Digital Fill: Infographics

I’ve been doing a lot of work around data visualiation lately. Writing about it, sharing it, researching it. I’m even getting ready to launch an infographic series with a non-profit organization I work with (stay tuned for that.) Data visualization is taking a lot of data and presenting it in a visual and efficient way. The end result is an infographic. Magazines like The Atlantic and newspapers like The Guardian first made them popular (think Harper’s Index, only in pictures.) The web loves them because they’re easy to share and “like.” As well, in true millennial online spirit, infographics are easy on the eyes. And we’re beginning to see more sophisticated infographics appear across the interwebs.  According to writer and web guy, Darren Barefoot, data visualization is only going to become more popular. In fact, he’s recommending an education in data visualization if a journalism degree is your cup of tea.

Infographics are on the rise and I thought I’d share a handful of them, old and new, that I think are pretty cool.

This is an oldie but a goodie. Someone particularly clever has developed a series of infographics that represent famous movie quotes. Even though the actual quotes aren’t visible anywhere, I can still hear the actors saying it in my head.

This is a fairly recent infographic. I’m partial to it because it outlines the average day of an online community manager, which is pretty much what I do. It’s not too far from the truth with a few exceptions. Although, heaven knows who’s been working in social media for more than “20 years.” I dare you to prove me wrong on that one.

A friend of mine is an online community manager in China. I recently sat down with her and she explained to me the incredible selection China has to choose from when it comes to online communities. Here in North America, it’s easy to forget how other cultures and countries are using social media to connect and build community in their own ways. Infographics remind us how “flat” the world really is, at least in online terms.

You may recognize this infographic. It really made the online rounds in 2010. It presents the true size of Africa relative to the size of several countries.

Infographics don’t necessarily need to present massive sets of data. Sometimes it just takes one detail to make a visual impact. This particular infographic was featured on Mashable.com. A technician collected data from 80 different internet providers and visually pin pointed the moment when internet activity was stopped by the Egyptian government. Stunning, no?

Last but not least, this is an infographic an organization I work with, TheBigWild.org, produced last year. It’s called “How Wild is North America” and I’m fairly partial to it.

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