Information is beautiful - examples of data visualisation

When you ask people what data is, many respond with a vague description of something along the lines of a spreadsheet, a database, or simply a 'load of numbers'. But this is just the format that the data comes in and how it is stored. It does not tell you about what the data represents. Aside from the avid number crunchers It is hard to get people to look beyond the numbers. Data is more than just numbers on a page - it represents real life, real people. Data visualisation is an effective way to use, express, explore and most importantly understand data, in a way that makes sense to even the most innumerate.

There are many innovative examples of how data visualisation can be used to represent and bring to life the most detailed and complex datasets. Here are a few examples to delight and inspire you. Please feel free to comment and add further examples to share.

Online examples:

What life is like for older people in the UK

Making the case for public health interventions

Merton ward profiles (select a single ward)

Department for Transport local authority road safety collission maps

ONS Data visualisation centre


(The following Amazon UK links provide an overview of the books - they will be available from other sellers too).

Six amazing infographics reveal what London’s really like and 12 data maps that sum up London - both taken from London, The Information Capital written by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti.

Information is beautiful and the recently published Knowledge is beautiful by David McCandless.

Infographica, the world as you have never seen it before by Martin and Simon Toseland.

The infographic history of the world by Valentina D’Efilippo and James Ball.

Security level: Public

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Karen Jordan 6 Years Ago
Visualisation makes data much more digestable. I saw David McCandless as part of the Brighton festival last year - inspiring stuff. If this is the sort of thing that interests you hop over to the 'Information Graphics + Visualisation' community on KHub.