February 25, 2013
Cloud Computing: Fact or Fiction?

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http://www.coolinfographics.com/blog/2013/2/22/cloud-computing-fact-or-fiction.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CoolInfographics+%28Cool+Infographics%29&utm_content=FaceBook

DeVry University published this visualization by compiling information from 23 online sources (listed at the bottom of the Infographic) to address the concepts/misconceptions of Cloud Computing.  The data is engaging, the design is coherent and the ultimate purpose is to promote learning opportunities the institution can provide to enter this growing field.  The use of blues, grays and cloud shapes help reinforce the imagery of the subject matter while breaking up the different sections of the piece.  

I like how each of the data points contains superscripts that allow viewers to verify the claims made - a clear signal this was developed by academia.  The only drawback seems to be the awkward manner in which the original link displays the graphic on the DeVry.edu site.  There is no way to adequately control the magnification.  The developers seemed to assume that visitors would know to right-click and save the image as a jpeg and open the visualization in their default viewer.  They might have alienated a large number of interested visitors with the lack of viewing options.

Nevertheless, I believe the graphic is a useful way to introduce people to the ideas of Cloud Computing.  It could have benefited from providing interactivity such as live links to courses and programs the University offers in the areas that are mentioned where jobs are growing.  The data visualization aspects reached the cloud, but their marketing efforts fell back down to earth.

February 25, 2013
I can’t take credit for finding this one, but I was perhaps the instigator in the search.  While introducing data viz to 9th graders, one of the assignments was for them to go out and find an example to share with the class with a brief explanation.  (Similar to what this is.)  Many the visualizations caught their attention, and they were more focused on them then their next assignment. But, this one really captured their attention.  They were sharing the information with their peers and also myself.  Keep in mind, students don’t often get excited about what they have learned and include the teacher.  They were demonstrating with other students the strategies they learned, and quoting statistics to inform others.  This is a very simple diagram with a 3-4 color scheme.  The artist labeled the information clearly and then demonstrated the text with the outline of hands.  
I think this shows the power of a well executed visualization.  14-15 year-olds are very tough critics, but they were excited.  Their excited reinforced their learning, making it more likely that they will take this information with them beyond the classroom.

I can’t take credit for finding this one, but I was perhaps the instigator in the search.  While introducing data viz to 9th graders, one of the assignments was for them to go out and find an example to share with the class with a brief explanation.  (Similar to what this is.)  Many the visualizations caught their attention, and they were more focused on them then their next assignment. But, this one really captured their attention.  They were sharing the information with their peers and also myself.  Keep in mind, students don’t often get excited about what they have learned and include the teacher.  They were demonstrating with other students the strategies they learned, and quoting statistics to inform others.  This is a very simple diagram with a 3-4 color scheme.  The artist labeled the information clearly and then demonstrated the text with the outline of hands.  

I think this shows the power of a well executed visualization.  14-15 year-olds are very tough critics, but they were excited.  Their excited reinforced their learning, making it more likely that they will take this information with them beyond the classroom.

February 25, 2013
Constitutions of Classic Cocktails

This definitive guide to classic cocktails breaks down 68 drinks into their constituent parts. Follow the lines to see where spirits, mixers, and garnishes intersect to form delightful concoctions. This massive print contains over 40 types of alcohol (from distilled spirits to bitters), mixers from raspberry syrup to egg white(yuck!), and garnishes from the classic olive to a salted rim. This obsessively detailed chart also includes the ratios for each drink, as well as the proper serving glass, making it as functional as it is beautiful.

February 25, 2013

This an enchanting little animation delivers two layers of information in a delightfully simple way. This isn’t just an alphabetical list of the world’s iconic architects; It’s also an illustrated gallery of their most well-known creations. It’s amazing the information they were able to fit into the context of the ABC’s.

February 25, 2013
Too Much Information

I came across this calendar today and it made me wonder if creating an infographic with exquisite aesthetics can ever justify creating something that’s completely unusable.  Yes, this calendar is beautiful and original, but it’s information overload. It truly begs the question of having a balance between personal expression and functionality. If one were to treat it simply as a wall calendar, it would still be difficult to use. Circular dates for a calendar? Perhaps if it had incorporated more relevant content such as astronomical events, the untraditional date formats could be overlooked.

February 23, 2013
The Official vs. the Reality vs. the Perception
This was originally created back in 2011 ( see http://www.bonkersworld.net/organizational-charts/ )but is a good reminder when looking at organizations and processes.  There are differences between what one might call the “official” organization or process, the “reality”, and the “perception”.  People will very commonly state they do something in a particular way, but when observed, they are doing things quite differently.  This is not intentional deceit, but more often an unconscious set of actions.

The Official vs. the Reality vs. the Perception

This was originally created back in 2011 ( see http://www.bonkersworld.net/organizational-charts/ )but is a good reminder when looking at organizations and processes.  There are differences between what one might call the “official” organization or process, the “reality”, and the “perception”.  People will very commonly state they do something in a particular way, but when observed, they are doing things quite differently.  This is not intentional deceit, but more often an unconscious set of actions.

February 21, 2013
Every Last Drop

This is a narrative told via parallax scrolling. If we look at it through the lens of business process modeling, it’s a really unique way to build up the narrative, and illustrate a flow. I liked moving through the story by using the scroll wheel on my mouse, rather than the arrow provided.

February 18, 2013
The Influence Game

The Oriella Digital Journalism Study has presented its 5th annual report on journalism around the world, which includes an infographic as an accompaniment. Unfortunately, here is a case where the aesthetic quality of the visualization is interesting, but some of the details fall apart on closer inspection. For example, why have Brazil, China, and Russia been grouped together? Perhaps the full report offers an explanation, but the infographic offers no clue. Nevertheless, it does present some interesting information such as the  audience size and editorial staff size.  Interestingly, the infographic also shows that a large percentage of the news is sourced from social media, which means that a lot of the news that we get is regenerated content/old news. 


Check it out here:http://www.oriellaprnetwork.com/sites/default/files/research/ODJS%202012%20Infographic_0.pdf

February 18, 2013
A Penny Amongst Many

I am sure many have seen this visualization before, but while working on some work, this one popped back into my head.  It illustrates how, while cutting one hundred million in spending from the federal government sounds like an impressive number, in actuality, it is insignificant given the amount of money the government deals when dealing with trillions of dollars.  

It is very crudely done, but the success of this visualization is in its organization and story.  Ideas are presented in a very logical fashion, sympathizing with the viewer and making a connection to them in regards of their opinions regarding the one hundred million dollar cut.  Then the creator shows a series of images which illustrate what narrator is saying.  Then the demo begins by showing stacks of pennies on a table.  A series of draw lines indicate the different divisions of government spending until the section the President can cut from is identified.  The the narrator physically cuts a penny in half to show the amount of money that will be cut in relation to the whole.  

At the start of the video, he stated that we do not understand scale very well.  We understand the words, but we do not truly grasp the relationship between the numbers.  I could not agree more,  I too would have thought Obama was just stating an impressively large number to cut in spending in order to make an impact, but after this data visualization, I realize how truly insignificant it was.

February 17, 2013
A Glimpse into the History of Data Visualization in Journalism

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/gallery/2013/jan/15/historic-infographics-history#/?picture=402388729&index=1 

Last month The Guardian, a British newspaper founded in 1827, published 27 data graphics on its Datablog gathered from its long history in print.  The gallery includes a wide variety of hand-drawn images from the growth of ocean liner sizes to a diagram of the 1908 Olympic Stadium brought to London from Rome, and many other interesting visualizations.  

The collection shows all sorts of charts, maps, drawings, even sketches of people in order to convey information visually.  I enjoyed scrolling through this post, reminding me how far we have come from earlier times.  But it also made me realize that data has always been challenging to present in a way that general audiences could understand.  Even among these low-tech images, some are difficult to comprehend.