March 31, 2011

Data Reveals Stories: Part Six | Graphs

This is one of a six-part series on how to harness data to reveal stories. It represents notes and follow-on links. If you want to take part in an exciting workshop to get your hands on real life data sets, create your own visualisations and learn how to share them, you can join me in Boston at Building Learning Communities for my pre-conference workshop this summer, or ask for it as one of our masterclass sessions. Many of the examples cited are from the information visualiser's Bible, Information is Beautiful: buy the book (in the UK | in the USA) or visit the blog.

Use one chart for a new purpose
A Periodic Table of Visualisation Methods:

 Periodic table

Charts and time
Combine time, bar charts and graphical punch to show impact on complex stories.
The rising sea levels as they consume cities over time.


Charts and image
Interesting charting effects can be gained by superimposing one chart on top of many, many photos through Microsoft's Deep Zoom Composer software (free).
Winston Churchill Deep Zoom

Colour swatches
Use the metaphor from pantone cards from the painters' shop, or military ribbon bands, to transfer new information.
Example: Military ribbons as a means to explore the debauchery of rock bands, Information is Beautiful book.

Scattergraphs 2.0
Don't just plot dots on a scattergraph. Plot graphics that make your point.
Caffeine versus Calories: Buzz vs Bulge

 Scattergraphs 2.0

Abstract geneology
Make a family tree to show the relative links between abstract concepts
A family tree of Britain's musical heritage (Information is Beautiful book)


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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