About

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

Search the Cool Infographics site

Custom Search

 

Subscriptions:

 

Feedburner

The Cool Infographics® Gallery:

How to add the
Cool Infographics button to your:

Cool Infographics iOS icon

- iPhone
- iPad
- iPod Touch

 

Read on Flipboard for iPad and iPhone

Featured in the Tech & Science category

Flipboard icon

Twitter Feed
From the Bookstore

Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Google Insights

Entries in scale (142)

Friday
Jun292012

The Massive Challenge of Search Engine Complexity

Search Engine Complexity Infographic
Courtesy Stone Temple Consulting

The complexity of generating Search results online is HUGE.  The What’s So Hard About Search? infographic from SEO expert Eric Enge at Stone Temple Consulting takes a look at the massive numbers involved with indexing and searching the Web.

Building a search engine is a very complex task. I often find myself trying to justify to people why it is that search engines can’t understand their site. They seem fixated on believing that a search engine should understand it if a human can understand it. The short answer is that with an infinite amount of time the search engine could, but the scale of the Internet makes it oh so VERY hard.

The infographic below tries to give you some sense of the scale of the problem. Please note that a few numbers are hard to truly pin down, but I pulled them from the best sources I could. For example, no one really knows how many pages there are on the web, though Majestic SEO is aware of 3.7 trillion (the number I used) or the average web page size.

Regardless, the message is the same either way. The web is a really complex place!

Designed by InfoNewt, the design gathers data from a number of different sources to put together the picture of complexity.  Combining the number of web pages, the average number of links on each web page, the amount of data online and the number of searches every minute, you begin to understand the scale of the challenge search engines face.

This design takes a different approach by citing each data source along with it’s visualization instead of gathering them all at the bottom.  I think it works well with this many different data sources, and is easier for the readers to understand where each part of the data comes from.  All of the key elements are included at the bottom: copyright, brand logo and the URL to the infographic landing page so readers can always find the original (even when blogs repost it without linking or using the embed code).

I just have to say “Cheers!” to the developer teams that tackle this problem every day.  The scope of this challenge will only get bigger in the future!

Thanks to Eric and the team at Stone Temple for being great to work with!

Tuesday
May152012

Ingeniously Charting The Horrifying Power of Today's Nuclear Bombs

Ingeniously Charting The Horrifying Power of Today's Nuclear Bombs

 

 

Anyone remember what color the “tons” were on the infographic?  The Ingeniously Charting The Horrifying Power of Today’s Nuclear Bombs infographic by Maximilian Bode (posted on fastcodesign.com) puts the power of the Tsar bomb into painful perspective (but seriously my fingers hurt from scrolling). 

A simple, but great design that puts some truly huge numbers into scale for the reader to understand.

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
Feb222012

Tea & Biscuit Dunking Guide

The Tea and Biscuit infographic from Green Hat Design in the UK shows avid dunkers of biscuits the proper timing to keep their favorite snacks in the tea or coffee to conquer floppage and avoid the disappointment of contamination!  Also available as a high-resolution PDF.

This biscuit infographic is based on 8 of our favourite UK brands which helps us (and others) to get the best out of his (or her) biccy when dunking it in hot tea or coffee, while at the same time assisting the user to avoid… floppage. That unfortunate moment that the biscuit suddenly gives way and contaminates your beverage. Nasty. We feel many could actually benefit from such details. I know it has changed my life.

This one is a fun topic.  Apparently the biscuits in the UK are so hard you have to dunk them to eat them…  :)

The radial design works well to show three values for each biscuit, and is easy for the reader to compare them.  The illustrations work well, even though readers in the U.S. (myself included) won’t recognize any of the biscuits.

A couple things are missing from a Marketing Infographic design perspective.  It needs a title!  I made up the “Tea & Biscuit Dunking Guide” because it didn’t have a good title of its own.  There should be some type of license statement, and in this case I would suggest Creative Commons.

The PDF file is hosted on the Green Hat Design site, but the infographic isn’t displayed anywhere.  t’sI hard to share a PDF compared to how easy it is to share an image file online.  It REALLY needs it’s own official landing page on the Green Hat Design site to display the infographic, and be the one place you want everyone else (like this blog) to link to.  They had uploaded it to visual.ly, and I linked to it there, but that shouldn’t be the primary landing page if they want to drive traffic to their site and awareness to their brand.

Thanks to Steve for sending in the infographic!

Tuesday
Nov292011

The Money Chart

The Money Chart from Randall Munroe’s webcomic xkcd.com is a huge poster showing the scope and scale of money flowing all over the world.  In a great move for transparency, the entire list of over 200 sources is also online.

You can view it through the online, zoomable viewer OR get the super high-resolution image file!  The 36”x24” printed poster version will be available starting in December for $15.00.

This is the poster version of comic #980, which is a guide to money. It started as a project to understand taxes and government spending, and turned into a rather extensive research project. With upwards of 200 sources and 150,000 tiny boxes, it’s best appreciated in poster form. The 36”x24” high-quality poster print allows you to stand back and, all at once, take in the entire world economy.

Each square represents one unit of the specific section it’s in.  One dollar, One million dollars, One trillion dollars, etc.  To provide some scale, each section is then visualized to scale in the next higher section.  Here’s the transition from dollars to thousands.

Found on Infosthetics, ChartPorn and FlowingData

Wednesday
Nov092011

SPAM: More than an Annoyance?

The SPAM: More than an Annoyance? infographic asks the question “Are there actual physical effects of email spam that impact the environment?”  From WebpageFX.com, I like the simple, focused message in this design.

We discovered that a certain amount of Spam emails is actually the equivalent to the level of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions released from driving 3 feet.  Discover how far the number of 2010 spam emails can take you across the world!  You’ll be shocked!  We also highlight the nations most responsible for the furthered adverse impact of Spam’s GHG emissions on our environment.  Our hope is that awareness may create change.  And a great start to doing your part is by personally installing a spam filter on you’re own email account, forwarding spam emails to spam@uce.gov, as well as informing others!

There are a handful of statistics in the infographic that fall into the lazy-designer “large font” style of visualization.  These could have easy been visualized to make the design better.  I do like the shaped clouds to indicate countries and breaking down the different actions related to spam, and relating them to the total carbon footprint.

Although I like the overall design, it is missing some key items.  Data sources?  URL?  WebpageFX’s logo?  License information?

Thanks to Trevin for sending in the link!

Friday
Nov042011

Death & Taxes 2012 (Q&A with Jess Bachman) - Poster Giveaway! #deathandtaxes

The new 2012 Death & Taxes poster has been released, and this year it’s better than ever.  Designed by Jess Bachman (ByJess.net) this poster visualizes the 2012 proposed U.S. Federal Budget.  The Death & Taxes poster is one of the best infographics I’ve ever seen, and it gets better every year.

Death and Taxes” is a large representational graph and poster of the federal budget. It contains over 500 programs and departments and almost every program that receives over 200 million dollars annually. The data is straight from the president’s 2012 budget request and will be debated, amended, and approved by Congress to begin the fiscal year. All of the item circles are proportional in size to their funding levels for visual comparison and the percentage change from both 2012 and 2002 is included so you can spot trends.

PURCHASE: This year, Jess also had the opportunity to partner with Seth Godin and his Domino Project to make the full-size 24” x 36” poster available for purchase through Amazon.  Currently, you can purchase a copy of the poster for $19.99.  Also, check out Jess’s video introduction on the Amazon page.

POSTER GIVEAWAY: Cool Infographics is giving away one FREE copy of the poster.  The free poster will go to one randomly chosen person that tweets a link to this blog post on Twitter and includes the hashtag: #deathandtaxes.  I included the hashtag in the post title, so any retweets will be automatically eligible.  NOTE: you must also be following me on Twitter (@rtkrum) so that I can send you a direct message if you have won!

I will choose the winner at 12 noon (Central Time) on Friday, November 11, 2011 (11/11/11).  I will contact the winner, and order the poster from Amazon to be delivered to the winner.

INTERVIEW: Similar to last year, Jess was willing to answer some behind-the-scenes questions about this year’s poster:

Cool Infographics: What’s the most interesting thing you learned from the 2012 data?

Jess Bachman: Lots of reductions in the military side.  It’s mostly from the OCO war funding, but its interesting to see what actually is getting cut the most.  Mostly Army funding and RDT&E across the board.  I would think the OCO was mostly Operations and Procurement.

Cool Infographics:  Has you design process changed at all this year?  What software did you use to help dig through the data and create the design?

Jess Bachman:  Well this year I tried to work exclusively within the official spreadsheets, rather than pick out the numbers from the paper (PDF) budget.  I think it’s more accurate and easier to get totals.  Mainly just used excel and photoshop as always.

Cool Infographics:  When did the 2012 data become available, and how long did it take you create this year’s poster?

Jess Bachman:  It was supposed to be released in February but it was a month late.  I started moving on it at a full clip then got involved with Amazon/Godin and the timelines shifted quite a bit, so while I usually get the post out in April, it was released in September this year.

Cool Infographics:  How did working with Seth Godin and the Domino project come about?

Jess Bachman:  Seth just emailed me out of the blue.  We talked and it seemed like a no-brainer.

Cool Infographics:  How does working with Amazon and the Domino project change how you print and distribute the poster?

Jess Bachman:  Well previously my Mom did most of the shipper and I also had a 3rd party do fulfillment and shipping.  It’s a rather time consuming and frustrating process.  Sending out orders, doing customer support, paying vendors, etc.  Now it’s all in Amazon’s hands.  They got it printed and of course are warehousing and shipping it too.  I’m quite glad as they do a much better job of shipping than I do.  Of course they also take their cut of the profits.  As for Domino, they have their own distribution channels and lists and also work closely with Amazon to make sure the product page is well presented too.  This year it reached #18 on the best sellers list.  I guess that makes me a best selling author.  I don’t think I could have accomplished that without Domino/Amazon.

Cool Infographics:  I see you made a video to include on the Amazon page, how was that experience?

Jess Bachman:  Seth told me they needed a video ASAP so I just made one that afternoon.  I suppose I would put more effort into it next year but videos help sell products and i think it does a good job of that.

Cool Infographics:  Any new design features added to the poster this year?

Jess Bachman:  I wanted to include some non-governmental items in the poster this year for reference.  They are in the bottom left and include things like the size of the video game industry, bill gate’s net worth and other such things.  When talking about billions of dollars all the time, sometimes you need to get out of government-mode to put those figures into further context.

Cool Infographics:  The past posters have been shared very heavily in social media, which social sharing sites have you found most successful?

Jess Bachman:  Well, Digg has traditionally been a big asset, but then Digg fell apart so I no longer pay attention to it.  In general, I have abandoned the traditional accelerants like Digg, reddit, etc. and instead focus on my network of bloggers and influencers. Combine that with Facebook liking and you can really spread something.

Cool Infographics:  Last year we talked about some favorite places that have the poster on display.  Any new ones this year?

Jess Bachman:  Well, with a larger audience and hopefully more sales, the poster will be everywhere.  Unfortunately, I get lots of requests for discounts for schools with tight budgets, but I have no control over price anymore.  I can say that an iOS app is in development so that will be interesting.  My ultimate goal is to get on the Daily Show to talk about the poster in April.  People constantly tell me I need to be on there, and I’m a huge fan, so I figure I have a good shot, just need to nag the right people.

You can follow Jess on Twitter (@mibi)

Here you can see the poster up close with the Closr.it zooming viewer.  I believe this is Flash based, so it may not work on iDevices.

 

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!

Tuesday
Sep202011

The Internet of Things

 

Intel has designed a large infographic, The Internet of Things that explores the growing number of devices connected to the Internet since 1960 through predictions up to 2020.  (NOT to be confused with The Internet of Things infographic released by Cisco earlier this year with the same name)  High-Resolution PDF version, additional information and the data files are available here.

The Internet is evolving, again. Every day, billions of people connect to the Internet through billions of devices – PCs, smartphones and TVs to name just a few. While the PC remains at the centre of this evolution, Internet connectivity is now embedded into cars, fitness equipment, factory robots and vending machines. This smarter, connected world has the potential to change how we live.

We’re entering a new phase of Internet evolution. It is expanding much more rapidly than it has done in the last decade. Increasing numbers of everyday appliances are connecting to the Internet, their environment and to each other. Cars, fitness equipment, factory robots, retail signage and vending machines are becoming ‘smart’ thanks to tiny embedded computer processors and sensors, just like those in your laptop or mobile phone.

I have mixed feelings about this one.  It’s visually attractive, and would make a really nice printed poster.  The data is valuable and interesting, apparently gathered from a large number of disparate sources, but the URL listed at the bottom to view the sources didn’t work for me.

However, all of the colored lines aren’t actually connecting any events or actually combining to create a visualization of the values on the left side of the page.  While it visually implies the growing connections to the Internet and complexity, it doesn’t have any connection to the actual data.

I like the circle diagram at the bottom of the growing millions of PCs sold every day, but the “80% of of all PCs shipped today have Intel Inside” turned a fun, informative infographic into an ad and could turn off some readers.

Thanks to Emma for sending in the link!

Monday
Aug082011

Visualizing the U.S. Debt

The U.S. Debt Visualized is a great visualization of scale, and can be found at usdebt.kleptocracy.us, where you start with a single $100 bill, and start stacking them in orders of magnitude.  Stack them on pallets, start stacking the pallets and show them in comparison to other real-world items.

$114,500,000,000,000. - US unfunded liabilities
To the right you can see the pillar of cold hard $100 bills that dwarfs the
WTC & Empire State Building - both at one point world’s tallest buildings.
If you look carefully you can see the Statue of Liberty.

Numbers this large become too big to truly comprehend to many people, and I love visualizations like this one that put the unbelievable high numbers into context and scale.  Here’s one trillion dollars:

A visualization like this has a natural bias.  Whatever object the designer chooses to show in relation to the stack of bills can make the pile appear large or small in comparison.  In this example, the piles of money are truly staggering, but that’s all the reader can walk away with.  In it’s defense, this visualization isn’t trying to propose a solution, it’s just trying to make the viewer understand how big the number is.

Found on SeeWhatYouMean, VizWorld, Business Insider and Information Aesthetics.