Information Design Watch

July 17, 2008, 11:59 am

Wardrobe Infographic of the Week

By Lisa Agustin

Do these pants make me look…like a criminal? They might, if you’re in Flint, MI, where police officers are under orders to arrest anyone whose pants expose underwear and, well, maybe more. (Thanks, CR Blog)

Saggy Pants Infographic

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Comments (3) | Filed under: Current Events, Visual Explanation

July 17, 2008, 10:31 am

The End of the Scientific Method

By Lisa Agustin

According to Chris Anderson at Wired, the scientific method is no longer relevant, thanks to the enormous amounts of data now at our disposal. The traditional (and sometimes imperfect) approach of testing hypotheses via modeling made more sense when scientists were trying to understand the underlying mechanisms that connect a handful of results. This is no longer the case:

This is a world where massive amounts of data and applied mathematics replace every other tool that might be brought to bear. Out with every theory of human behavior, from linguistics to sociology. Forget taxonomy, ontology, and psychology. Who knows why people do what they do? The point is they do it, and we can track and measure it with unprecedented fidelity. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.

Anderson gives a couple of examples to prove his point, including how new species of bacteria were “discovered” using high-speed sequencers and supercomputers (“a statistical blip”). The idea that data is the starting point, and relationships and rationale can be established later is not a new idea for data viz practitioners, but thinking about this approach in the context of dismissing other methodologies? I’m not so sure.

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Comments (2) | Filed under: Technology

July 10, 2008, 9:52 am

Talking Call to Action

By Henry Woodbury

At The Girl Effect, a call for educating girls in the developing world is presented in a powerful animation that uses just typography and music to hold our attention.

Still from The Girl Effect movie

The animation leads into a microsite — essentially an executive briefing — that identifies key points and provides links to more detailed information in PDF format and at partner sites like The Center for Global Development.

There are a few stumbles — they almost lost me with “turn this sinking ship around” — but overall The Girl Effect is a great example of how to communicate a message and make it stick in the mind by paring down the details to a single narrative.

At first I thought the links I mention above were too difficult to find, but it occurred to me that they aren’t the point. The call to action is to share the story. And here we are.

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Marketing, Visual Explanation, Web Interface Design

July 10, 2008, 9:23 am

“Apparently digitally altered”

By Henry Woodbury

An image that accompanied headlines about Iran’s most recent missile test has been retracted by Agence France-Presse. A fourth missle “[w]as apparently… added in digital retouch to cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test.”

This raises the question: “Does Iran’s state media use Photoshop?”

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Comments (1) | Filed under: Current Events, Illustration

July 2, 2008, 11:17 am

The Fun of Getting There

By Henry Woodbury

Illustrator Christoph Niemann offers a wonderful tale of small boys and the New York City subway system. Yes, it’s another post about transit systems. How can I resist?

It seems people don�t trust the advice of a preschooler. They should

I myself have taken my motion-obsessed son on several circular ferry boat trips, including the Staten Island Ferry and the Québec-Lévis Ferry (approximate crossing time: 10 minutes).

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Art, Design, Illustration