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Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum

President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization, Infographic Design, Visual Thinking, Product Development and Marketing professional fascinated by good infographics.  Always looking for better ways to get the point across.

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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

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Entries in health (103)

Monday
Jan252010

Making-Of The Caffeine Poster - Part 3

 

How did you pick which drinks to include?

The original spreadsheet with the caffeine calculations had about 100 drinks on it, but that made the image WAY too crowded.  Looking back, I could have made the images smaller to fit more drinks onto the poster, so maybe the next version will have more.

For the coffee side, I picked some of the most widely available coffee shops, and I also only picked one drink from each.  Starbucks alone had 20-30 different drinks I could have listed.

For the drinks side, I picked the drinks that were most widely available at the grocery stores in the DFW area.  It may be different regionally, but the local region was all I had to work with.

 

Dude, where’s the TEA?!?

I posted this in the comments, but I know I left tea out of the graphic (along with thousands of other drinks). It was actually hard to cull down the wide assortment of drinks down to only the ones I included. Not a tea drinker myself, tea didn’t make the cut (Kevin Rose would be disappointed, I know).  It’s very crowded in the under 100mg space, so tea didn’t make the cut.  Based on the feedback I got, I’ll include it if a next versions happens.

FWIW, tea averages between 40-70mg of caffeine in each 8oz cup

 

Can I buy a copy of The Caffeine Poster?

I haven’t setup the poster for sale, but I did keep the high-resolution images offline so I could make it available if there was interest.  The images on Flickr are certainly high-resolution enough to read the details, but they won’t print very nicely as a 24” x 36” poster.  So far, I haven’t heard from many people who wanted to buy a copy.

I also got some feedback that The Caffeine Poster makes a good infographic, but maybe not a great poster.  To be a great poster, it probably need more details and other additional information to make the viewer curious to step closer and read more.

However, I did have a few copies printed for myself…of course.

 

Will there be a next version?

Probably.  I’ve got some other projects in the works, so there’s no telling how long it will take.  You suggestions on what to change or add are very welcome.

 

 

The is the end of the Making-Of posts.  I got so many questions about the behind-the-scenes stuff that I moved all of The Caffeine Poster posts together on a separate page.  Check out the Caffeine Poster link at the top of the page.

Wednesday
Jan202010

Making-Of The Caffeine Poster - Part 2

This is Part 2 in the continuing the series to share the details behind creating The Caffeine Poster.  I am going to create one web page to combine all of these Making-Of notes together, and I’ll post a link to that in Part 3.

Where did the data come from?

There was no one, single complete source for the data.  A number of the company websites have their caffeine content listed in the Nutrition Facts of product information, so if it was available I used their own information.

EnergyFiend.com has the largest database I found of caffeine contents in drinks and foods.  If I found different values for the caffeine content on different websites, I would just use an average.

 

 

The Center for Science in the Public Interest also has the caffeine content listed for many drinks.

 

As a side note, EnergyFiend also has this great Death By Caffeine calculator!

 

The drinks come is many different sizes.  Why didn’t you standardize the drinks sizes?

This was probably the feedback I’ve heard most often since posting the infographic.  I posted a short answer in the comments, but here I can provide some additional explanation.

First, the data itself isn;t that complicated.  I didn’t need to use any statistical software to massage the numbers.  A simple spreadsheet in Numbers takes care of all the number crunching.

Even in this small piece of the spreadsheet, you can see a number of different drink sizes.  My choice was to either visualize column C or D.  The mg column represents the amount of caffeine you will consume from the entire drink.  The mg/oz column represents the amount of caffeine in each oz of liquid.

From a scientific point-of-view, the mg/oz is a common denominator and is probably a true apples-to-apples comparison.  This option would have shown the strength of the caffeine concentration in each formula, and you could see how much stronger the Starbucks coffee is compared to Dunkin’ Donuts.

However, my target market for the infographic isn’t the scientist that formulates the drinks, but the consumers that drink them.  Most of these drinks aren’t available in self-serve dispensers, so the consumer will drink whatever quantity they purchase (10oz, 12oz, 16oz, etc.).  By visualizing the total caffeine content of each drink, the consumer knows instantly how much caffeine they are putting into their body when they consume a drink.

For people that want to know the concentration, maybe I’ll add that as a side note for each drink in the next version.  :)

 

The caffeine content can differ each time you brew coffee, how did you choose only one number for each drink?

Even though caffeine content may vary from one drink to the next, all of the company sites and other websites list one average number for each drink.  Because the visual is a scale, the overall intent is to visualize the drinks in comparison to each other.  Precision wasn’t as important as showing them as higher or lower caffeine content relative to each other.

To be more exact, I could have listed ranges, and that wouldn’t have changed the drink locations on the scale.  BUT, ranges also weren’t available from the data sources, so it really wasn’t an option and I didn’t worry about it too much.

Adding the caffeine content numbers in the indicator arrows was actually a last-minute change.  Originally, I had intended not to list a specific number, because the values can vary.  Without the numbers, it leaves the actual content a little vague.

I also had some friends and designers look at an early version to get some feedback, and they would ask what the numbers were.  In the end, I decided that I personally would want to see the values if I were seeing the poster for the first time, so I added them.

Good thing I did too!  I found two drinks that were reversed and in the wrong place, so adding the numbers was a great way to check the accuracy of the design.

 

What is this thing?

 

To emphasize the science behind caffeine, I included this rectangle that looks like it comes from the periodic table of elements.  Caffeine isn’t an element, so I could only use the style of the periodic table with this 3-D rendering of a caffeine molecule, the chemical formula of caffeine and the molecular weight.

 

More to come in Part 3…

Monday
Jan112010

The Caffeine Poster, How Much Caffeine Are You Drinking? [new infographic]

 

You are what you drink.  With so many drinks today claiming to be “energy drinks”, I wanted a little visual clarification, so I made The Caffeine Poster.  With coffee drinks on one side and canned cold drinks on the other, you can quickly see how much of a caffeine “hit” (in mg) you will get after consuming.  What’s especially interesting is many of the drinks have a very high caffeine mg/oz ratio, but the drink is so small you don’t get that much total caffeine.

 

I’ve been working on my own infographic for 6 months now off-and-on when I can make time.  I figured that I’ve been running this infographic blog for a few years now, it’s time to start putting up my own work.  Most of the data visualization I’ve designed are confidential to the company I make them for, so I wanted to create some infographics that I can publish on the blog.

 

The Caffeine Poster is supposed to help with one decision in your life.  If you’re going to grab a caffeine drink during the day (or evening), which drink should you consume?  I tried to stay focused on telling one story really well.  I’ve heard from others that this may make for a really good infographic, but may not make a great poster because a good poster would have a much deeper level of detail.  I like it, and we’ll see what king of responses I get.

 

I absolutely want to hear your feedback.  Please add your comments below or send me a note.  What do you think?  I’ve also got requests to print and offer this as a poster.  We’ll see if there is enough interest…

Also, I’m planning to post as “Making-of” article on what it took to create this infographic.

 

Making-Of The Caffeine Poster - Part 1

Making-Of The Caffeine Poster - Part 2

Making-Of The Caffeine Poster - Part 3

 

THANKS: A big thanks to Fast Company for posting about The Caffeine Poster on the Fast Company blog.  The Caffeine Poster was the most popular story of the week on Fast Company! 

 

You are what you drink!

Wednesday
Dec092009

The Origins and Paths of Epidemics



This world map shows the origins and spreading paths of Malaria, Leprosy and Small Pox. No legend, but the implication is that as the main arteries diminish in width down to small capillaries represents the number of infection cases.  Key dates and locations are also identified with event description.

There is no designer byline on the graphic, but map is credited to Haisam Hussein.  I don't see the map in the gallery on Haisam's website, but he is given credit for the map on Lapham's Quarterly.

Found on digg.com.

Wednesday
Nov252009

Florence Nightingale: Causes of Mortality infographic from 1858!



Yes, from that Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), and it's from 1858!  The polar area diagram is also known as the Nightingale Rose Graph.

From Wikipedia,
This "Diagram of the causes of mortality in the army in the East" was published in Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration of the British Army and sent to Queen Victoria in 1858.


This graphic indicates the number of deaths that occured from preventable diseases (in blue), those that were the results of wounds (in red), and those due to other causes (in black). 
The legend reads: 
The Areas of the blue, red, & black wedges are each measured from the centre as the common vertex. The blue wedges measured from the centre of the circle represent area for area the deaths from Preventable or Mitigable Zymotic diseases, the red wedges measured from the centre the deaths from wounds, & the black wedges measured from the centre the deaths from all other causes. The black line across the red triangle in Nov. 1854 marks the boundary of the deaths from all other causes during the month. In October 1854, & April 1855, the black area coincides with the red, in January & February 1855,(*) the blue coincides with the black. The entire areas may be compared by following the blue, the red, & the black lines enclosing them.
Also from Wikipedia:
Florence Nightingale had exhibited a gift for mathematics from an early age and excelled in the subject under the tutorship of her father. Later, Nightingale became a pioneer in the visual presentation of information and statistical graphics. Among other things she used the pie chart, which had first been developed by William Playfair in 1801.
Florence Nightingale is credited with developing a form of the pie chart now known as the polar area diagram, or occasionally the Nightingale rose diagram, equivalent to a modern circular histogram to illustrate seasonal sources of patient mortality in the military field hospital she managed. Nightingale called a compilation of such diagrams a "coxcomb", but later that term has frequently been used for the individual diagrams. She made extensive use of coxcombs to present reports on the nature and magnitude of the conditions of medical care in the Crimean War to Members of Parliament and civil servants who would have been unlikely to read or understand traditional statistical reports.
In her later life Nightingale made a comprehensive statistical study of sanitation in Indian rural life and was the leading figure in the introduction of improved medical care and public health service in India.
In 1859 Nightingale was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and she later became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.
Found this while reading the great FlowingData post "9 Ways to Visualize Proportions – A Guide" by Nathan Yau.

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Thursday
Sep102009

HealthMap: The Global Disease Alert Map


HealthMap.org is an online map tool that locates any reports of disease from a selection of news sources.  Available in multiple languages, HealthMap is a great use of the Google Maps API.  In fact, HealthMap is funded by Google, which explains why they are so dependent on the Google Maps data.
HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert. HealthMap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers.
They also recently launched an iPhone app called Outbreaks Near Me, available for free in the iTunes app store.  The app allows you to view the maps from your iPhone and get alerts for outbreaks in your area.

Wednesday
Sep092009

Balance Your Media Diet (The Media Pyramid Infographic)

From Wired Magazine's "New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans" section of the August 2009 issue.
Practicing good nutrition keeps your mind sharp, your body fit, and your life long. The same could be said for consuming media. (Seriously, knowledge is power.) When you add it all up, the average American spends roughly nine hours a day glued to some kind of screen, and like your diet, quality is as important as quantity. Here areWired's suggested servings for optimal media health.
Found on Nathan's Flowingdata.com

Friday
Sep042009

New Hans Rosling video, using GapMinder (Must see!)

New TED Talk video of Hans Rosling talking to the U.S. State Department, "Let my dataset change your mindset".  Using the GapMinder software that was purchased by Google, Hans shows the third world isn't as far behind the U.S. as most people believe.

Tuesday
Aug182009

American health care on (4) napkins


Dan Roam, author of Back of the Napkin, has posted a napkin explanation of the American Health Care debate on his blog.  It took him 4 napkins to complete his explanation, but I think he did a really good job trying to help people understand a very complex issue.

He has also published a slideshow of the complete series up on SlideShare.net


Check out Dan's great book, Back of the Napkin.



Thursday
Jun112009

Sugar Stacks: How Much Sugar is in your Food?


SugarStacks.com is a website dedicated to showing you how much sugar is in the food we eat.  Using a simple visual of stacked sugar cubes, you can see the sugar content of many different types of food.  I love that it's simple and visually gets one point across really well.  There are words on website, but you really don't need them.

We've used regular sugar cubes (4 grams of sugar each) to show how the sugars in your favorite foods literally stack up, gram for gram.  Compare foods, find out where sugar is hiding, and see how much of the sweet stuff you're really eating.


Found on Infosthetics.com, and as they note, the website doesn't differentiate between types of sugars, the white sugar cubes are used to represent them all.

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