Thinking about Data Visualization

I’ve been getting deeper into data visualization, and will probably work on sharing more about it here on the site. But for starters, I wanted to share this quote I found in an article/book review about infographics (the author, Steven Heller, is no relation).

This is the paragraph that I thought was best, and the emphasis is mine:

Data visualization has been used as a visual shorthand in newspapers, magazines, and textbooks since the 19th century, if not earlier, Heller writes. But in the Internet age, infographics are more useful than ever. “Their popularity now has to do with the fact that we’re being bombarded by media and data, and there are so many different ways of addressing, analyzing, and serving that data,” Heller says. So often, this excessive information is conveyed sloppily, thoughtlessly, without enough attention to the reader’s experience. That’s what makes it so important to understand how deliberate infographic designers are about their process: many graphics look deceptively simple, but great visualizations aren’t whipped up in an instant; they’re planned impeccably, as these sketchbooks reveal.