Posts tagged with ‘Infographics’
There are a few things evolving side by side that will influence how visualizations will look a few years from now. First, although visualization has been a research topic for quite some time now, I still see new approaches being developed not only in academia but also by practitioners working in the industry. Second, the constantly improving computing power and the adoption of new technology allow for more complex, engaging, and connected visualizations to spread quickly over the web. Third, the vast amount of data being produced every day demands increasingly sophisticated tools for exploration, evaluation, and communication. To come by the increasing load of data, visualizations will need to scale in terms of performance, density, and interactivity.
FJP: Explore their work here. We’re long time fans.
1. Make Sure the Source(s) Tell a Story.
If you’re not ‘telling a story’ with your infographic (read: explaining a narrative or allowing a narrative to be explored), then you’re doing it wrong. Essentially that story will be derived from the sources that you decide to use. People are going to want to engage an infographic that tells a story that they care to know. See my previous article on ways to identify story-worthiness for more on this subject specifically. In short, there is no shortage of data out there, but not all data is all that interesting, even if it’s visualized in a very interesting way.
2. Make Sure Your Sources are Reliable.
Not all data producers are created equal. Always use data sets from as unbiased a producer as possible. Good sources include data collected or produced by government agencies, such as the statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau or the Department of Labor. Other top-tier data sources can include industry white papers, surveys conducted by reputable think tanks/research organizations or findings published in academic publications. (Read on to learn how to judge sources.)
3. Make Sure Your Sources are Relevant.
The world changes quickly, and the pace of change is accelerating. To ensure you’re on the right track for sourcing your infographics, use the most recently published version of the data you’ve decided to use… As a rule of thumb, try not to use data that’s more than a year old. Two years is acceptable in some cases, if that’s the best you can get. Beyond this, use discretion. In all cases, be up front about the age of the data set you are using; you would expect the same from others. Always list the age within the sources or in the graphic’s copy. This provides context and clarity, and is a practice no different than writing a college research paper.
4. Limit Your Sources for Consistency.
Finding multiple data sets from multiple sources on one subject can be exciting, but don’t get ahead of yourself… A good rule of thumb is to use only one data set, if this is an option. Two or three are acceptable. But the more you add, the more variance you get from different methods, different contexts, and different priorities of the data producers.
5. Cite Your Sources Appropriately.
When it comes to structuring the content, make sure that a proper context is provided for your readers. While we’ve already established that data should be recent, reliable and credible and consistent, when you’re creating an infographic from multiple sources it is important to provide as much context to the reader as possible about what information came from what source.
FJP: Those were excerpts. Click-through to read the full piece. Solid tips.
Sort of Related: You can make your own (um…really simple) infographic at GOOD labs.
…This isn’t surprising. Editorial cartoons were born in the era of newspapers, and while they now regularly appear on the Web—including in Slate—they remain stuck in the static, space-constrained, caricaturist mind-set of newsprint. The Pulitzers began awarding a prize for cartoons in 1922, and other than a few notable exceptions — Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury in 1975, Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County in 1987, and Mark Fiore’s animated cartoons in 2010 — the overwhelming majority of its awards have gone to traditional, single-panel cartoonists. It’s time for the Pulitzers to look past this old-fashioned medium and include graphics that are better attuned to this century.
My first suggestion would be for the committee to recognize infographics and interactive visualizations. Like most political cartoons, infographics are rarely funny. Unlike most political cartoons, the best infographics tend to pack a wallop.
Farhad Manjoo, Slate. Editorial Cartoons Are Stale, Simplistic, and Just Not Funny: The Pulitzer committee should honor slide shows, infographics, and listicles instead.
I don’t think the Pulitzer’s should abandon the editorial cartoon but absolutely agree there should be a new category for graphical stories. — Michael