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The Best Infographics of the Year: Nate Silver on the 3 Keys to Great Information Design and the Line Between Editing and Censorship

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I love infographics.  Ifind it incredibly sad that they would stuff 2014's best info graphics into a book format. 

This quote would be considered FUCKING IRONIC:

Silver points out that at the dawn of information design — as, for instance, in the heyday of the discipline’s little-known godfather, Fritz Kahn — these constraints were largely practical, imposed by factors like the cost of materials and the availability of physical space for printing the infographic. But with the rise of the internet, the chief constraint became the audience’s attention. Pointing to the legacy of anti-“chartjunk” crusader Edward Tufte, Silver writes:

Considered ironic by Tufte?

I consider it extremely ironic.  He's talking about the format dictating the quality of the infographic and they are forcing the years best infographics into book format.  

Perhaps a book is an efficient conveyance, or is that blasphemy?

It's not blasphemy; that's why people like books: for efficient conveyance.

I like when "Brain Trust" is put in quotes.

And "geeky rapture".

Once again this year, I was delighted to serve on the “Brain Trust” for an annual project by Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist, New Yorkerwriter, and Scientific American neuroscience blog editor Gareth Cook, who culls the best, most thoughtful and illuminating infographics published each year, online and off, and invites the bearer of a sharp mind to contextualize both the individual selections and the premise of the project. Alongside the inaugural crop of infographic exemplars was David Byrne’s excellent essay on cultivating the ability to experience the “geeky rapture” of metaphorical thinking and pattern recognition

One of my favorites:

One piece calls to mind, rather viscerally, C.S. Lewis’s prescient assertion that “it is essential of the happy life that a man would have almost no mail.”

email not dead evolving infographic HBR brainpicker

Email: Not Dead, Evolving

Accompanying a Harvard Business Review article, this infographic visualizes survey data indicating that three-quarters of all email is junk, and that we're wasting a great deal of time answering minutia. (Bonnie Scranton, artist, James de Vries, creative director, Scott Berinato, senior editor, and Christina Bortz, articles editor, at the Harvard Business Review)

My favorite:

The storytelling aspect of the genre, meanwhile, shines brilliantly in this example from Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul’s immeasurably soul-stretching Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology, one of the best books of 2013:

San Francisco as seen by a cat as imagined by a cat owner infographic imgur

Lost Cat

'Our cat Tibby disappeared suddenly, and we were devastated. Then, five weeks later he returned, fat and happy. We were overjoyed he was back, but where had he gone? We decided to strap a GPS unit to his collar and find out where he spent his days.' (Caroline Paul, writer, and Wendy MacNaughton, illustrator)

this one is great!  i love the map and the way the project came about: the cat came home fat and happy after 5 weeks on the street!

Now THAT sounds like an excellent book idea: Tibby's Adventures!


I seriously wonder what Tibby did for those 5 weeks. He returned fat and happy!

looks like he had a blast in the mission district... or is that noe valley?

I get them confused too but I believe that's Noe Valley. 

for sure!  tibby probably knows those folks by heart.  and they have a name for him that is not tibby.

Felis Silvestris Catus!

Complement it with David Byrne on how to be an educated consumer of infographics, then take a trip back to 1930s Germany, where it all began.

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