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Visualization Universe (via Facebook)

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Everybody loves visual information — especially Abraham Lincoln.

Infographics are clearly having a cultural moment. They have become pervasive in newspapers, magazines, blog posts, and viral tweets; they appear on television and in advertising, in political campaigns and at art openings. As a Google search term, “infographic” has increased nearly twenty-fold in the last five years. Yet infographics have been popular, in one form or another, for centuries. The source of their power isn’t computers or the Internet, but the brain’s natural visual intelligence.Gareth Cook, the editor of Best American Infographics 2013, has put together a short but true summary of the history of information graphics. (Many of you who see this blog may know most of it already.) His striking lede recounts how much Abraham Lincoln valued his "slave map," shown above. Lincoln's reliance on the shades of gray throughout the Confederacy made an enormous difference in his Civil War decision-making. Fortunately it's rare that most people have to make life-or-…

Interesting — and timely — look at reapportionment in NC

How they redrew the Tar Heel State's electoral districts in 2011, i.e., why we're stuck with this situation down here. Sigh. A depressingly informative — and useful — infographic by Jon White.

What Not to Do with Infographics, now in handy infographic form

From, a cautionary illustration that expresses exactly what I hate about so very many infographics. It dumbs down information under the guise of making you smarter.

Browse more infographics.

Listing information design's most pressing issues

At his blog, Michael Babwahsingh says a number of smart things about the current status and ultimate value of information design. Number 8 is an excellent sample of his sensible macro approach:
8. Commercialization
For several years now, the infoviz/dataviz trend has become infused in popular culture; the influence of the information design aesthetic is everywhere, from movie sequences to music videos to art exhibits. Although the intent is often tongue-in-cheek, and may even indirectly promote information design, there is still a risk of diluting, muddling, or flat-out mocking a field that has yet to really define and take ownership of itself. News features and special issues on information design are becoming more common, particularly in the graphic design world, but the tendency is towards visual appeal and surface-level scans over deep investigation (examples include Grafik magazine’s April 2010 issue, Eye Magazine’s Winter 2010 issue, and Fast Company’s Co.Design blog posts on inf…

Infoviz for the people: Mass media mentions

Increasingly, it seems, mass media outlets are talking up infoviz. Great news for us here at Synoptical Charts, but more than that, helpful for people in businesses that demand clear, concise and logical communication. In other words, everybody.

Today's installment, from
...[W]hile Hadoop may be the poster child of Big Data, there are other important technologies at play. In addition to Hadoop, the open source framework for distributing data processing across multiple nodes, these include massively parallel data warehouses “that deliver lightening [sic] fast data loading and real-time analytic capabilities,” as the report states; analytic platforms and applications that allow Data Scientists and business analysts to manipulate Big Data; and data visualization tools that bring insights from Big Data analysis alive for end-users.Big Data is Big Market & Big Business - $50 Billion Market by 2017