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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

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Entries in scale (148)

Monday
Jun012015

A World of Languages

A World of Languages infographic

A World of Languages - and How Many Speak Them is a new infographic by Alberto Lucas López for the South China Morning Post that compares the number of people that speak the top 23 languages in the world as their primary language. High resolution image version available HERE.

There are at least 7,102 known languages alive in the world today. Twenty-three of these languages are a mother  tongue for more than 50 million people. The 23 languages make up the native tongue of 4.1 billion people. We represent each language within black borders and then provide the numbers of native speakers (in millions)  by country. The colour of these countries shows how languages have taken root in many different regions

The dominant visual centerpiece appears to be a combination of a voronoi diagram & circular treemap, where the area of each section is representative of the number of people that speak each language as their first language. I don’t know any any software that will create this specific visualization style, so I’m assuming the area of each section had to be calculated separately. With the different, organic shapes how were those areas calculated? Iteration?

The data is a little bit controversial. It’s an estimate of the number of people that speak each language as their first language. There’s no accounting for multi-lingual people or language families. I love the data visualization design, but the underlying data may cause some concern.

Wednesday
May132015

The Slow Speed of Light

Riding Light from Alphonse Swinehart on Vimeo.

 

We think of the speed of light as incredibly fast, but in the video Riding Light, by Alphonse Swinehart, we ride along with light as it starts in our Sun and moves out past Jupiter in our solar system. The video is 45 minutes long and helps show both how large our solar system is, and that it still takes light a long time to travel these large distances.

In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.

I’ve taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually “sees” or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I’ve kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.

During the course of the video, I also love the data visualziations shown during the flight, like how large the orbits of different planets appear to us as we move outward.

Tuesday
Mar102015

Baking Units Demystified

Baking Units Demystified infographic

Memorizing cooking unit conversions can be frustrating. Most of us just have a cheat sheet on the refrigerator that tells us that 1 Gallon= 4 Quarts. Well thanks to Andrew M.H. Alexander you might want to replace those boring magnets with the Baking Units Demystified infographic!

Infographics should simplify information and make it easier to understand without “dumbing it down.” This is a perfect example of showing the measuring relationships to make them easy to understand and even remember.

Found on Flowing Data.

Monday
Feb092015

The Massive SciFi Starship Size Comparison Chart

The Final SciFi Starship Spaceship Size Comparison Chart infographic

The massive SciFi Starship Size Comparison Chart is one of my favorite infographic design projects. Designed by Dirk Loechel and shared on DeviantArt, this is a project he has been working on for years. I posted an earlier version of his design in 2013 here which was hugely popular. Dirk’s notes claim that this may be the last update.

The last update

For real this time: This is the final major content update, though if there are issues I’ll still fix them. I also haven’t forgotten I wanted to vectorize the writing. It’s still on the radar. But content-wise, I think that is about all I can put in. 

Also, I added the ISS. For scale. It’s on top, with a yellow frame so it’s relatively easy to find.

Lots of errors fixed, lots of new ships too. Well, off for now, but I’ll be replying in the comments more or less regularily. 

This is probably at least for the forseseeable future the last round of adding ships. I have pretty much all I wanted now (excepting some old scifi, and many Anime series, which tend to not have many usable images). Lots of new content.

And that’s it for now. Enjoy the new-and-improved chart! 

This is one of the visual designs that clearly demonstrates why visuals can be much more effective than text descriptions. Especially when it comes to comparing size and scale. You just don’t comprehend the scope when someone tells you that the Star Wars Executor Class Super Star Destroyer is 19,000 meters long. You have to see it in comparison to something you already know.

The images on DeviantArt are high enough in resolution, that you can download and print it out as a poster yourself to hang on your wall. The full-size poster resolution is 4,268 x 5,690 pixels. Most of the ships are clustered by franchise (Star Wars, Star Trek, Halo, Eve, Warhammer, etc.). As a reality check, the International Space Station (ISS) is included for reference.

Found on Geyser of Awesome, Nerd Approved and Nerdist

Friday
Dec192014

The World's Loudest Noises - An Audio Infographic

 

 

Loud noises can be unpleasant. But how loud is too loud? The World’s Loudest Noises is an interactive infographic from Air Conditioning Company that explains the loudest noises in the world and how much damage they could do to your ears. So next time your air conditioning kicks on and you feel like complaining… Just remember, there is always something louder.

Turn your volume down before you start clicking!

Our initial attempt to explain how loud air conditioners are via an internet page was, in our opinion, a minor disaster.

An indisputable fact is that 99.999% of us haven’t got a clue what a decibel either sounds like or looks like! Let’s be honest, we didn’t even know ourselves precisely what a decibel was!

So we started to delve into the dark world of decibels to make the blinking things easier to understand. We initially wanted to create an amazingly informative infographic to best explain how loud our air conditioners are. However, we didn’t know where the ‘cut-off’ point should have been and we got somewhat carried away until we found the worlds loudest noise!

Despite all of our in-depth research, noise levels and decibels are still controversial and subjective. We found so many different accounts of how loud the same sound was. Indeed, most of our research showed that an aeroplane taking off is louder than a spaceship launch and surely this cannot be the case. Further investigation revealed that people forget to mention how far away they were when actually measuring the sounds. Also, based in London, we don’t live close enough to Cape Canaveral to run around waving our own decibel meter…..

Have some fun clicking around on our all-singing-and-dancing infographic below. Those of you who wish for a more academic approach can scroll to the bottom to check out our initial research.

An audio infographic! This is a new way to create an interactive infographic. Each of the sounds listed in the infographic above is clickable to play an audio sample of each noise. It’s more fun and entertaining than actually representing the decibels because there’s no way your computer speakers (or your mobile phone speakers) can reproduce some of the decibel levels shown here. Plus you have volume control.

I’m really disappointed that the vertical scale is out of proportion. The sounds should be accurately placed along the decibel scale, not just evenly spaced no matter what the values are. That’s just poor data visualization.

There’s a sharing issue that happens with an interactive infographic like this one. I was bale to get the embed code from the publisher, so all of the click-to-play sounds should work here on Cool Infographics as well. However, most people that share the infographic will only grab the JPG image file or click the sharing buttons, and that loses all of the interactivity included in the code. The sounds also don’t work on many iOS and mobile devices.

What other infographic topics could include sounds?

Thanks to David for sending in the link!

Wednesday
Oct152014

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel infographic

When we talk about outer space, we have a tendency to use comparisons that are not necessarily true, but still represent large distances. However, If the Moon Were 1 Pixel infographic created by Josh Worth uses pixels to accurately measure out the solar system. Explore the full interactive design here!

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel infographic

Picture from mic.com

I was talking about the planets with my 5-year-old daughter the other day. I was trying to explain how taking a summer vacation to Mars in the future will be a much bigger undertaking than a trip to Palm Springs (though equally as hot). I kept trying to describe the distance using metaphors like “if the earth was the size of a golf ball, then Mars would be across the soccer field” etc., but I realized I didn’t really know much about these distances, besides the fact that they were really large and hard to understand. Pictures in books, planetarium models, even telescopes are pretty misleading when it comes to judging just how big the universe can be. Are we doing ourselves a disservice by ignoring all the emptiness?

So I thought I would see if a computer screen could help make a map of a solar system that’s a bit more accurate (while teaching myself a few things about javascript, SVGs and viewports along the way).

Not that pixels are any better at representing scale than golfballs, but they’re our main way of interpreting most information these days, so why not the solar system?

I love this animated scale representation of the solar system. Just to fit on the same page, we usually see all of the planets close together in posters and text books. But in the long run, we lose grasp of how much empty space is truly around us.

Found on Mic.com

Wednesday
May142014

The Drone Survival Guide

Drone Survival Guide infographic poster

The Drone Survival Guide is a poster and online infographic that uses proportionally sized silhouettes of the most common UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).  Designed by Ruben Pater, a self-employed artist/graphic designer from the Netherlands, the poster is available for download as a PDF.

Posters printed on aluminum reflective Chromolux ALU-E mirrored paper are available from the site for €10, which included worldwide shipping.

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY BIRDWATCHING

Our ancestors could spot natural predators from far by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? Drones are remote-controlled planes that can be used for anything from surveillance and deadly force, to rescue operations and scientific research. Most drones are used today by military powers for remote-controlled surveillance and attack, and their numbers are growing. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicted in 2012 that within 20 years there could be as many as 30.000 drones flying over U.S. Soil alone. As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. This survival guide is an attempt to familiarise ourselves and future generations, with a changing technological environment.

This document contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species used today and in the near future. Each indicating nationality and whether they are used for surveillance only or for deadly force. All drones are drawn in scale for size indication. From the smallest consumer drones measuring less than 1 meter, up to the Global Hawk measuring 39,9 meter in length. 

Concept and design by Ruben Pater. Want to know more about the motivation behind this project? Read the FAQ.

The poster is also being publicized in conjunction with the Drone Salon seminar coming up on May 23, 2014.

The drone salon aims to provide a multidisciplinary overview of challenges, opportunities and speculations on future transitions caused by the use of drone technology both in the battlefield and in the civic realm. This seminar, punctuated by demonstrations and presentations, will consist of five conversations between Malkit Shoshan, Ethel Baraona Pohl and experts in the field: lawyers, activists, civic and military drone operators, artists, novelists and designers. The conversations will bring together multiple views, examples and projects on the spatial effects of the implementation of drones in war and in peace time. The seminar is part of the ‘Drones and Honeycombs’ project and one of a series of public events on the topic of drones organised in collaboration with Studio-X, Columbia University, DPR-Barcelona, The Center for the study of the Drone in NYC and Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam.

The design is actually very similar to the SciFi Starship Comparison Chart, but on a much smaller scale.  Many people in Ruben’s audience have sent in translations for the text included in the poster, so he has posted the text in at least 32 different languages.  I would like to see those translations offered as full versions of the poster, instead of the text only, but I understand that takes a lot of work.

I’m fascinated by drones, and I own and fly one of the AR Parrot Drones you see in the bottom right corner of the poster.

Thanks to Ethel Baraona Pohl for posting on Facebook!

 

 

Tuesday
May062014

An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons

An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons infographic

A fantastic size comparison chart, An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons infographic was published by The Daily Dot, and designed by Max Fleishman and Fernando Alfonso III.

George R.R. Martin, whose A Song of Ice and Fire novels are the basis for Game of Thrones, is currently writing a companion guide to the books, called A World of Ice and Fire. He’s recently published an extract of this guide on his blog, chronicling the history of the Targaryen invasion of Westeros, which took place several hundred years before the events of the books and the show. 

It’s got some badass dragon art, too. You can see Aegon the Conqueror standing astride his dragon mount, Balerion, the “Black Dread.” Turns out these dragons get really freaking big.

But seeing this picture got us thinking. Just how big is this dragon, and how does this bode for Daenerys’s own dragons? And how does it measure up to other famous fictional fire-breathers?

A great data visualization, but it’s missing some elements of a good sharable infographic.  Where it comes up short is that the infographic will be often shared without the rest of the text article originally published on The Daily Dot.  It needs to be able to stand independently, so the infographic image file itself should include the following:

  • A title
  • A short description of information included
  • Credit the designers
  • The URL back to the original article
  • Data sources?
  • A copyright?

I love that they also published a revised version that fits in vertical blog layouts better:

An Illustrated Guide to the Biggest Dragons vertical infographic

Found on Geekologie and Flowing Data

Friday
May022014

The Deadliest Animal in the World

The Deadliest Animal in the World is an infographic posted by Bill Gates on his blog as part of Mosquito Week.

What would you say is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Sharks? Snakes? Humans?

Of course the answer depends on how you define dangerous. Personally I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw Jaws. But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.

When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. Take a look:

Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people, but if there’s a TV channel that features Mosquito Week, I haven’t heard about it.

This infographic does a number of things right from a design perspective, but the major point is that as humans we see the two-dimensional area of objects as representing the values.  This design uses both the width and height of the rectangles to visualize the scale of deaths caused by the various animals.

Sometimes it might be too subtle.  For example, the width is the same for the rectangles for tapeworms and crocodiles, but the height of the tapeworm box has twice the height to represent the value correctly.

The other thing it does well is to tell one story really well.  There’s isn’t any extraneous information like geographic locations or animal populations.  The infographic focuses on communicating one set of data.

Because the infographic will be shared online without the rest of the article, there are three piece of information that are missing from this design:

  1. The Gates Notes logo, or some type of identification of who published the infographic
  2. A copyright or Creative Commons license state to clearly identify the rights for people sharing the infographic
  3. The URL of the article where readers can find the original, full-size infographic and the associated text.

Thanks to Peter for recommending the link!

Monday
Apr142014

The Depth of the Problem

The Depth of the Problem infographic

The Depth of the Problem infographic from The Washington Post illustrates just how difficult it is to find and retrieve the black boxes from aircrafts when they go into the ocean. This infographic uses visuals of the tallest buildings inverted to help illustrate the depth, as well as other well known objects that have sunk into the ocean.

After an Australian vessel, Ocean Shield, again detected deep-sea signals consistent with those from an airplane’s black box, the official leading a multination search expressed hope Wednesday that crews will begin to find wreckage of a missing Malaysian airliner “within a matter of days.”“I believe we’re searching in the right area,” Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said.

I know some people don’t like the really long infographics, but in this case the extra long design is the key message the design is trying to communicate to the readers.  I love this type of design, because it makes the challenge of the ocean depth so easily understood.

The JPG image file itself needs to be better treated as a stand-alone infographic.  This image was part of a text article, but will be shared in social media without the rest of the article text.  It should have it’s own title and footer information like data sources, copyright, the Washington Post logo and the URL to find the original article.