If you haven’t spent the last decade living in a cave then you will have witnessed the recent explosion in “infographics” that are overtaking every corner of the internet. This is partially due to rapid developments that have recently occurred in the field of data visualisation.
Today we see bog standard infographics absolutely everywhere, but what many don’t realise is that to create high-end interactive data visualisations you do not necessarily need a team of professional artists and coding wizards. An array of free tools are now available for you to try your hand at data visualisation yourself without the need to get down and dirty with any code.
Before proceeding I should note that there has been an upsurge of bad infographics recently, so if you are going to make an infographic first make sure you do the three essentials:
- Verify the source of the stats.
- Check that the type of visualisation you are using is appropriate.
- Make sure that you really do understand the numbers.
Andy Kirk, author of the Visualising Data Blog has created an extensive free guide to data visualisation covering dozens of different software platforms from market leading professional packages through to simple web applications. He also does an excellent monthly round-up of the best data visualisations on the web.
Kirk has recently announced a new international tour of training courses following a very well received previous series. I’ll be attending the Bristol class and working on my skills myself in the mean time, so hopefully you can look forward to a significantly higher standard of data visualisations on Neurobonkers in the near future!
Here’s the cliché “something I made earlier”, a word cloud of all the words used in this site, created in two minutes flat using Tagxedo, one of the many web-apps described in part five of Andy’s guide.
If you don’t go down with a case of information overload from the Visualising Data Blog you should also check out the infographics showcases visual.ly and visualising.org. David McCandle’s informationisbeautiful.net and the Guardian Datablog are also well worth your time. Know any more good data-vis links? Post them in the comments. Happy Visualising!Follow Simon on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
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