A quick roundup of some recent information design projects seen around the web:
Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to do client work on an infography, but it seems to be one of the most challenging task for a graphic designer. The perfect infography must synthesize complex information in a simple visual representation, which is not easy. The following examples take information architecture to another level by making it beautiful.
FlowingPrints, brought to you by Nathan from FlowingData:
FlowingPrints posterizes the hidden stories in data.
Not only are we creating more data every day, but data is growing more widely available from governments, organizations, and individuals. Big databases are just the first step though. We need to make sense of it all.
Enter FlowingPrints. As a project of FlowingData, FlowingPrints analyzes, interprets, and visualizes the meaning behind the data. The final result: posters that present beautiful stories in beautiful data.
FlowingPrints will announce whenever a poster is ready, and that poster will be available for a limited time. While previous posters will be digitally viewable in archives, only one poster will be on sale at any given time.
“This is a site for large data sets and the people who love them: the scrapers and crawlers who collect them, the academics and geeks who process them, the designers and artists who visualize them. It’s a place where they can exchange tips and tricks, develop and share tools together, and begin to integrate their particular projects.”
“The recently released book ‘Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design’ available at Amazon.com and Gestalten.de seems to be an ideal Christmas gift. The book introduces an expansive scope of innovatively designed diagrams, and presents an abundant range of possibilities in visualizing data and information. These range from chart-like diagrams such as bar, plot, line diagrams and spider charts, graph-based diagrams including line, matrix, process flow, and molecular diagrams to extremely complex three-dimensional diagrams.”
“Here\'s one thing that\'s making me angry at the moment. In fact there are several things making me angry at the moment: McCain\'s supporters; the greed that lead us into these financial end-timesâ€¦ and by comparison this particular matter is trivial. But at least it\'s easier to solve than the others.
This particular annoyance is the graphs of share prices in the press and on TV. It is standard practice to start the y-axis at a number much higher than zero, in order to magnify the ups and downs of the market. Here\'s one from today\'s Guardian, showing the FTSE 100 over the course of Friday…”
Last week was the end of our FlowingData personal visualization project. I asked readers to collect data about themselves or their surroundings and then visualize it some way. Thank you to everyone who participated. It put a smile on my face every time I got an email with ‘summer project’ in the subject line :).”
A slideshow at Slate: “How artists are mining data sets to make you see the unseen…. Display an unwieldy mass of data in clever visual form and you may gain Ã¼ber-insight into questions you hadn’t yet put into words. That is the promise of information visualization, infoviz for short. The field has long helped scientists, engineers, and businesspeople see the unseen as it emerges from complex data: Users may spot promising molecules for pharmaceutical testing, for instance, or pinpoint glitches in a supply chain. As infoviz has matured, it has also caught fire as an art form, its center of gravity edging further from the pragmatic and closer to the expressive or the whimsically profound.”
“Graph visualization is a way to discover and visualize structures in complex relations. What sort of structures are people who do large scale computation studying? We can get a glimpse by visualizing the thousands of sparse matrices submitted to the University of Florida Sparse Matrix collection. The resulting gallery contains the drawing of graphs as represented by 1890 sparse matrices in this collection. Each of these sparse matrices (for rectangular matrix, an augmented matrix is formed first) is viewed as the adjacency matrix of an undirected graph, and is laid out by a multilevel graph drawing algorithm.”
“However, the works that caught my eyes was that of Stefanie Posavec. Stefanie\'s maps capture something above and beyond that of the others. Rather than mapping physical geography, her maps capture regularities and patterns within a literary space. The pieces featured in On the Map focused on Kerouac\'s On the Road. The maps visually represent the rhythm and structure of Kerouac\'s literary space, creating works that are not only gorgeous from the point of view of graphic design, but also exhibit scientific rigor and precision in their formulation: meticulous scouring the surface of the text, highlighting and noting sentence length, prosody and themes, Posavec\'s approach to the text is not unlike that of a surveyor.” (Thanks kottke.org!)