Beautiful and thought-provoking infographics

by adamlewis

A couple weeks ago we tweeted a list by the KANTAR Information is Beautiful Awards of over 300 of the year’s best infographics and data-visualizations. Since then, we’ve been working our way through the list and thought we’d share a few of our personal favorites. Two of these are directly related to the work we do and one we just had to add because it was so elegant and powerful we couldn't help ourselves.

Wikipedia Worldview (WWV) It’s hard to imagine a cooler way to get an immediate sense for the vast amount of information currently available on Wikipedia. The WWV maps Wikipedia georeferences onto a 2-dimensional map of the world in real time. While the overall effect is like looking at nighttime satellite photos of earth—with clusters of light forming around major urban centers—the WWV offers much more than a photograph by allowing you to click on each location and to explore the information on Wikipedia that has been linked to each georeference. Add to that the ability to analyze the language-based distribution of the information, and you can spend hours with this constantly evolving infographic.

U.S. Gun Deaths in 2013 All politics aside, this interactive graphic is not only packed with data but is hauntingly beautiful. The simple design turns the individuals lost to gun violence into brightly colored shooting stars—they arc upward in orange threads that turn abruptly to grey at the moment the individual represented is killed. At first the stars launch slowly so that you can read the name and demographic data of the individual signified. The tragic amount of data, however, quickly forces the launch pace to accelerate until the many threads form an eery orange and gray wave in which individual threads are just barely distinguishable.

Online in 60 Seconds This one has been pretty well circulated but, if you missed it, it’s definitely worth a look. As the title suggests, this infographic captures “everything” that happens online during a 60 second span displaying it all in a neatly presented pie chart that mimics a clock face. Statistics such as 204 million emails sent, 571 new websites created, and 20 million photos viewed convey the richness and immense amount of activity that characterize the ever more complex online world. They also make your own online activity feel like a very small drop in a very large pond. It makes some of us wish we didn’t know our tweets were competing with 278,000 others sent out during the same minute… you should probably follow @thenetmonitor to make sure you don’t miss any of them. : )