Visualizing Data: Infographics and Sense Perception

Infographics are perhaps the new storytelling medium. They can take a lot of information and put it in a form that is fun and easily understood. Studying and experimenting with infographics is a perfect start to our new unit on SENSE PERCEPTION. Although we have 5 senses, a great deal of what we “know” comes from what we “see”.

“We now live in a world where information is potentially unlimited. Information is cheap, but meaning is expensive. Where is the meaning? Only human beings can tell you where it is. We’re extracting meaning from our minds and our own lives.”- George Dyson

“The purpose of Visualization…is INSIGHT…NOT pictures” – Ben Schneiderman at U. of Maryland

Why do Infographics Matter? – “your message is only as good as your ability to share it”…one designer comments that “TRANSPARENCY is the NEW BLACK”…it’s all about the open data


by Column Five Media



TOK -related ARTICLE: “When Data Struts Its Stuff – Read about the implications, benefits, and risks


Is “SEEING really BELIEVING”? Why do humans gravitate toward the visual and pictoral? Why is a “picture worth a thousand words”? Neurologists define this phenomenon as the “PICTORAL SUPERIORITY EFFECT”, claiming that our brains are actually hard-wired to remember things that are presented as or with images much more than mere text or speech. But we have to be war of “DATA-WASHING”, or the “selective and manipulated framing of information aimed at steering your understanding of it in a specific direction”. We need “GRAPHICS LITERACY”.

For the video “CHART WARS” please see this Brainpickings post:

Read this Wikipedia entry on the MISUSE OF STATS, which includes discarding unfaorable data, loaded questions, biased samples, overgeneralization, misreporting error, false causality, proof of the null hypothesis.


We will begin with a video series: “Journalism in the Age of Data“, put out by Stanford University, which has an excellent media program. (a collection of 8 short videos) 

“Data Visualization is here to stay…so we better all get on board’ 

Here’s an INFOGRAPHIC ABOUT INFOGRAPHICS to give you some background. It says the steps are:

1. IDEATION– what is an idea that will “blow up”?

2. IDEA SELECTION – finding that diamond in the rough

3. RESEARCH – getting the facts (legit and interesting!)

4. CONCEPTUAL VISUALIZATION – what will the art/design be like?



Finally, here’s the LIVEBINDER with everything you’d ever need to know about Infographics




Here is his TED talk:

He claims statistics is “the sexiest subject around”

and a similar VIDEO: BBC: POPULATION 7 BILLION (a must see!) If it doesn’t work, then see it on YouTube HERE


Google Street View Stop-Motion 


Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

In this 5 minute TED talk, a “creative technologist” demonstrates CYMATICS,  process for making soundwaves visible.


In this 6 minute TED talk, we are exposed to the “ALLOSPHERE” – a new way to see, hear, and interpret scientific data.



David McCandless is a leader in data visualization, and in his TED talk he suggests it is the best way to navigate the “information glut”



How can data visualization aid those in the medical field? In this TED talk, Swedish expert Anders Ynnerman describes virtual autopsies and all kinds of goodies!



Prepare to be wow’d! Alexander Tsiaras uses art and technology to visualize the unseen human.




DataArt – BBC Blurring the boundaries between art and information

3 Trends That Will Define the Future of Infographics

Quora answers: What are the Best Blogs about Data?

BBC Dimensions- How Big Really? (this is so cool!)

Information is Beautiful 

Hive Group


DID YOU KNOW...Many people are creating inforgraphics to use as CVs/Resumes? A company called helps.  This is an example from a friend:



llllllll    Above – an interesting combo of kinetic typography and infographics, set to film llllllllllllllll

“Visual Storytelling: A New Language for Data Overload” (has amazing examples) (prob the most cool site- with examples in “Explore”)

Social Media Stats Viz

Students and Social Media (a good one for you!)

Hardest Places to Survive on Earth

What words does CHINA censor?

Mapping Internet Names with TOKYO subway

What’s in a surname? (INTERACTIVE)

TasteBuds (by David McCandless)

Designer Toolkit (what are the most prized products?)

MUSIC VID: “Numbers in Action” by Wiley (infographic-inspired)

Big Data: Digital Deluge

Google vs. Facebook – on Security and Privacy

How Texting is Changing the World

Interpretation of Death in Different Cultures

Infographic about Tumblr

Just how Connected are College Students? (surprising!)

Obesity Worldwide

VIDEO: We are the 99%

1 YEAR of Infogrpaphics

TONS of Interesting Infographics as tweeted by @russelstarr

Students Through the Ages

Visual Storytelling (about the book, with examples)

Vive le Tweet! A map of Twitter’s languages

What are the Hardest Languages to Learn?

Where are you Guilty of Text Messaging?

Understanding Shakespeare with Visualization

INTERACTIVE: Choosing a College

Various “State of the World” infographics from Myriad

INTERACTIVE: U.S.A. Happiness factors

U.S. Mood Throughout the Day inferred from Twitter (WITH VIDEO)….and to find out how they did that, check this article on TWITTEROLOGY, the new social science

30 Top Infographics for Designers

GOOD infographics ( a bunch of them, posted by the site GOOD)

FastCompany- Infographic of the Day

55 Social Media Infographics

Science and Health-related Data Viz

Language, Arts, Entertainment Data Viz

History/Politics.Econ Data Viz

Hot Body Language

“Faces of the Dead” (made for our fallen heroes)



Using Vuvox and Photography (with a trusty Sharpie), Nichole created an amazing infographic on Revolutions throughout History


Oil’d from Chris Harmon on Vimeo.


iCharts – create interactive charts for free

MANYEYES (by IBM) – one of the most popular

TIPS in designing effective Infographics

Designer’s Inside Scoop on Data Viz

TIPS, TRICKS, RESOURCES for making your own

10 TIPS for Designing Infographics

How to make a Good Infographic

Google Public Data Explorer

Mrs. Burvall’s DIIGO list re: Infographics (about 23 links now)

Main TYPES of Infographics



1. Analyzing and Evaluating Infographics (and the Knowledge Issues related to data viz)

2. Remixing/Transforming Existing Inforgraphics

3. Creating original examples of Data Viz

Get inspired by watching THIS VIDEO about a famous graphic designer at work.