Who doesn’t love democracy? This very cool interactive is one of the best examples of how an intuitive interface transcends language. It’s in French. Try it anyway. You can compare how seven different countries treat democracy (ranging from the U.S. to Morocco) along a handful of measures such as how long leaders have been in power, how many citizens have access to the internet and social media, etc. What’s really cool is that you have a very different user experience when you view one country versus comparing two. And they both work. When we think of data visualization, this is one of the best examples that I’ve ever seen that doesn’t shy away from presenting complex data, but does so in a way that is accessible, immersive and richly rewarding. Makes me want to learn French, kind of. Props to infosthetics.com for posting this last month.
The next time you want to have a conversation with your graphic designer about color, please pull out this handy-dandy infographic first (by Kissmetrics). No, it’s not the best infographic in the world, but these are common-sense things that many of us do that are sometimes difficult to explain, especially before we’ve had our coffee. So, before you talk to us, read this.
If you’re a data junkIe, chances are you’ve eagerly sucked down the data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau as a result of its mandatory (yep) 10-year American Community Survey. Now 60 Republicans want to make this survey optional. The implications for what this could do to the quality of the data are troubling. It’s a fairly robust source and, as Flowing Data points out, anecdotes only go so far. But mandatory? Tough call.
Airbnb posted a very nice infographic recently. It can get a little gimmicky, and I agree with Randy’s observation that the large typeface isn’t the best choice for some of the data. But it’s a good example of an infographic that successfully pulls together a variety of data formats in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the casual reader. I see a lot of teal and brown these days, but Airbnb pulls off the color scheme nicely.
So… what is beautiful?
Every summer for the past seventeen years, my partner and I drive along highway 113 to a beach house in Delaware. Approximately 30 miles east of Selbyville, I start scanning the left side of the highway to see… this.
I can tell you what I love about it. The blue that is not quite blue, the crooked “U,” the awkward attempt to wrap the banner around the globe. It is imperfect. It is earnest. It is Americana. And it is nostalgia. So, appropriately, this first post is about the emotional reactions that beauty evokes. It has absolutely nothing to do with data visualization. But it is about art, and information, and where those two meet. For me, information, understanding and clarity evoke a similar reaction–and that’s why I wanted to create this blog. But more on that in future posts. For now, this is just about the visuals.
And that’s why I thought I’d start with this example. And tell you about the logo that welcomes us, tells us that the 3.5 hours of Beltway driving are almost over. That pine trees, mosquitos, goose poop and Old Bay await.