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Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

Infographic Design

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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Monday
May162016

Kung Fu Motion Visualization

Kung Fu Motion Visualization from Tobias Gremmler on Vimeo.

Kung Fu Motion Visualization is a fabulous visualization project by Tobias Gremmler. Using motion capture data from Chinese Kung Fu, Tobias is able to create various 3D models showing shape and volume. Designed for an exhibition hosted by the International Guoshu Association in Hong Kong.

When working on this project, I was deeply inspired by the dynamics of motion and philosophy of Kung Fu. The work was commissioned by International Guoshu Association for an Kung Fu exhibition, initiated by Hing Chao. The exhibition focuses on the legacy of Hakka martial arts in Hong Kong and will launch in Hong Kong in September. The Kung Fu Masters whose motions has been captured are: Master Wong Yiu Kau (Variation 1-3) and Master Li Shek Lin (Variation 3,4).

Visualizing the invisible is always fascinating, and motion visualizations have been created even in pre-digital times with light, photography, costumes or paintings. I have described some of the methods that I applied in this work in my book "Grids for the Dynamic Images", published 2003.

Kung Fu Motion Visualization 

Also published on YouTube (in case you have trouble viewing the video from Vimeo):

 

Thanks to Jan for sharing. Also found on Colossal and Ignant.

Friday
May132016

American Slavery Maps

American Slavery Maps Infographic

Bill Rankin at Radical Cartography has created nine uniform grid maps of American Slavery covering each decade from 1790 to 1870. I've combined them into the animated GIF you see above. Bill took a new approach in analyzing the historical data by 250 square mile units instead of the traditional data by county.

The gradual decline of slavery in the north was matched by its explosive expansion in the south, especially with the transition from the longstanding slave areas along the Atlantic coast to the new cotton plantations of the Lower South. And although the Civil War by no means ended the struggle for racial equality, it marked a dramatic turning point; antebellum slavery was a robust institution that showed no signs of decline.

Mapping slavery presents a number of difficult problems. The vast majority of maps — both old and new — use the county as the unit of analysis. But visually, it is tough to compare small and large counties; the constant reorganization of boundaries in the west means that comparisons across decades are tricky, too. And like all maps that shade large areas using a single color, typical maps of slavery make it impossible to see population density and demographic breakdown at the same time. (Should a county with 10,000 people and 1,000 slaves appear the same as one that has 100 people and 10 slaves?)

My maps confront these problems in two ways. First, I smash the visual tyranny of county boundaries by using a uniform grid of dots. The size of each dot shows the total population in each 250-sqmi cell, and the color shows the percent that were slaves. But just as important, I've also combined the usual county data with historical data for more than 150 cities and towns. Cities usually had fewer slaves, proportionally, than their surrounding counties, but this is invisible on standard maps. Adding this data shows the overwhelming predominance of slaves along the South Carolina coast, in contrast to Charleston; it also shows how distinctive New Orleans was from other southern cities. These techniques don't solve all problems (especially in sparsely populated areas), but they substantially refocus the visual argument of the maps — away from arbitrary jurisdictions and toward human beings.

For a graphic explanation of this technique, see here.

I appreciate him explaining his map technique! Each decade is a separate high-resolution map image, but Bill also created a fantastic combined map showing the highest Peak Slavery levels of slavery throughout the entire time period.

The bottom map shows the peak number of slaves in each area, along with the year when slavery peaked. Except in Delaware, Maryland, and eastern Virginia, slavery in the south was only headed in one direction: up. Cartographically, this map offers a temporal analysis without relying on a series of snapshots (either a slideshow or an animation), and it makes it clear that a static map is perfectly capable of representing a dynamic historical process.

American Slavery Peak Map

 

Additionally, you can download a high-resolution poster version showing all nine decades:

American Slavery Maps Poster


 Found on FlowingData and CityLab

Wednesday
May112016

The Growth of the Internet of Things

Growth in the Internet of Things Infographic

The current projection data from Cisco is that the IoT (Internet of Things) will reach 50 Billion devices by the year 2020! Visualized by the NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) as the Growth in the Internet of Things.

Today’s Internet is driven by wired and wireless networks, keeping us connected throughout our daily lives. With the advent of new digital devices that constantly link us to the Internet, these networks have become much more than just a simple vehicle for information and communications. They now enable us to track our daily habits, monitor our health, manage home energy use and track nearly any other data we can imagine. These devices make up what we call the Internet of Things – a web of connected objects that are linked via networks that can interact with each other and with us.

The Internet isn’t merely developing, it’s exploding, and the numbers prove it. Take a look at our graphic below — it shows the advancing surge of connected devices using the Internet.

Today, there are more connected devices than there are human beings on the planet. This expansion isn’t just from cell phones, tablets and computers – it’s thanks to toothbrushes, stovetops and millions of other devices that now have IP addresses. Estimates show that there will be over 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

Fast, ubiquitous Wi-Fi and increasing home broadband speeds will drive the Internet of Things and the ever-expanding web.

A clean and simple line chart tells this story very well. Notice that the chart was designed with many of the principles for storytelling in data visualization we discuss every day.

  • No chart legend. The data is shown directly in the chart
  • Minimal gridlines to simplify reading the chart and clean up the visual noise gridlines create
  • No separate data table. The relevant numbers are shown directly in the chart
  • Minimal axis labels (you don't need to show every year)
  • Use of visual icons to help communicate each milestone. 

Suggestion: I would move the icons and data much closer to the actual data points on the chart. There are too many connecting lines.

Thanks to Heather for sharing on Linkedin!

Tuesday
May102016

What's Your Ideal Workplace?

What's Your Ideal Workplace? infographic

Based on your own individual personality, the What's Your Ideal Workplace? infographic from Quill.com examines the best types of office environments to maximize your work performance.

Are you looking for a new position in a more fitting workplace? Or are you attempting to create an office setup that will maximize your employees’ skills? This infographic will help you match common work personality types with their ideal office spaces, from cubicles and open workspaces to co-working and work from home options.

Don’t know your work personality? Take the test.

Many companies are just beginning to realize that workplace design directly impacts employee performance, yet research shows that 3 in 4 U.S. workers are not in optimal workplace environments.

I love the connection to taking your own work personality test. This makes the infographic design personal and relevant to each individual reader. It's informative, but personal.

The illustration of each different workplace layout helps readers understand the differences almost instantly. It's a design with conceptual illustrations, but the statistics are also visualized, making them easier to understand as well. The personality color-coding is consistent throughout the design.

Great layout on the infographic landing page as well. Descriptive text with links, social sharing buttons, the full infographic and embed code at the bottom. The URL of the landing page is also included in the infographic image file itself, to make it easy to find the original, full-size version from sites that share but don't link. Everything needed to make it easy to find and easy to share.

Thanks to Cheryl for sharing the link!

Monday
May092016

Kitchen Trends to Consider and Avoid

Kitchen Trends to Consider and Avoid infographic

Kitchen Trends to Consider (and Avoid) for Your Remodel is a comprehensive infographic from The Home Depot, covering the current kitchen design trends and top reasons to remodel your own.

A kitchen makeover can seem daunting and out of reach, but simple updates to cabinets, countertops, and colors can help an old and ignored kitchen feel fresh, fashionable, and, best of all, functional.

The following infographic from The Home Depot gives expert designer Kerrie Kelly’s tips on the hottest trends in new cabinets, countertops, colors and accents, and pointers for how to take your kitchen from drab to fab. Kelly’s design advice (don’t be afraid of color!) as well as warnings against what to avoid (go easy on the patterns), will give you all the latest in kitchen remodel trends. From the light, airy look of white cabinets, to the natural, organic look of elements like limestone and forestry, there is a trendy style for every taste.

And if keeping up with DIY television shows isn’t enough reason to get started, we’ve got three essential reasons for you to roll up your sleeves and get moving on your kitchen renovation. An updated kitchen affects your biggest investment — your home — as well as your quality of life. (Hint: Did you know that 90 percent of people report a greater desire to be home after a remodel?) Read the infographic for more reasons to get started, and visit this remodel planning guide for actionable ideas and advice.

Generally, I recommend against using photos in an infographic design, but the use of photos here is crucial to communicating the different design trends and kitchen looks. The combination fo photos with simple, one-color data visualizations works very well, and clearly communicates the different aspects of each design and function.

This is also a fantastic case-study in choosing an infographic topic that is compatible and related to your business. This isn't an advertisement for Home Depot, linking to specific products on their site. Instead, it's informative to consumers and actionable information they use to make their own purchase decisions. The information included is valuable to everyone that has a kitchen, and is likely to be shared often.

Thanks to The Daily Meal for sharing the infographic!

 

 

Friday
May062016

The Mother of All Mother's Day Infographics

Your Guide to the Business of Mother's Day may be the reigning Mother of All Mother's Day infographics from TheShelf.com covering practically everything you'd ever want to know about the business of Mother's Day. However, the data visualization portions need some help.

Mother's Day is right around the corner, creeping up on both consumers and brands alike. And even though, year after year, the majority of presents are bought super last minute, our spending on Mom is off the charts! 

...And why shouldn't it be, the wonderful women in our lives are worth everything that we can throw at them (assuming it's good) on their special day, and that's why we've created this pretty huge rundown of all things Mother's Day.

This is a data-heavy infographic that breaks my 5-second rule. Instead of trying to tell one story really well, they threw in every bit of data they could get their hands on. They have so many sections, it's worth taking a closer look at a few to see what we can learn from the design choices.

The dedicated landing page is very well put together! Plenty of text for SEO and custom wording in the social sharing buttons and even custom social images to make sharing the infographic super-easy for readers! My only complaint is that they aren't sized for the social media sites. Twitter needs images with an aspect ratio of 2:1.

Let's take a closer look at one of the sections:

When you mix some data visualized and some data shown in text alone, the visualized data is perceived as more important to readers. These data points shown in just text is usually ignored by readers because it wasn't important enough to visualize.

If you follow me, you'll know that I have a specific pet peeve with designers getting the sizes of circles wrong when used to visualize data. [See False Visualizations: Sizing Circles in Infographics]

The circles is this design don't match any of the data. I'll demonstrate here. The total area of Greeting Cards at 80% should be exactly four times the area of the The Books circle at 20%. However, you can see here that I can easily fit seven of the Books circles in the Greeting Cards circle with much more room to spare!

 

The data may be good, but the visualization is all wrong. It looks like the designer was eye-balling the sizes instead of actually visualizing data. Things like this make me skeptical, and begin to question every other visualization in the whole design. 

Let's look at another section:

The flower is a pie chart, so it needs to follow the Golden Rule of Pie Charts! It MUST add up to 100%! However, this flower/pie chart adds up to 129%! What??? The 63% section by itself should be more than half of the flower, but it's shown as less than half.

One you start looking you'll find more problems. Why is 84% represented by 51 out of 56 people icons? That's 91%. Separately, why would you choose 56 icons to represent the total of 100%? Use 100 icons!

Lots of good data included in this infographic, but the design needs to go back to the drawing board.

Thanks to Sabrina for sending in the link!

Thursday
May052016

Next Generation Interactive Scientific Poster

The Next Generation Scientific Poster project by The Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel, Germany takes scientific data visualization and designed a physical, interactive interface for audiences. As a result, they founded The Science Communication Lab as a spin-off from the academy so they could offer this expertise to researchers in the scientific community all over the world.

Check out this video demonstration on YouTube:

From their description:

The classical poster does often not offer enough space for the sheer complexity of the contents – texts, pictures, graphs and tables – used to convey scientific research today which causes inability to communicate contents and statements concisely. The classical poster also lacks an appropriate possibility for continuous updates which are necessary to include newer research results and would do justice to today‘s constant changes of information. 

The interactive poster is a a new method of presenting scientific topics in an attractive way, offering the user an easier access to the contents and a clearly improved possibility of comprehension. The illustrated topics are supposed to function self-explanatory and long-lasting which means that the viewer can decide on the depth and duration of the information process.

The interactive poster can be used for various purposes: For the internal demonstration of the research projects (poster sessions), on expert conferences and conventions in an international context. The newly developed technology -LED displays with a touch frame- can be used in a more reliable and long-lasting way than conventional projection technologies.

Thanks to Pieter Torrez from Scigrades for the link and his interview article with Professor Tom Duscher

Thursday
Apr282016

All 30,699 career shots by Kobe Bryant


The LA Times created a fantastic interactive data visualization of every shot taken by Kobe Bryant during his career. All 30,699 of them!

Kobe Bryant's 30,699th and final field goal came from 19 feet with 31 seconds left against the Utah Jazz. During his 20 years with the Lakers, he fired up more than 30,000 shots, including the regular season and playoffs.

Take a tour of key shots over his 20-year career, or explore the makes and misses over his long career on your own.

The data is sourced from stats.nba.com, and the visualization was build with leaflet and cartodb. The reader can hover over any specific dot to see the details of each shot. It's not obvious, but you can adjust the court image on the right to view the shots from the other end of the court. Color-coded for made and missed shots, you can also Tour the Data to see the most significant shots from his career, like his final shot:

Similar visualization style to the BallR visualization I posted about a few weeks ago.

For the serious fan, it's also available for purchase as a poster version for $59.95, which include more stats and visualizations from his career.

Found on FlowingData!

Wednesday
Apr202016

How Much Would Darth Vader's Suit Cost?

How Much Would Darth Vader's Suit Cost? infographic

How Much Would Darth Vader's Suit Cost? After Shade Station added up all the state of the art equipment like augmented reality in his helmet, his suit being on par with a NASA space suit, as well as all the medical bills from his prosthetic limbs. The total cost was around $18.3 Million! No worries though, the dark side always seems to have enough money to spend.

Darth Vader is arguably the most memorable character from the Star Wars universe, and his suit is one of the most iconic costumes in film history. But how much would that suit cost in real life?

Quick and easy infographic that does a good job of telling one story really well. I would have visualized the different expenses to show show where most of the money goes.

Thanks to Dave for sending in the link! 

Monday
Apr182016

Experts Predict the Future of Data Analytics and Visualization

IBM Watson Analytics is a data discovery service that guides data exploration, automates predictive analytics and enables dashboard and data visualization creation. Through their Expert Series videos, Watson Analytics explores the future trends of data analytics. I had the pleasure of participating in this series, along with other prominent figures in the field.

Watch these interviews to learn about today’s trends in data visualization, data analysis, and which trends we think will have the most significant impact on the future of analytics.

 

What trends in data visualization are you seeing today and what are the opportunities for the future? (2:24)

Cathy Harrison (@VirtualMRX), Randy Krum (@rtkrum), William McKnight (@williammcknight), Tony Adams (@tonyadam)

 

Which trend do you think will have the most significant impact on the future of Analytics and why? (1:52) (1:44)

Deborah Berebichez (@debbiebere), Randy Krum (@rtkrum), Anil Batra (@AnilBatra), Valdis Krebs (@OrgNet), Christopher Penn (@cspenn)

 

What is your #1 tip for anyone who is asked to use data to inform business decisions? (2:22)

Deborah Berebichez (@debbiebere), Miles Austin (@milesaustin), Juntae DeLane (@JuntaeDeLane), Anil Batra (@AnilBatra), Tony Adams (@tonyadam)

 

What trends in data analysis are you seeing today, and what are the opportunities for the future? (2:19) (1:37)

Emilio Ferrara (@jabawack), Bob E. Hayes (@bobehayes), John D. Cook (@JohnDCook), Juntae DeLane (@JuntaeDeLane), Miles Austin (@milesaustin)

 

 

You can also subscribe and follow all of the IBM Watson Analytics videos on YouTube: