The Simple Genius of a Good Graphic

I love the graphics. And I, as a data designer, I dealt with all types of data during the past 25 years. I have a few ideas to share, but first: a little history. Communication is the coding, transmission, and decoding of information. Breakthroughs in the field of communication have marked a turning point in human culture. Public speaking, reading and writing, and numeracy were great developments in the field of communication. It allowed us to encode ideas with words And the quantities are in numbers. Without communication, we will be stuck in the stone ages until now.

Although humans have been around for a quarter of a million years, Only 8,000 years ago, primitive writings began to appear. And 3,000 years later, the first coherent writing systems took shape. Maps have been around for thousands of years, and charts hundreds of years ago. But the quantities are represented by drawings It is a relatively new development. It didn’t happen until 1786 when William Pleaver invented the first graph, Announcing the birth of the first visual display of quantitative information. Fifteen years later, he presented the first spatial and pie charts, His inventions are still the most popular chart diagram in use today. Florence Nightingale (cockscomb) was invented in 1857 In order to make a presentation to Queen Victoria on the deaths of the military forces.

Shaded in blue, It showed how most deaths among soldiers could have been prevented. Soon after, Charles Mennard drew up a scheme of Napoleon’s advance to Moscow, Explaining how an army of 42,000 had shrunk to just 10,000 Battles, geography and harsh weather destroyed them. Combine the “Sankei” diagram and mapping Linear temperature graph. I got excited when I got a lot of data to play with, Especially when I showed an interesting graph. Here, Nightingale’s Coxcombe was the inspiration To organize data on thousands of federal energy aid, And check the lack of investment in renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels.

The “Sankei” diagram shows the flow of energy through the American economy, Emphasizing how nearly half of the energy used is heat waste. I love it when data can be sculpted in beautiful shapes. Here, the personal and professional relationships of Silicon Valley women Can be woven into brackets, Likewise, inventor cooperation that generates patents around the world It can be represented in maps. I made my own graphics. I am a numbers person, so I rarely win Scrabble. I made this graph to remember the two- and three-letter words In the official scrabble dictionary.

(Laughter) Note that these 1168 words definitely change the rules of the game. (Laughter) Sometimes I make icons to quickly generate graphics Of thousands of data points. The coding also enables me to produce interactive graphics. Now we can direct the information on our own terms. Sure, strange shapes of charts look great, But something as simple as a small dot may be all you need To solve a specific reasoning task. In 2006, The New York Times redesigned the Markets division, It was shortened from eight pages of stock listings To just one and a half pages of basic market data.

We have included performance measures for the most popular stocks, But I wanted to help investors see how stocks work. So I added a simple little dot Shows the current price level compared to its level over a year. With a single glance, investors can choose to trade stocks near their lowest levels By looking at the points on the left. Active investors can find stocks that are on an upward trajectory Through the points on the right.

Soon after, the Wall Street Journal copied the design. Simplicity is the goal for most graphics, But sometimes we need to embrace complexity And to show big data sets in their full glory. Alec Gallup, former head of Gallup, He once gave me a very thick book. His family’s legacy included: Hundreds of pages covering six decades of presidential approval data.

I told him the entire book can be plotted graphically on one page. He said that was “impossible”. Here it is: 25,000 data points on one page. At a glance, one sees that most presidents start with high approval rates, But few keep it. Events such as wars at first enhance approval; Scandals cause declines. These major events are explained in the drawing but not in the book. The point is, graphics can transfer data incredibly efficiently. (Graphic), The ability to read and write graphs, Still in its infancy. New chart charts will appear and specialized languages will evolve. Graphics that help us think faster Or see valuable book information on one page Is the key to unlocking new discoveries.