases inforgráficas.

Berengere Promerat's curator insight, February 27, 2013 3:46 AM

Infographics about... infographics

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A Year's Worth of Information Design [INFOGRAPHICS]

A Year's Worth of Information Design [INFOGRAPHICS] | visual data |

2012 was a tremendous year for the Experience Design Team at Empathy Lab, working on groundbreaking Media and Entertainment, E-Commerce, and Responsive Web Design projects. Additionally, it was a year in which we could teach others how to conceptualize, design, and develop multi-device applications.

With so many new and exciting projects, came the opportunity to document and visualize strategy, tactics, and Design process.

Enjoy a few of this year's graphics, and gain insight into the design process...

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Big Data: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Big Data: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words | visual data |

Big data: So if a “picture is worth a thousand words,” then why not make data discovery visual for business users so they can easily analyze and assimilate information?

A lot of ink has been spilled relating to big data; countless articles, blog posts and discussions are about how data is growing by leaps and bounds and how companies need the ability to store and manage peta bytes and zeta bytes of data. Unless a decision maker can access and analyze this data effectively, it isn’t worth much. If you are serious about managing big data, it’s time to truly visualize it to become a better decision-maker.

Sixty-five percent of business decision makers face a shrinking “decision window.” So if a “picture is worth a thousand words,” then why not make data discovery visual for business users so they can easily analyze and assimilate information? Visualization provides rapid access to data in a format that’s easy for business users to digest and use.

According to research, managers that make use of visual discovery tools are 10 percent more likely than their peers to access the information they need in the time necessary to impact decision making. This also impacts IT, as it frees up critical resources to support users more effectively...

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The Convergence of Information and Storytelling

The Convergence of Information and Storytelling | visual data |

 Everyday our lives and businesses generate vast amounts of data and the rise of cloud computing and the internet has enabled us to store and retrieve this information easily. The challenge has always been to enable people to use data and to communicate simply. There are a few visionaries that have mastered the art of data visualisation like Edward Tufte and Stephen Few. The future depends on the blend of this fusion of information and storytelling.


[Photo credit:]

Via Gregg Morris
Pagina Uno's curator insight, March 26, 2013 2:26 AM

Il futuro sta nella fusione di informazione, grafica e narrazione di storie. Il futuro è da scrivere, oltre le consuete categorie.

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How Your Favorite Sites Are Using Your Data

How Your Favorite Sites Are Using Your Data | visual data |
The rise of social sharing sites has brought about an interesting change in how our data is being used.

All of the different sites you frequent on a daily basis are actively gathering facts about you. Social networks are betting on a future built on a personalized web, an Internet paradise filled with items the virtual you will be more apt to share, pin, tweet, or “like.”
Social sites, search engines and applications are increasingly using our information in an effort to provide a more personal web experience. Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Pandora, and Twitter are some of the most popular websites that are changing the way we are being advertised to. The value of this change will bring more of the products and services we actually enjoy and want to look at, instead of all the junk we aren’t interested in, or even remotely care about. As we wake up to how the web is changing, it will most likely be seen as a fair exchange for the information we offer to companies and advertisers in our social profiles. It will also create a more personalized way for brands to interact with their customers...

Razi Daz's curator insight, November 12, 2015 1:36 PM is a single source of free information about Turkey, the regions the Turkey property market, legal issues and helpful advice on the best way to secure your dream home. We offer holiday villas and luxury apartments, real estate investment properties for sale in Belek Side Alanya Antalya Kemer Kas Kalkan Fethiye the world famous turkish riviera.

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Brockhaus Encyclopedia Infographics...

Brockhaus Encyclopedia Infographics... | visual data |
Series of info graphics for brockhaus (a big encyclopedia publisher from germany).

These infographics visualize several statistics and informations of topics like: the worlds highest mountains and their first ascent, the languages of the world, comets close to the earth, world population, oceans, ecology, media evolution and so on...

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Information Graphics | Design Week

Information Graphics | Design Week | visual data |

The infographic is, as this book explains, a mode of communication universally loved by newspaper and magazine art directors, data analysts and the ancient Egyptians.

Data visualisation is on the-up it claims, brought on by statistical data becoming more readily available, more demand for the processing of data, and the increased use of visual interactive user interfaces to access digital archives, all backdropped by a communication trend which is ‘shifting towards generally shorter texts in combination with charts and images,’ according to editor Sandra Rendgen...

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David McCandless' fabulous site~Information is Beautiful

David McCandless' fabulous site~Information is Beautiful | visual data |

David McCandless, is a London-based author, writer and designer. He has written for The Guardian, Wired and others. These days he is an independent data journalist and information designer. A passion of his is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words.

David's pet-peeve?  ...pie charts. Love pie. Hate pie-charts. Hear hear!

Via Andrea Zeitz
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Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information | visual data |

Visually harnessing the power of digital information in Manuel Lima's new book...

In our multimedia-saturated times, the way we experience information constantly shifts. Using Google to instantly settle a debate or Facebook-stalking exes are just a couple common examples of the type of purely contemporary phenomena resulting from the ways digital formats have replaced traditional platforms. Another natural offshoot, the wash of infographics and meme-driven charts, also reflects growing obsessions with these vast quantities of facts and figures, and the tremendous potential for shaping how we understand our world. Manuel Lima's new book, Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information, explores the history of visually representing information and how imagery can interpret data.

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The Science Behind Data Visualisation

The Science Behind Data Visualisation | visual data |

'Over the last couple of centuries, data visualisation has developed to the point where it is in everyday use across all walks of life. Many recognise it as an effective tool for both storytelling and analysis, overcoming most language and educational barriers. But why is this? How are abstract shapes and colours often able to communicate large amounts of data more effectively than a table of numbers or paragraphs of text?

An understanding of human perception will not only answer this question, but will also provide clear guidance and tools for improving the design of your own visualisations.

In order to understand how we are able to interpret data visualisations so effectively, we must start by examining the basics of how we perceive and process information, in particular visual information.'

Ignasi Alcalde's curator insight, October 11, 2013 5:02 AM

De la memoria icónica a la memoria visual.

Paul P Roberts's curator insight, October 11, 2013 12:55 PM

Interesting article, how our brain see data, possible implication for how mobile research apps are designed

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Under the Radar: Keeping Ads from Ruining a Great Infographic...

Under the Radar: Keeping Ads from Ruining a Great Infographic... | visual data |

There’s no mystery here: companies want to sell things. Increasingly, they’re turning to infographics to do it. But overt advertising undermines everything infographics do best. Instead of informing and delighting the viewer with valuable data portrayed with graphical verve, ads cheapen and annoy. More often than not, they land the project deep in the Internet’s vast wasteland of unshared content.

Infographics aren’t just ads dressed up in new shoes, they’re something else: a refreshing, informative, fun, and shareable tool for communication that we can actually enjoy consuming. Also, when done right, infographics can still help bolster a company or product’s public image.

Here are some oh so subtly advertorial infographics that show you how to get the balance right...

Aurélia-Claire Jaeger's curator insight, March 21, 2013 12:52 PM

Il n'y a aucun mystère: les entreprises veulent vendre. De plus en plus, elles se tournent vers l'infographie pour le faire. 
Mais l'intention publicitaire trop clairement affichée couplée avec une réalisation à l'économie nuit souvent à ce que l'infographie peut faire de mieux. Au lieu d'informer et de ravir le "spectateur" avec des données précieuses dépeintes avec brio, de nombreuses publications ennuyeuses ou banales vont simplement rejoindre la vaste friche de contenus non partagés sur internet.

Nous sommes inondés de publicité tous les jours, partout où nous regardons. Les annonces sont si répandues qu'elles ont perdu beaucoup de leur pouvoir. Les Infographies ne sont pas simplement des publicités habillées de nouveaux costumes, elles sont quelque chose d'autre: un outil informatif, rafraîchissant, amusant et partageable. 
Lorsqu'elles sont bien faites, les infographies peuvent encore contribuer à renforcer une image ou un produit. Voici quelques exemples qui vous montrent comment obtenir le bon équilibre.

(Traduction faite maison)

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Infographics: Harnessing the Power of Visual Communication

Infographics: Harnessing the Power of Visual Communication | visual data |

Is there any way to explain why a traditional post on Twitter containing text information obtains approximately 60 Tweets, while the same data displayed with infographics receives close to 600 Tweets?

Research has proven that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. We decode language in a linear (and therefore slower) manner, yet we are able to process multiple images simultaneously. There are physiological reasons why we prefer visuals: the human retina comprises over 150 million cells. The neurons we use for vision make up 30% of our grey matter; neurons for touch comprise only 8% and neurons for hearing, a mere 3%.

Every single infographic has the potential to reach some 15 million people, especially when linked to the world’s most powerful social networking sites, and marketing professionals are fully aware that when it comes to emotionally connecting and engaging clients, visuals are the way to go...

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Creating Engaging & Sharable Graphics

Creating Engaging & Sharable Graphics | visual data |

When it comes to creating graphics for visual social networks, there are a few key ideas you should keep in mind to increase your reach and engagement. Your audience wants to be educated. They want to be inspired.

Of course, depending on the network in which you are promoting your content, the visual itself may be the entire piece of content, thus making it equally as important as the content it contains. 

This is largely the case when it comes to social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine. While all three allow for the option to link to more information in the comments, caption or description sections, the visual is the content for all intents and purposes since you can’t depend on someone clicking for more information.

When it comes to creating graphics for visual social networks, there are a few key ideas you should keep in mind to increase your reach...

Louise Robinson-Lay's curator insight, March 12, 2013 3:41 AM

Some great tips to keep in mind when creating graphics.

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6 Illuminating Big Data Infographics

6 Illuminating Big Data Infographics | visual data |

Is Big Data still a big mystery to you? 

In recent years, the volume of information coming into companies has exploded, so that many IT organizations are dealing with extremely large sets of data. 

IT leaders are rethinking many aspects of how they manage and deliver information, from investments in infrastructure and analytics tools to new policies for organizing and accessing data so they can deliver more of it, faster. They are concerned that if they don't have the right tools and architectures to deal with all that information, then big data can be a big problem. Check out these infographics on Big Data to see the impact...

Aurélia-Claire Jaeger's curator insight, January 21, 2013 2:28 AM

Et en plus, c'est beau !

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, January 21, 2013 10:46 AM

The ability to access and translate BIG DATA will hold the possibility of making teams more successful.  What is IT doing to make it happen?

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Visualizing Connections In Data & Analyzing Information

Visualizing Connections In Data & Analyzing Information | visual data |

For many data visualization projects, information comes from a source that has already done some aggregation. This is both a blessing and a curse. Aggregation definitely simplifies the analysis and visualization process, but it can also greatly reduce the visualization and analysis options. This is because aggregation often destroys connections in data. For this reason, it's critical to have an in-depth and thorough knowledge and understanding of the information from aggregated information. There are several different visualization techniques that open up once we have the original data, such as Euler diagrams and parallel sets.

The extra information that can be obtained from visualizations is important to gaining a full understanding of the data, and it can lead to a much more interesting story, as well as far better visualizations and more accurate connections and links within those visualizations.

So, when gathering data about something, remember to dig deeper into it, as there are many important connections that happen within data that can provide knowledge beyond just a simple average or total.

To learn more about the value of these connections, sourcing accurate data, and how it is transformed into useful graphics, read the complete article and check out the case study used to convey the main points outlined above...

kurakura's comment, November 15, 2012 5:17 AM
the last graph on that page is really useful for understanding the data?
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Mixed Skillsets Produce Great Infographics

Mixed Skillsets Produce Great Infographics | visual data |

Accurat is a design agency and consultancy based in Milan, Italy, transforming data into meaningful stories, and developing multimedia narratives and interactive applications.


Our studio doesn’t have a formal information visualization education background. The four associates have majors in completely different fields: Architecture, Sociology, Design and Economics.

This is a strange skill composition for a design studio, but indeed it’s what brings novelty in Accurat’s body of work.

When working on information visualization, this multifaceted background clearly emerges, leading to the design of unorthodox visual metaphors, where our focus is on the data analysis, theories and storytelling side.


In practice, this translates into a very straightforward process in the design of the visualizations: instead of starting with a selection of the most proper metaphor among widely used models of graphs, charts and tables, the visual starts with the story we want to tell, without any constriction from a chosen format. This way, it’s way easier to break rules, merge ideas together and come up with naive but powerful and new visual schemes...


Read the complete article for a detailed and comprehensive look at this unique approach to vizualization, storytelling and the process it takes to achieve successful and creative results, as explained with project examples and case studies.

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Why Flawed Infographics Are Superior to Perfect Ones | PBS

Why Flawed Infographics Are Superior to Perfect Ones | PBS | visual data |

This infographic from Floor Gem blasts the Transportation Security Administration's prodigious terribleness (prodigious in the sense that the TSA is a terribleness prodigy, on the level of Bobby Fischer and chess).


There's nothing that inherently lends this data to the infographic form. It's flawed. There's nothing that that the graphicality adds to the data. But, the infographic is just so good-looking, its imperfections don't matter. It affects you. You remember it. And that's really what counts when it comes to communicating data.

 What's striking and common in these and other visualizations is that their almost-fatal flaw -- persuasion by cherry-picking information -- is so plain to see that it, ironically, leads viewers to think more critically about the data-selection process, a phenomenon as valuable as the data itself.

The flawed infographic goes from factually misleading to leading you straight to the right question. So put on your critical thinking hats and have a look at both infographics...

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Even simple charts can tell a story

Even simple charts can tell a story | visual data |
Regardless of your politics, this chart is a great example of how data can tell a story. It's a very simple graph by the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life showing the changing attitudes about same-sex marriage. It shows that in the past couple of years, people have begun to be in favor of same-sex marriage.

I'm showing this chart because it so clearly represents the story of the data. The eye is immediately drawn to where the "oppose" and "favor" lines cross. Other obvious choices for this data would have been a stacked bar chart or a side by side bar chart as shown here (which I created with the source data just as examples)...

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How to create an infographic for your blog

How to create an infographic for your blog | visual data |
What is an infographic?

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. Why are infographics so popular?

With so many online messages competing for our attention, eye-catching graphics are one way of grabbing your reader’s attention. People want their information quicker and using visuals are an excellent way to do this. Infographics can help your audience absorb information at a glance and they are ideal for sharing across multiple social media platforms...


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We Are Here Now / Spatial Information Design Lab / Columbia University

We Are Here Now / Spatial Information Design Lab / Columbia University | visual data |

Always checking your favorite sites for updates, or checking in with Facebook or Foursquare? You’re not alone and Columbia’s Spatial Information Design Lab can prove it. In addition to sharing your whereabouts, your geographic mark provides insight in examining the psycho-geography and economic terrain of the city.

For their social media study, the Lab used the Foursquare and Facebook Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) access location-based data to determine where social media users broadcast that they are “Here Now”, and have transformed that data into a graphic language that provides a sense of how the city is organized with regards to how people travel around the city, where there are employment and commercial centers, and seasonal preferences...

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The World of Data

The World of Data | visual data |

Infographics provides information for how much data we generate on the internet each day. From how many hours spent on facebook to number of tweets posted worldwide per day, this infographic explains how much information is spread on the internet daily.

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