July 15, 2011

An Infographics Treasure Trove

There is an amazing web site for creating, sharing, and exploring information visualizations (a.k.a. infographics)--it is called Visual.ly
There are currently more than 2,000 infographics at this site; this is a true online treasure trove for those who like to learn visually.
The infographics are categorized in about 21 areas including technology, science, business, the economy, the environment, entertainment, politics, and more.
I've included an example, from the Social Media category, of an infographic called The Conversation Prism developed by creative agency, JESS3.
As you can see this infographic displays the spectrum of social media from blogs and wikis to Q&A and DIY sites--it is a virtual index of social media today.
What I really love about infographics is that they can convey such a wealth of information in creative and memorable ways.
Moreover, there is such a variety of infographics out there--basically these are limited only by the imagination of the person sharing their point of view and their talents in conveying that information to the reader.
As someone who is very visual in nature, I appreciate when the content is rich (but not jumbled and overwhelming), and when it is logically depicted, so that it is quick and easy to find information.
In the example of The Conversation Prism, I like how it comprehensively captures all the various types of social media by category, color codes it, and visualizes it as part of a overall communications pie (or strategy).
To me, a good infographic is something you can relate to--there is a aha! moment with it.
And like a great work of art--there is the opportunity to get a deeper meaning from the visual and words together then from the words alone.
The shapes and dimensions and connections and distances and colors and sizes--it all adds meaning (lots and lots of context)--I love it!
I could spend hours at a site like visual.ly learning about all the different topics, marveling at the creativity and meaning of the information being conveyed, and never getting bored for a second.


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