The beauty of data visualization

Posted to Infographics  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

Connoisseur of scaled rounded rectangles, bubbles, and triangles, David McCandless of Information is Beautiful talks data visualization in recently posted TED talk (below). He explains how information design can help us get through information glut on the Web and how simple charts can show patterns that we never would have seen otherwise. He uses his own works and collaborations as evidence.

Right around the 8-minute mark, David makes an interesting point about learning design. He explains that he started as a programmer, and then was a writer for about twenty years, but only recently started designing. He picked up the skills on his own. David argues that he’s not unique, and that actually, everyone (like you) can do stuff like this too, because we’ve all been exposed to so much information that we have a sense of what makes it understandable.

That sounds about right. Obviously, a formal design education is going to help, but a lot of the skills you learn come from practice and experience.

With the proper resources to help you with foundations such as software, code, and basic principles, you open up a whole bunch of different paths that you can explore on your own.

Watch David’s full talk below.

[Thanks, Lara]

Favorites

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.