Information is Beautiful Activity

In his TED presentation David McCandless talks about his career as a “data detective” and shows some of the infographics he has produced.  He offers the metaphor “data is the new soil” as a modification of “data is the new oil.”  He also describes data visualization as a “form of knowledge compression” and says that “design is about solving problems and providing elegant solutions.”  Consider the infographics that McCandless shared in his TED talk and describe how he uses them to support these statements.


Tools for Analyzing Graphs Activity

Apply the set of guides/rules you were assigned to the infographics on the handouts for the first two group activities.  Find two that “score” well using your guide and two that don’t and describe why you rate them that way.  Which factors are most important for creating an effective infographic?  Explain your answer.  In your post make sure to indicate which of the four guides you used: #1 (from Seeing Through Statistics, by Jessica Utts), #2 (from The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward Tufte), #3 (from Graphing Data, by Gary Henry), or #4 (from Visual Literacy, by Marcia Weaver)

Families of Graphs Activity

For each of the graphs determine to which family the graph belongs.  Explain why you think it belongs in that family.  Do you think the graph is effective?  Explain why.

Visual Communication Activity

Effective visual communication involves two key components – data visualization and visual literacy.  Data visualization is the form chosen to convey the “information.”  Visual literacy is the abiltiy to interpret and understand the information in the graphic – and is a skill that both the presenter and viewer need to possess.  For the graphics presented in class determine what the data is that is being presented and what visual literacy skills are need to read the graphic.  Try to summarize what “data” is and what visual literacy skills are.


If information is power then infographics are the new power tools.