Notes from Interactive Infographics #interinfo #sxsw

Yesterday was the Interactive Infographics panel at South by Southwest, and if Twitter is any indication of how it went, I’d say the panel had a captivated audience. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the four panelists, Ben Fry (Processing), Shan Carter (NYT), Casey Caplowe (Good), and Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to attend, but luckily I was able to follow the play-by-play on Livefyre (sort of a cross between chat and forum) along with some excellent notes from @jpmarcum and @bryanconnor. Here are the important bits I was able to glean.

The bulk of the time was spent showcasing the work from the four groups. I think you can find most of the projects through FlowingData. Just use the search form on the bottom right of this page. The good stuff came towards the end during the Q&A.

The following answers are in note-form, not actual quotes from the panelists.

What’s next?

Shan Carter: Biggest question is what technology to use next.

Ben Fry: Getting beyond the screen. Interesting stuff is happening on the tiny screens we have in our pockets.

Eric Rodenbeck: Brands could use these things to express who they are. The literacy is rising.

What’s beyond Flash? HTML 5? Processing?

SC: Looking but don’t have one answer.

BF: Mentions Canvas. Mozilla has taken an interest in Processing. Idea of no plug-ins is really exciting. Issue of access is really nice. As Java trails off looking to Canvas to pick up.

Where can you find data?

CC: Call people and say you’re from The New York Times. ← So true, actually.

How do you balance data richness with design and beauty?

SC: Charting is a language and room all different voices. Feels like they’re all valid if they communicate something.

BF: Everything tends to be thrown in the same bucket as people are talking about it more. Always make sure it’s appropriate for the audience.

ER: It’s a medium more than a toolset. There’s going to be a Beyonce of data visualization. There’ll be jazz fans, different genres. There’s going to be the Steve McQueen of data visualization.

CC: It’s still very early on. Everyone brings their own style to it.

Evolution of information graphics…

ER: When people were first presented with Google maps no one knew how to use it. The idea that you can do stuff with charts and graphs is still pretty new.

Did I miss any other tidbits? Let us know in the comments below.