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CW Magazine - March/April 2012
CW Magazine - March/April 2012
Executive Editor: Natasha Nicholson
Senior Editor: Jessica Burnette-Lemon
Published: March 2012
Tech Talk
Killer infographic! But does it solve TMI?
Authors: Angelo Fernando

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Alberto Cairo, a director for infographics and multimedia at Epoca-Editora Globo, in Sao Paulo, describes an infographic as a highly edited synthesis of data (a presentation), whereas a visualization is a graphic that allows an audience to explore and analyze data and phenomena. View page 1 »
These tools - offered through websites like Creately, which allows users to build flowcharts and mindmaps, and Visual.ly, an online community for creators of infographic content - have been "a catalyst to something that has been growing in the past decades. View page 1 »
Jason Lankow, co-founder and CEO of Column Five Media, a Newport Beach, California, company that creates infoposters and other data-rich graphics, adds that as people begin to curate and share good information on the Web and social media channels become distribution channels, the cream will rise to the top. View page 1 »
Cairo points to statistical charts developed at the end of the 18th century by the Scottish engineer William Playfair, who developed some of the basic representations we use today to depict information, like line charts and pie charts. View page 1 »
In the digital era we have developed an appetite for the data behind the map (so that we could, in a few taps of a finger, find a railway station's ticket prices or a restaurant's menu using a smartphone's GPS). View page 1 »
Florence Nightingale reportedly used infographics to communicate with Queen Victoria during the Crimean War. View page 1 »
Visual communication firm Column Five Media created this infographic as part of a two-sided educational poster for the American Heart Association, to help doctors educate atrial fibrillation patients about their risk of stroke. View page 2 »
Angelo Fernando is principal of Public Radius, an Arizona-based strategic communication and PR consultancy that helps organizations bridge the gap between traditional and digital media. View page 3 »
(Nightingale's charts would later be called roses or coxcombs.) Anyone can adopt the Florence Nightingale approach to information. View page 3 »
2. Do the callouts and captions provided add context or detail? View page 3 »
A quick scan of a dozen infographics reveals that people who create them are often tempted to cram as much information as possible into the available space. View page 3 »
Lankow points to airlines' flight safety cards. View page 3 »
While a visual representation of data is also an infographic, "not all information graphics necessarily would be a visualization of data," he says. View page 3 »
Using multiple colors to represent the originating countries, the resulting image mirrored the Apple logo. View page 3 »
"There's a growing sense among those organizations, and in the corporate world as well, that the increasing volume of data forces us to develop forms of presenting and analyzing that data adequately," he says. View page 3 »
As for guidelines for creating valuable infographics, he recommends these four pillars: "Be true to the facts, don't distort data, don't oversimplify, and allow clarity." View page 3 »
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