Info We TrustHow to Inspire the World with Data
How do we create new ways of looking at the world? Join award-winning data storyteller RJ Andrews as he pushes beyond the usual how-to, and takes you on an adventure into the rich art of informing. Creating Info We Trust is a craft that puts the world into forms that are strong and true. It begins with maps, diagrams, and charts — but must push further than dry defaults to be truly effective. How do we attract attention? How can we offer audiences valuable experiences worth their time? How can we help people access complexity? Dark and mysterious, but full of potential, data is the raw material from which new understanding can emerge. Become a hero of the information age as you learn how to dip into the chaos of data and emerge with new understanding that can entertain, improve, and inspire. Whether you call the craft data storytelling, data visualization, data journalism, dashboard design, or infographic creation — what matters is that you are courageously confronting the chaos of it all in order to improve how people see the world. Info We Trust is written for everyone who straddles the domains of data and people: data visualization professionals, analysts, and all who are enthusiastic for seeing the world in new ways. This book draws from the entirety of human experience, quantitative and poetic. It teaches advanced techniques, such as visual metaphor and data transformations, in order to create more human presentations of data. It also shows how we can learn from print advertising, engineering, museum curation, and mythology archetypes. This human-centered approach works with machines to design information for people. Advance your understanding beyond by learning from a broad tradition of putting things “in formation” to create new and wonderful ways of opening our eyes to the world. Info We Trust takes a thoroughly original point of attack on the art of informing. It builds on decades of best practices and adds the creative enthusiasm of a world-class data storyteller. Info We Trust is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of original compositions designed to illuminate the craft, delight the reader, and inspire a generation of data storytellers.
PREFACE ANCIENT ROOTS ORIGINS 0 THE GOAL OF OUR CRAFT Data, story, and the adventure ahead 1 1 DATA SHADOWS Numbers and the past they come from 13 2 INFORMATION MURMURS Arranging data in forms we can read 23 METAPHORICAL 3 EMBODIED ENCODING The power of metaphor 35 4 COUNTING TIME How we experience numbers and time 45 5 WORLD BUILDING Grids and other homes for data 57 6 INFUSE MEANING Up, down, and other spatial meaning 67 7 TRUE COLORS The eye’s seductive potential 79 MATHMAGICAL 8 EXPLORE TO CREATEE Seek comparisons and patterns 89 9 CREATE TO EXPLORE Translate and transform to learn more 99 10 UNCERTAIN HONESTY The challenge of qualifying truthfulness 111 SENSATIONAL 11 ENCOUNTER Experience design with museums 125 12 LISTEN Story design with natural selection 133 13 FREEZE Graphic design with propaganda 143 14 CONNECT Emotional design with roughness 151 15 MAKE Explanation design with diagrams 157 INFORMATIONAL 16 INSPIRE TRUST Design for believing minds 167 17 IMAGINATION TO IMAGE Explore visual story possibilites 175 18 FOCUS ATTENTION Workshop to the audience 185 ONWARDS 19 CREATIVE ROUTINES Daily practices for making new views 197 FINALE BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW 203 How This Book Came to Be Acknowledgments Notes Selected Bibliography Index
RJ ANDREWS is a data storyteller and creator of the award-winning InfoWeTrust.com.
"Info We Trust brings poetry to the craft of designing with numbers. An essay that is both elegant and idiosyncratic—data visualization needs a book like this." —Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami INFO WE TRUST celebrates data storytelling, as explained by one of the field's most talented creators. Both engineer and artist, RJ Andrews draws on disciplines from across the human experience to show how to create new ways of seeing the world. And most importantly, to build powerful data-driven information that is worthy of trust. Maps, charts, and diagrams are the artifacts we use to picture information. But the lively exchanges these objects spark are what create meaning. How they inform—what they tell us and how they impact our decisions—matters most. This book shows how to arrange data into stories that deliver insights and inspiration. Rich with practical details, INFO WE TRUST surfaces timeless principles to empower all to grow our knowledge and do great things together with data.
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