Blog Break and Infographics in the Media

After slogging my way through the summer while all my colleagues took leave I’m about to take 3 weeks off myself to sort some things at home and holiday abroad. I haven’t been posting much because of trying to kick a few projects into shape before leaving them for a while. I’ll be back 2nd week of December.

I’ll leave you with a fascinating set of videos I’ve found by Geoff McGee for a fellowship he completed at Stanford University. Its about data visualisation as a story telling medium and focusses on graphics in the media. What’s interesting about it is the same problems I’ve noticed in using neo-geo tools in education and outreach come up in their topic area. Points that particularly resonate with me:
  • Martini Glass Presentation: The importance of an introduction, context setting and explanation of what you can ‘do’ with an interactive web graphic or complex print graphic (section III: Telling Data Stories). Without this, your creation is just a set of pretty colours to the user. The Martini glass stem represents the video clip slide presentation introduction and the triangular glass represents the freedom of the user to explore the graphic on their own.
  • Attractive Does Not = Effective: A beautiful looking stream graphic showing box office results for movies with time is discussed in part IV, various commentators point out that it grabs attention wonderfully but then is difficult to interpret what it shows.