David McCandless: The Beauty of Data Visualization (TED)

I am a fan of infographics, of David McCandless’ work, and of TED.com videos, and so what more could I ask for than their combination? The video below is a solid, inspiring presentation discussing a variety of infographics with a great deal of surrounding context for not only why we love them, but why we need them.

Here are some of the take home points of the video:

– Visual representations of data make comparative perspectives easier
– Scraping (gathering) and graphically representing them can make patterns far easier to notice
– One data set may offer a certain picture, but when combined with another data set, a very different picture (eg. refining perspectives on statistics about a nation’s totals by checking again per capita)
– Evolving data sets can produce evolving infographics
– Data can change thought and behaviour. “Let my data set change your mindset.” – Hans Rosling
– Sometimes it’s emotionally easier to learn by visuals than by statement (eg. with political opinion)
– Information is beautiful!