Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visualizing Information

It must be "these economic times" we're in that's making graphics so popular, as they help us to visualize all of the big numbers and other quantitative information. From my blog reader I've viewed many posts referring to beautifully drawn flowcharts, graphs, timelines and maps that depict events in the economic sphere, so I figured I would share it with you.

The graph to the left came through my feed reader today and prompted me to write this post. Depicting average annual consumer expenditures, this graph from the Visual Economics website pulls information from the Department of Labor's most recent survey and recreates an approachable (and eye-appealing) account of what was probably a very dry report. Sadly enough, only 0.2% ($118) is devoted to reading--four and a half times less than the amount spent on alcohol--but hey, maybe they're all getting library books!

WallStats is another site that depicts information visually, such as their Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis. While its primary goal is to sell posters of these graphical representations, the site also has a blog where you can track the artist's projects.

And let's not forget that there's are lot of great books, too. You can always come to the library and check out some books by Edward Tufte, one of the foremost thinkers in the realm of information visualization.

No comments: