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

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Entries in visual (308)

Tuesday
Aug232011

The Art and Science of S'mores

 

I love this cool infographic from REI, The Art and Science of S’mores

 A group of REI sweet tooths has put together what is perhaps the definitive infographic on s’mores. Check it out, and share it with your camping buddies. We’re betting The Art and Science of S’mores will make your next campground outing just that much more interesting.

This is a fantastic example of designing an infographic to be informative about a fun, interesting subject related to your brand.  Very shareable in social media channels, and it doesn’t feel like an REI ad.  You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to enjoy the topic either, so the audience is a very wide array of people.  Even my 11 year old son loved it!

Found on Visual News.

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.

 

Monday
Aug152011

The Crayon-Bow, Crayola Color Chart updated

I’m not sure how I missed this, but the designer know as Velociraptor has updated his original Crayola Color Timeline that I posted about last year, into the the new Crayon-Bow (half rainbow - half rising sun).

The original was a square, straightforward representation, but the colors in the later years were shown in very small slices are hard to see.

A number of other visual layouts were tried, but the arc style visual not only allowed the colors from the later years to be easier to see, but the original eight colors pointing inwards look like the tips of brand new crayons as well.

I love the new version.  Found on Twitter: @printmag, @wired, @awaaza

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.

Wednesday
Jul272011

The VIZoSPHERE - Visualizing DataViz People on Twitter

From Moritz Stefaner on Visualizing.org, comes the VIZoSPHERE project (Click the image to see the high-resolution image viewer).  Using GePhi, Moritz started with 18 seed accounts on Twitter, and then mapped 1,645 of the connected, networked accounts that relate to data visualization.  Bubble size in this visualization shows how many followers each account has from within this DataViz pool of users.

This map shows 1645 twitter accounts related to the topic of information visualization. The accounts were determined as follows: For a subjective selection of “seed accounts”[1], the twitter API was queried for followers and friends. In order to be included into the map, a user account needed to have at least 5 links (i.e. follow or being followed) to one of these accounts. The size of the network nodes indicates the number of followers within this network.

 

[1] The seed accounts were; @moritz_stefaner, @datavis, @infosthetics, @wiederkehr, @FILWD, @janwillemtulp, @visualisingdata, @jcukier, @mccandelish, @flowingdata, @mslima, @blprnt, @pitchinteractiv, @bestiario140, @eagereyes, @feltron, @stamen, @thewhyaxis

The zooming interface is crucial to view such a highly-detailed visualization and be able to read any of the nodes.  I was about to find my own Twitter account (@rtkrum), but it would be nice if Moritz would also provide a listing of the Twitter accounts or some way to search the map.

Great job Moritz!

Found on FlowingData and Robin Richards (@ripetungi) on Twitter.

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
Jul072011

Bye Bye Space Shuttle infographic

I really like An Uncertain Future, a tribute infographic for the Space Shuttle program’s last launch of Atlantis scheduled for Friday.

Designed by for the Washington Post

Last week I published what could be my very last Space Shuttle infographic. As a space exploration enthusiast and a professional visual artist, NASA’s spacecraft will be sorely missed. Over the years, the Shuttle was the focal point in many of the most fun projects I’ve been involved, directly or indirectly.

I really like the arc timeline.  Not only is it a different design than you usually see, but it also indirectly implies the flight paths of the shuttles up into space and back down to Earth.

Found on Visual Loop

Friday
Jul012011

Client Infographic: Waste in the Texas Energy Market

Waste in the Texas Energy Market from ChooseEnergy.com is a new infographic by InfoNewt and designer Jeremy Yingling.  This one tells the story of how much money is NOT being saved by households that don’t take advantage of lower pricing since Texas has a deregulated electricity market.

As the economy struggles to recover and households continue to cut back on spending, one of the easiest ways to save money might just be in your electric bill. In these tough economic times, consumers realize the importance of watching how every penny is spent. Today we look at the “Waste in the Texas Energy Market” and how pennies can certainly add up quickly to improve consumer finances.

Following the Infographic Release Strategy from InfoNewt, ChooseEnergy also did a great job setting up a dedicated landing page and custom URL for the infographic.  All of their links then drive traffic to this single page.  So the company blog post, Twitter feed and Facebook posts provide additional descriptions and links to this landing page.

While highlighting the fact that the Texas energy market is the 11th largest in the world, the infographic also shows that 48% of the electricity consumed is from residential use.  So what’s the big deal?  On average Texas residents pay about 11.5 cents per kWh for their home electric use when they could be paying 8.5 cents per kWh.   Doesn’t sound like much does it?  Well, those 3 pennies can add up fast and they add up to $3.7 billion for the Texas consumer market.

You can follow ChooseEnergy on Twitter at @texas_electric

Monday
Jun062011

DataVis Contest from Postgrad and David McCandless

Postgrad.com is sponsoring a data visualization contest using data gathered by David McCandless.  There’s a brand new iPad2 for the winner, and the top 3 will receive signed copies of ‘Information is Beautiful’ by David McCandless.

 

It Started With A Tweet…

Data journalist and information designer, David McCandless recently gathered data revealing surprisingly low numbers of black students accepted into Oxford and Cambridge.  However, despite being genuinely passionate about the data, David didn’t have time to visualise it himself.  So he posted the following message on Twitter…

We contacted David and offered to put up a prize as a competition for the best visualisation of this data. To our delight, David accepted our offer.

Like David, we feel strongly that this data should be made visible to many. And we’re challenging you to do it.

UPDATE:  Although the initial findings related to the number of black students, there’s a lot of information within the datasets about the ethnic heritage, and socioeconomic background of students attending different institutions.  You are free to pick out whatever story you wish and present it in a visual format.

Enter Now To Win…

It’s easy to enter the competition and you could win:

  • Recognition from our panel of industry experts in journalism, data visualisation and design
  • Your name and work promoted across the web
  • A proud and noteworthy addition to your portfolio, website or CV
  • A full post profiling you and your work, and the design process you followed
  • A signed copy of Information is Beautiful by David McCandless
  • A brand new iPad2

Expert Judges From The BBC, .net Magazine And More…

Assisting David in the judging, we are thrilled to have judges from the BBC, .net Magazine, Tableau Software, Visualising Data, and marketing agency 97th Floor.

The judges will consider a range of criteria including design, effective visualisation, and presentation of the story.

  • Andy Kirk, Founder, Visualising Data Ltd
  • Chris Bennett, President, 97th Floor
  • David McCandless, Author, Information is Beautiful
  • Elissa Fink, VP Marketing, Tableau Software
  • Katherine Mann, Director, Postgrad.com
  • Rob Bowen, Art Editor, .net Magazine
  • Russell Smith, Editorial Development, BBC News

It’s An Open Brief

The competition is based on the data collected by David, and other sources listed within the dataset.  However, you are free to mashup the data with any other source you wish, provided the sources are publicly available and cited in your entry to the competition. 

Your visualisation can be static, moving or interactive

You can include as little or as much text as you like

It can be as simple as a single chart or a full-blown infographic

You’ve A Good Chance of Winning…

People are often put off entering competitions assuming there will be hundreds of entrants. In reality, this is rarely the case. Simply entering really could put you in the running for a prize. 

There’s a brand new iPad2 for the winner. And the top 3 will receive signed copies of ‘Information is Beautiful’ by David McCandless.

Entries from amateurs and newbies are very much welcome. We’d love to see what you come up with.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. A simple yet effective piece of visualisation could be just the ticket.

And all highly recommended pieces, will receive recognition by our expert panel alongside the winners when results are announced.

Remember The Important Stuff

The competition rules are posted here.

You can grab the data here (be sure to check out the other sources listed within it).

To enter the competition, simply email your visualisation as a jpeg attachment to mark.johnstone@postgradsolutions.com and include your Full Name and the best email address to reach you on. As an alternative to sending your entry as an attachment, you are welcome to post your entry on your own site, and simply send us the link. In fact, we’d love it if you did that.

If your entry is interactive or moving, you will have to publish it on a separate site (your own site is preferable but social sites like YouTube are perfectly acceptable). Just remember to send us the link.

The competition closes at 11pm GMT on Monday 20th June 2011.

Winners will be announced by Monday 4th July 2011.

The Datasets

You can find the data collected by David McCandless here.

You may also find the following resources useful:

Guardian DataBlog post on Oxbridge Elitism

UCAS Annual Datasets

And Remember, the Competition Closes at 11pm GMT on Monday 20th June 2011.

 

 

Wednesday
Jun012011

Artfully visualizing our humanity: Aaron Koblin's TEDTalk 

In March 2011, Aaron Koblin, Creative Director of Google’s Data Arts team, gave a good TEDTalk presentation, Artfully Visualizing our Humanity, looking at a number of his visualization projects, and how visualizing data is becoming our interface to large datasets.

Artist Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data — and at times vast numbers of people — and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the “Wilderness Downtown” video that customizes for the user, his works brilliantly explore how modern technology can make us more human.

Found on FlowingData.com and Infosthetics.com

The video is now also available on YouTube: