Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Information is beautiful - New Edition - by David McCandeless (Harper Collins, $44.99)

"Lies, lies and damn statistics".  Indeed.  Take a pause.  This book offers up both a learning tool and a cerebal pair of spectacles in which to re-visualise data.  In our lives we are bombarded by facts, fgures and data that means nothing and everything to us.  But of course, no matter what that data is, it's acuracy or its origin that data tells a story.  So if a picture tells a story of over a 1000 words in a simple line or with a splash of coulor then imagine that a whole data set could produce!  And for any one that believes that data is all boring - also, think again.   McCandless' book (originally published a few years ago and updated for the internet age) presents data in very simple ways.  In a sense the images he uses to present the data tell the story.  They are so well done that the invitation to interpret is very narrow but the equal invite to discuss is very large.  Take, for example the statistics about refugees and imigrants.  the format appears too simple - like something used for a magazine such as Time.  But the data shows the integrity and invites deeper analysis.  There are many examples in here, which McCandless doesn't actually create himself, but instead may compile, reproduce or reimage.  I'd love to know what tools he uses.

Also have a flip through the Amazon preview: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007294662/thegooddrugsg-21

McCandless also has a website, as they all do to support and celebrate the good use and presentation of quality data - see http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/

And on the site you can find a number of upcoming projects such as
The LOTR Project by Emil Johanssen. Statistics on the population of Middle Earth. Number of women. Average life span. Age distribution. Population demographics. Sooth! I thought was geeky…

    Data can be fun  
  Also he has TED talks, worth checking out -

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