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

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Entries in apple (53)

Thursday
Aug182011

The Power of Data Visualization: iPhone Tracking

Inofrmation is power.  Data visualization has the power to change the world!  Change our habits, our laws, our business strategies and what we understand about the world around us.  Our understanding of data forms the foundation of how we make choices, form opinions, and at least one study claims that up to 80% of the human brain is wired just to interpret and remember visual data.

Anyone reading this blog has a basic understanding that data visualization makes things easier to understand.  It puts data into context and allows the viewer to see large data sets summarized in a much smaller space.  I’ve avoided updating to the latest iOS on my iPhone until I could put together this post since it’s such a great example of how visualizing data turns it into information that people can use.

Earlier this year, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden announced at the Where 2.0 conference that Apple’s iPhones were tracking all of your location data in an open, accessbile file on your computer.  ALL of the location data since the phone was first turned on, which could be years of data.  Heavily covered by the press, you can see their announcement here.  The reason I bring this up on Cool Infographics, is that I believe the visualization itself is what caused this to become a major media event sometimes referred to as “Locationgate.”

Some industry and forensic experts knew about this data already, and many others had tried to to make the public aware of it without any success.  Just telling people that your cell phone is storing location data doesn’t make it real and personal enogh to get the press and the public to care.  In fact, there have been other stories that Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 also gather this tracking data, but only Apple’s data was turned into a visualization and captured attention.

Alasdair and Pete wrote a simple application that anyone could download and use to see their own location data visualized on a map.  This not only made the story more understandable but it made it personal because I could see my own data.

We’d been discussing doing a visualization of mobile data, and while he was researching into what was available, Alasdair discovered this file. At first we weren’t sure how much data was there, but after we dug further and visualized the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements. It also became obvious that at least some other people knew about it, but it wasn’t being publicized.

iPhoneTracker is an open-source project that visualizes the location data that your iOS device is recording.

Created by Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden using the OpenStreetMap and OpenHeatMap frameworks.

 

As you can see above, they were even nice with data, and aggregated it into a simple grid that isn’t the actual GPS locations or location of the cell towers.  (This shows my trip to DisneyWorld in Florida)  The size of the circles shows the frequency of data points within that specific location.  So the visual shows an approximate location, but the actual data file on the iPhone was much more detailed.  Of course, the application was open source, so others started playing with the code and created much more detailed versions of the software.  Here’s that same data using the Creepy Edition of iPhoneTracker:

 

 

I believe that this use of data visualization to communicate the story was the primary factor that caused a media furor, lawsuits, press releases, interviews, government hearings and proposals to change our laws.

Apple posted an official press release responding to all of the attention and released a software update that deletes most of the historical data.  Sadly, the next time I update my iPhone, the historical data will all be erased.  Personally, I wish I had the option to continue to gather my own data because I’m into this sort of thing.  This file is now also encrypted if you turn on “Encrypt iPhone Backup” so it’s no longer easily accessible.

 

What’s the point?  Data visualization can be used to make your information relevant to your audience and get their attention.  Don’t just tell people your story, show them.

 

Friday
Jul222011

35 Years of Apple Products - Visual History

From Mashable come The Apple Tree, a visual, iconic timeline 35 years of Apple product releases.  Designed by Mike Vasilev (@mvasilev on Twitter).

When it comes to industrial design, few consumer electronics or computer makers have the legacy or influence of Apple, Inc. In the last 35 years, Apple has introduced a myriad of products and devices, some very successful, some, not so much.

Artist Mike Vasilev created this infographic for Mashable, highlighting the major Apple product releases and design changes from 1976 through 2011.

I love how recognizeable all of the product illustrations are.  I’ve owned way too many of these products over the years.

Found on Social Media Graphics.

Thursday
Jun302011

Humor: Corporate Organizational Charts

From Bonkers World, Organizational Charts is a very funny look at the corporate cultures and structures for some very high-profile tech companies using hand-drawn organization charts as the visual language.

Found on Daring Fireball.

Wednesday
May252011

Apple Approves 500,000 Apps...and counting

 

To celebrate Apple (unofficially) reaching the 500,000 apps milestone, 148Apps, Chillingo and Chomp got together to create an infographic.  The 500,000 Apps infographic uses a cool blend of visual styles to explore the history of Apple’s App Store.

Early this morning, Apple approved app number 500,000.  For that, we salute the hard working developers and the enthusiastic community of app seekers (you!).

Because Chomp wouldn’t be here without all of these glorious apps plus our amazing community of app seekers, we’ve put together an infographic highlighting an array of app milestones along the way, including apps you’ve loved since the beginning.

Pie chart, timeline, bar chart, area chart, doughnut chart, stacked area chart and plain old BIG NUMBERS combine together to tell the story of the Apple App Store.

I’m disappointed that the data sources aren’t listed on the infographics.  That opens up the discussion to challenge the numbers and the validity of the overall infographic.

Cool design by Stefanie Kraus (@stefaniekraus)

Three cheers for Team Chomp member, Stefanie, who is responsible for ‘beautifying’ all of the 150+ data points into what is now being dubbed the longest (and most stunning) infographic you may ever see. 

Don’t worry Stefanie, I’ve seen LONGER infographics…


Found on The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Thursday
Apr282011

Self-Described Mac vs. PC People infographic

Profile of a Self-Described Mac Person vs. PC Person is a fun infographic looking at personality and preference differences.  Based on 388,315 survey respondents from Hunch.com, it illustrates topics like who throws parties, math aptitude, taste in art, cocktail drinks of choice and would they ride a Vespa or a Harley.

Our latest data project was to analyze how self-described Mac and PC people are different. The infographic below, designed by the talented folks at Column Five Media, breaks it down.

Back in ye olden days of Hunch — November 2009 — we explored the differences in personality, aesthetic tastes, and media preferences between Mac and PC users. Since then, the Hunch user base and question pool have grown many times over. The 2009 report started with more than 76,000 responses to its base “Mac or PC?” question. The same question now has nearly 400,000 responses. This is all in the context of the more than 80 million “Teach Hunch About You” questions which have been answered on Hunch to date.

From a research standpoint, even though the number of respondents is high, these are voluntary survey participants that haven’t gone through a screening process.  So while the results are fun, I don’t think they can be considered a statistically accurate representation of the population as a whole.

Very funny, and a great job by the design team at Column Five Media!  Found on FlowingData and Visual News

Friday
Apr152011

Client Infographics: Wine iPhone Apps

 

Two infographics InfoNewt (my company) designed recently for the great folks at VinTank.com, a think tank for the wine industry.  Are There Any Good Wine Apps for the iPhone? summarizes the highlights of the data that VinTank gathered from the iTunes Store.  Sorting through 452 wine apps is a lot for a consumer to figure out (intimidating!), so they broke them up by price, rating, business model and type of app.

We took it upon ourselves to evaluate all 452 wine related application available for the iPhone. That is more than six times the amount of wine related applications that was available on our last iPhone Report over a year ago. Each application went through an expansive 20-point inspection that surfaced strengths and weaknesses of their model, UEX, innovation, consumer value, winery value and much more.

You will also notice that we chose do a visual representation of all the data collected, because let’s face it, not only is our attention spans less with amount of content that requires our attention but also because infographics are pretty cool and definitely the trend to display deep rich amounts of numbers, information and data!

The second infographic displays the Top 26 Most Promising Wine Apps, as judged by VinTank.  These are grouped by type of app, and if you view the larger version you can click on any of the icons to be taken to the iTunes page to learn more about the app.

The team at VinTank obviously put a ton of effort into gathering data and evaluating all 452 apps so they could share this information with the public. 

After all that analysis it was clear to us that there were definitely leaders in the mobile space that showed the most promise. It is important to note that some of due to our deep reach within the wine and technology ecosphere, we have professional or personal relationships with a majority of the Top 26 that have been outlined. This however, does not change our view about how exciting it will be to see how all of them continue to improve their platforms and in fact, we excluded many other app companies that we also work with.

The Top 26 spectrum chart is an interactive version where you can learn more about each application and download their app directly should you choose to do so, or if you don’t already have it. Go ahead give it a try!

Even for data very limited to a specific target audience, an infographic is a fantastic tool to make the information interesting and easy to comprehend by the readers. 

Thanks to Paul and Evan for being great to work with.

Friday
Mar252011

Infographic iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup

 

From the French site, NowhereElse.fr, comes an infographic iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup.  I like how each rumor has an appropriate image, and a rating of how likely they think the feature will make it into the next iPhone.

I posted the English version, but the French version is available here.

A design collaboration between Düne and Sosoa.  (I always appreciate when infographics list the designer(s) so I can also give them credit and links)

Thanks to Miguel for sharing it on Google Buzz!

Monday
Feb142011

The (visual) Anatomy of an Apple Email

 

You know how unique Apple emails are when they show up in your Inbox.  The Anatomy of an Apple Email, from Flowtown, does a great job of visually explaining the layout and elements in an infographic with the look and feel of an Apple email.

The emails sent by Apple to consumers are riddled with trademark characteristics, including multiple ‘Calls To Action,’ as well as the beloved ‘Hero Shot.’ Here is a breakdown of each of these characteristics and a summary of their general purpose.

Found on Social Media Graphics

Monday
Dec202010

The History of Apple’s iPod: An Infographic

 

From DigitalSurgeons comes The History of Apple’s iPod, an infographic timeline.  This one has been sitting in my submissions inbox for months, and I’m only now getting around to posing it (sorry guys).

I specifically like the multiple levels of information included.  Of course you can see images of the iPods that were released every year, but surrounding that is some of the information that was shared by Apple about the iTunes business, how many iPods were sold, how many songs were sold, when new services were offered (like HD video) and more recently things like apps and Ping.

Nice job guys!

Wednesday
Sep292010

The World Without Apple

 

The World Without Apple, from Infographic Labs is a great design.  The main feature combines the history of Apple’s products in a timeline with its stock prices and new product introduction prices.  Also included are some statistics about the app store and all of the different aspects to Apple’s business.

The AppleGazette team asked us to analyse the complete product timeline and stock value of the Cupertino based company. The result is another stunning graphic, first published at AppleGazette.