How does trash impact the ocean? This infographic paints a pretty picture on an ugly topic. It’s not easy to make a swirl of trash in the mid Pacific look interesting, but this infographic pulls it off swimmingly. The entire infographic is a loose federation of different topics: how trash gets to the ocean, the type of trash, effected animals, and the impact on food chain.
Most infographics would focus too much on walking the reader through each bit, but the organization lets the reader explore the topic without an annoying, forced flow. It is also a pleasant combination of dashboard-style numbers, minimalist bar charts, map, and illustrations. Using bubble plots is always dicey, but works nicely in this circumstance since it’s used sparingly.
I couldn’t find a higher resolution image, a drawback at this point. This infographic has a low data-to-ink ratio, but I think the spacing and illustration restraint is evident here.
Two things can be said about Nobel prize winners with almost complete certainty: they’re old and are at top-tier universities. So I thought, but my knowledge of Nobel prizes are heavily weighted to economics and the physical sciences. An infographic by Giorgia Lupi, Federica Fragapane, and Francesco Majino helped me realized I was wrong.
Recipients in physics were comparatively young at the prize’s inception. While most recipients in the sciences, medicine, and economics came from Ph.D. granting universities—mostly from a select few colleges—Peace and Literature prizes were awarded to non-academics.
It’s infograph is far from perfect, however. The infographic comes with instructions on how to read the it—a bad omen for data visualizations. But the infographic can still be understood, and with some patience, highly appreciable.
Hey, if you don’t recall, we’re not in a recession. HOOORAY! Bad news though, it’s a slow recovery. For months econ. blogs have posted graph after graph showing the slowness of the recovery. Now, to be fair, economists complain about the slowness of an economic recovery the same way each presidential election is the dirtiest ever seen. Nevertheless, John Schwabish has create a great, straightforward infographic showing the current recovery is the slowest.
The infographic presents three pieces of important data: historical gains/losses of GDP; quickness of a recovery after a recession; and the significance of past and current recoveries. None of this is groundbreaking, but it’s worth mentioning since it’s presented in one whereas others have divided these
A feature I love for any graph are data pointers. Here, John uses subtle indications for average growth/decline and markers for recessions. Any reader can easily spot fluctuations of GDP, the depth of the recent recession and that the 2001 recession is the only to actually not have a decline in GDP.
His graphs are also retrained, keeping to a basic presentation instead of twisting data into a different, sexier, but harder to understand graph. John’s approach with restraint, clear data, and an enviable color plot shows you don’t have to use a lot of sophisticated techniques to make a good infographic.
The old maps from the 19th century are probably the best graphs you can find. There are complete contrast to the aesthetics you find today. The yellowish paper, hand-drawn graphs, and deep, warm colors from the printing method provide a superb look. The effort also needed to make these graphs is always gratifying since I know it took time and planning to create each graph.
A new site, Handsome Atlas, shows the pages from the U.S. Census books from the late 19th century. The U.S. was emerging from the Civil War and the Census publications became more illustrious.
The first image is a chart on the political parties in the U.S. as it relates to presidential elections. The chart is confusing, but there are some redeeming characteristics. First, it adds substantial narrative alongside the graph. The narrative does not focus on explaining the graph, but instead is a true supplement to the entire story. The graph also utilizes branch or river-like sketching within the colored region to show small sub-movements within the political parties. This is just about lost in contemporary politics, but the two-party system of yore had substantial movements which could eventually replace an established party.
The second graph looks at how individuals occupy their time. It is a tree diagram showing the distribution of people in various industries and education by state. Older charts seem almost brazen in their willingness to simplify data for presentation. It is very useful to see a simple distribution of a few key industries in a single graph.
The third graph shows the rank and change-in-rank of state populations over time. It’s reminiscent of ladder, or slopegraphs, that are popular today. In a nice, but a little confusing, bit of minimalism, the nodes terminate if there is not a change in a state’s population rank.
On the topic of population, the last image is a graph showing the distribution of the population. The western frontier is clearly visible in the graph. The color is fantastic, a intended by-product of the printing style of the time. It is unfortunate inkjets can’t reproduce the same warmth.
It is also interesting to see statistics of, as the site puts it, your great-great grandfather. There is, of course, the dated, old-timey language like “idiots” and “lunacy” graphs, but there is also substantial attention paid to oats, tobacco, corn, and wheat—this was before the American industrial revolution. The western frontier is literally visible in the maps. Political issues are also clearly apparent as they are careful to label if Native Americans and other marginalized populations are included—since their individuality was dubious at the time. Immigration was more focused on the migration from upper-European nations—a distinction that wouldn’t be made today.
Fantastic usage of the OpenType system.
FF Chartwell is a “typeface” for infographics. Type in some numbers…and charts automatically appear.
OMG YOU GUYZ
I CAN’T EVEN
The folks at visual.ly looked at the top infographics on their site to derive a basic taxonomy. In their post, they gave this great little illustration on the different “types” of infographics. Simple, effect, and true. If you’re lost on setting-up an infographic, it might be helpful to think which one of these six categories you’d like to create.
A very nice graph using some time series data. I like how the graph feels “old”, reminiscent of when graphs were hand-drawn. It’s appropriate, given the MLB data reaches back to 1871. Whether it’s caused by the steroids era, shorter baseball parks, or the difference in baseballs, it’s a nice story to see unraveled.