Data Visualisation – The Power of Infographics

I was recently browsing through David McCandless’ book Information Is Beautiful which is full of amazing infographics, and came across the following infographic (click on the image to view it full size).


This infographic quite literally maps the internet. Its upsetting its rather outdated as the source is from 2007 and much would have changed since then, but I think the graphic is still interesting to look at. I find it strange how it closely resembles a neutron map! David McCandless also does a TED talk on visualising data and how vital it is in our lives as the eye has the highest ‘bandwidth’ and processing speed, and thus we should present information in a way that fully utilises this bandwidth.

So, how does this relate to using ICT in the classroom?

ICTs enable our students to look at things in new ways and create things that would otherwise be impossible, and infographics are just one example of this. Infographics are a creative and interesting way of representing information, whereas the old fashioned bar/column/line graphs are visually boring. Infographics also require the use of programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, along with a clear knowledge of how to apply design principles (such as the CRAP principles).

Having students create powerful infographics requires the application of many skills. Students have to source relevant information, understand what the information means, determine how it links together, and critically design a way to present it so it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand.


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