Monday, April 28, 2014

why I disdain most infographics

Too many offenses to sensible data visualization to list. It's unfortunate, too, because there are some compelling stats lost in the cartoony graphics.

Gates Foundation Inventions


  1. The word "infographic" used to mean something different than that, as I explained here:

    We need to bring it back to its original meaning

  2. I totally agree, Alberto! Thanks for linking to your post. Too commonly, people are referring to graphics like this one when they think of infographics.

    Also, I was reminded by your comment that you and I both pontificated on the future of infographics with related thoughts last year in this article:

  3. Wow! Bill's tie has a lot of disease on it! :-)

    I agree with you two as well. Maybe we can find a way to re-purpose these into something useful. Similar to how CDs now make good drink coasters... j/k

  4. Agree the Gates example is a poorly rendered imitation of a useful info graphic. What is with poor old Bill and gaudy graphics ?

    Whereas I cam across this last week which does brilliant job of rendering a very wide dataset into an instantly digestible graphic and does so with 'Tuftian' like restraint in the colour pallet which only enhances the communication

    It's an example from this book (I have not read it yet)

  5. Cole, I'd like to assure you that none of the BMGF folks who attended your Seattle workshop had anything to do with creating this! In fact, I'm 99% sure it was created outside the foundation.