1) At the cross-road of the intelligible and the sensible world ?
We’re naturally lazy : as the falling water we prefer to take the easier path. And the vision is one of our most used sense (imagine you’re blind and you « see » that’s a basis for our interactions in the society).
So when a thing is visually explicit it’s better. Like when we use metaphor verbally (as the « drop of water » just above).
A picture is worth more than thousand word, and its almost universal without the barrier of the language (« almost » because a minimum of knowledges are needed to decipher the meaning).
Information graphics = visual cognition = a kind of Synesthesia ?
Where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly
When raw data or abstractive concept are made tangibles, they became limpid in their whole perception.
Elementary scheme of the conversion of data into wisdom.Source: Graphic by the author adapted from the one present in the article « An Overview of Understanding » by N. Shedroff in the book Information Anxiety 2 by R.S. Wurman. (infovis.net)
At the beginning, I wanted to make this post after the discovery of Freemind, an application to build mind maps.
I was struggled with a complex thinking, and this tool helped me to organize it. (link at the end)
After that I noticed more and more good things related to this topic. So I made this list, for examples, tools, other things… Enjoy 🙂
2) Let’s see some examples:
The Spectrum of User Experience
Planisfero Roma, Stalker 1955
The Internet Mapping Project by Kevin Kelly (via graphism.fr)
Please design a logo for me. With pie charts. For free. (fun to read)
The hierarchy of digital distraction
Walt Disney’s Creative Organization Chart
Visualizing information flow in science
A periodic table of visualization methods
The most impressive classification I’ve ever seen. With an example for each methods.
And if you are still thirsty:
- 2012 The End of The World
- Fifty years of exploration – National Geographic
- Lack of healthcare vs terrorism
- International Networks Archive – Remapping Our World
- 30 years of ars electronica – mapping the archive
- Infographics help you spread ideas and attract attention
- Visualising sustainability
- Hyper Visualisation
- Bigger is Better – Paula Scher
- Projects-sumedicina (a story in charts)
- I can has history (arborescence of lolcats)
- Information Visualization
- De la carte heuristique dans l’art et inversement
- The Crisis of Credit Visualized
- Thinking Visually
- Faut-il utiliser les réseaux sociaux ou les bannir ?
- Chart Wars, the political power of data visualization
- Flickr flow
3) Tools :
- Freemind (easy to learn, and free ^^)
- Xmind (
I think I’ll adopt itI adopted it)
- My Lovely Charts (make charts in your browser)
- wxfreechart (another open-source tool, for programming charts, in C++)
- Mind42 (collaborative mind-mapping in your browser)
- Mindflow (collaborative mind-mapping for multi-touch table)
- Visual Understanding Environnement
- Text2mindmap (web based mind-mapping)
- Prefuse toolkit
Specially for Twitter
- Google image-swirl
- Google Wonder Wheel (just check the option during a search request)
- wikimindmap (your wiki result in a map)
4) Links and resources :
- Visual Literacy
- Chart Porn
- Flowing Data
- Information Is Beautiful
Some more lists:
- The Beauty of Infographics and Data Visualization
- 7 visualization groups on flickr to find inspiration
- 20 essential infographics data visualization blogs
- 25 useful data visualization and infographics resources
- 50 great examples of data visualization
Thanks for reading !
The organization of this post evolve permanently, in order to classify and improve the examples and links related to visual thinking.
Une réflexion sur « Why visualizations are so fascinating ? »
Après de nombreuses éditions successives, un bon tri a été fait dans les exemples, et les liens. Plus ajout de quelques outils, notamment le fabuleux "wikimindmap".
Ceci afin d'éviter de refaire une liste des "101 visualisations", et simplement rester dans le concept de ces images qui communiquent bien plus que leur seul aspect visuel…elles sont de véritables constructions de connaissances/pensées.