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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.

Infographic Design

Looking for help creating your own infographics?  Randy’s infographic and data visualziation design company:

InfoNewt Infographic Design

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Entries in oil (14)

Monday
May202013

The Obama Energy Agenda: Gas Prices 2013

The Obama Energy Agenda: Gas Prices 2013 infographic

The White House has released a new infographic in April 2013, The Obama Energy Agenda, Gas Prices.  We have seen the White release a number of infographics as a communication tool, and they have consistently been getting better.

Gas Prices

Explore the infographic to learn about President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy.

The prior Energy Agenda infographic I reviewed was in April of 2011, and it was a rough, early attempt at an infographic design for online publication.  This design is significantly better, and has a number of good points to highlight that all designers can learn from.

First, the data visualizations are well done with the chart axes clearly labeld and units of measure clearly shown.  The color scheme is simple and easy to understand, but some of the small, gray text is hard to read on the white background.

Second, the big issue with the prior designs was the lack of sources for the data.  This design does a good job of citing the source of data for each visualization (chart).  For an administration that is attempting to increase transparency, the sources are still very vague.  I would like to see URL links to the actual reports or data sets referenced to make it easy for readers to check out the data on their own.  Instead, most of the sources are listed as just “EIA” which is the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  Certainly a step in the right direction, but could have much done better.

Third, there isn’t an obvious, clear Key Message.  Most readers only look at an infographic for less than 5 seconds, and it’s the designer’s responsibility to communicate the key message in that short time.  The rest of the information should tell a good story, and support the Key Message, but isn’t required reading.  There’s a lot of data shown in this design.  Probably too much data.  It’s hard for readers to understand the flow of information because there is both top-to-bottom sequence of sections and side-by-side charts.

The area chart in the center of the design draws the reader’s attention because it is so large in relation to the rest of the charts.  This visually implies that it is the most important data in the whole design, but I’m not sure that was the intent.

After reading through the whole design, I believe that the Key Message is “The Obama Administration has supported increased domestic drilling for oil, but that hasn’t lowered gas prices at the pump.  We need to do more.”  An infographic design should make this message very clear and easy to understand without having to read through the entire design.

What do you think?

Thursday
May022013

The United States of Energy

The United States of Energy infographic poster

The United States of Energy from Saxum, is a huge project to map domestic energy sources.  

Finally… After almost 50 years of dependence on foreign sources to meet our growing energy needs, our country is finally in a position to begin reversing the trend. Through advances in drilling technology, discoveries of new oil and natural gas reserves and swift progress in the renewables sector, the United States is setting a course for energy self-sufficiency.

What began as a simple graphic showcasing America’s energy riches quickly grew into a two-sided, folded map concept displaying thousands of individual data points.

The #USofEnergy map visualizes our country’s energy potential by charting current sources of energy production and identifying future resources and known deposits. Energy resources surveyed include: natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass.

This is actually designed as two landscape posters as the front and back, but when put together, they make one very detailed portrait orientation poster.  I love the main U.S. map that is the primary focus, and the designers took on the challenge to visualize the many different energy sources as represented with the overlapping colors.  You’ll notice that the smaller area coverage shapes are always on top, so the small circles aren’t completely hidden by the larger area shapes.  I would have attempted making the colored areas slightly transparent to let the underlying shapes show through, and removing the text names of all the states might have helped to reduce the visual noise.

My power contract for InfoNewt here in Texas is 100% Wind Power, but I had no idea that Texas is the national leader in wind power production!

I’m not sure what to call them, but I like the paired 180° doughnut charts showing how the sectors and sources of energy have changed from 1949-2011.  However, I don’t like the chart legends that makes them hard for the reader to figure out what each color represents.  Legends are evil!  It would have been nice for the nine types of energy to be shown with icons (along with the color-coding), and the icons or text could have been shown along with the larger 2011 doughnut segments.

The statistics shown at the bottom are shown as just text numbers.  In contrast to all of the data visualizations throughout the rest of the design, this makes these numbers seem unimportant to the reader.

Found on Visual.ly

Friday
Apr132012

Lakes & Oceans: A Deep Infographic

 

Another great infographic from Randall Munroe’s xkcd online comic.  Lakes & Oceans visualizes the various depths of the worlds water, and even includes…a mysterious door that James Cameron built his deep-sea submersible to reach at the bottom of the Marianas Trench and open?

 

Found on FlowingData.com

Wednesday
Oct192011

U.S. Oil Consumption infographic

The United States Oil Consumption infographic from the Christensen Law Firm looks at the massive amounts of oil we use in this country.  Where does it come from?  How do we use it?  How does the U.S. compare to the rest of the world?

Have you ever asked yourself how much you actually know about the oil you use? Many politicians and media outlets discuss U.S. oil consumption as if the average American understands what the reality of U.S. oil habits are and the extent of our dependence on foreign oil sources. U.S. Oil Usage is an attempt to educate the average person about where U.S. oil comes from, how it is being used and how U.S. consumption compares with that of other major oil consumers. The information is both shocking and concerning!

I think the first doughnut chart that breaks down the imports by country, should have included the domestic oil as well to put the imports into proper context.  We don’t get 21% of our oil from Canada, we get 21% of our imported oil from Canada.  That’s a difference that could be misinterpreted by the reader.

Personally, I thought more of the oil was used by the airline industry, but automotive is completely dominant.

Thanks to Jake for sending in the link!

Wednesday
Jul212010

What BP Could Have Bought With All the Money They Lost [infographic]

From VisualEconomics.com “What BP Could Have Bought With All the Money They Lost” is a long, side-scrolling visual of some examples of what BP could have done with $100,000,000,000.  I like the use of photos to help tell the story, and it stands out from the crowd by scrolling to the side instead of down.

Two things I think are wrong about this one though.  Although all of the possible expenditures add up, the number values aren’t visualized in any way.  Also the $100,000,000,000 is the loss in stock market capitalization, not $3.5B in cash that BP has spent on recovery efforts.  It’s not actually money that BP has spent.

 

Tuesday
May182010

Crude Awakening - Gulf Spill Infographic

This is a very comprehensive, detail-heavy infographic designed by Carol Zuber-Mallison at ZM Graphics for InfographicsWorld.com.  Including map data, a timeline, a few pie and bar charts, a schematic of the different fix scenarios and a visual of almost 4,000 squares.

“I usually do print work; this is my first piece specifically for social media.  It just kept getting bigger and bigger as things continued to get worse in the Gulf.

I built it in four frantic days.  There’s some things O would have done differently but when you’re working that fast you’re just putting stuff together with prayer and duct tape.  Design takes a back seat to trying to get the information right.

This is an ongoing news event so things are constantly changing and I hope to update it at least once a week.  (If you’ve found an error, please e-mail me so I can fix it.)”

— Carol Zuber-Mallison

Thanks to Justin Beegel from InfographicsWord.com for sending in the link!

Monday
May102010

BP Oil Relief Plan Infographic

BP has released this infographic, Relief Wells & Subsea Containment, showing how they plan to seal the oil well leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and the current progress at 8,788ft.

British Petroleum intends to drill two wells designed to intersect the original wellbore above the oil reservoir. This will allow heavy fluid to be pumped into the well which will stop the flow of oil from the reservoir. Cement will then be pumped down to permanently seal the well.

BP needs to cement 7 casings into place before the relief well can intersect with the main drill pipe which is pouring approximately 5,000 barrels of oil per day into the ocean. They have completed 3 casings, with 4 remaining. They have reached a drill depth of just below 10,000 feet, with another 8,000 feet remaining. At about 12,000 feet they will begin angling toward the center of the damaged oil pipe.

BP has estimated that the project will require 90 days to complete the first relief well.

Original post on HollywoodBackstage.com, found on VizWorld.com

Tuesday
Sep152009

Is the U.S. Too Dependent on Foreign Oil? (infographic)


The U.S. imports 60% of its oil requirements, and this infographic map shows the top 10 countries that are sending us their oil.  I think it will actually be quite surprising to most Americans how little is imported from the Middle East.
As much as 66 percent of all US crude oil is imported from other countries, and the amount of oil imported from OPEC nations is roughly equal to the amount of oil produced domestically. Petroleum, natural gas and coal are the primary sources of energy consumed in the United States because they are the most energy rich resources available. So far, renewables have only been capable of providing a small portion of total energy consumption, and their contribution to energy consumption has remained limited over the last two decades. However, with increasing government and private focus on green energy sources, renewables are likely to go from strength to strength in the near future.
Here's the original article by Callum James from ngoilgas.com.

Monday
Feb092009

"The Graph" - The Future of Solar Power


Known as "The Graph" in scientific circles, this chart projects the future of solar power.  It was highlighted in a Fast Company article in December 2008.
The Graph was created by a scientific organization that counsels the German government, but it has since become a prized piece of propaganda, embedded in glossy brochures and PowerPoint presentations by solar companies from California to gray-skied Saxony. At the left-hand, present-tense end of the scale, solar power is a microscopic pencil line of gold against the thick, dark bands of oil and natural gas and coal, an accurate representation of the 0.04% of the world's electricity produced by solar power as of 2006. The band grows slowly thicker for 20 years or so, and then around 2040 a dramatic inversion occurs. The mountain-peak lines indicating the various fossil fuels all fall steeply away, leaving a widening maw of golden light as solar power expands to fill the space. By 2060, solar power is the largest single band, and by 2100 it is by far the majority share.

Friday
Sep262008

The Rush to Wind Farms!


The rush to wind farming is an interesting article in The Atlantic.  With Federal subsidies, its almost like a land rush.  The planned expansion of wind farm sites is impressive.

Thanks for sending in the link Garrett (also posted on Capturing Ephemera)!