Infographics serve to simplify the communication of complexity by showing shapes, relationships, metaphors, hues, flows and symbols to represent values. A visually clean and attractive layout is common. We are more quickly able to compare visual values such as areas than numbers. Numbers and words require a more steps: deciphering (reading), translating to meaning and finally absorption. Visual symbols are directly absorbed.
If you’ve never read How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier, now is the time. Since reading this book I have kept an eye out for examples of lying maps and charts. I am often rewarded with examples such as this:
I don’t read magazines. I enjoy the Weekly Guardian newspaper and surf many websites for news. In reading the American ‘bon appétit’ cooking magazine that Julia gifted me for Christmas I have rediscovered that magazines have too much advertisement. Not only are there many explicit ads, there are ads masquerading as columns, and then there are the insidious ads where the magazine is blatantly pushing brand name items in their columns.
While Google provides analytical tools such as Google trends, it is possible to make deductions from the number of hits a search gets. Things people are more interested in will have more results. For some reason I began thinking about using Google hits to see if people have greater pain on their left or right body part. I opened a spreadsheet and began doing Google searches for ‘my [left/right] [body part] hurts’ for many body parts.