Infographics that actually help

I mentioned this before but I have this love/hate thing with info graphics.  I love them because they can be amazingly powerful to simplify complex subjects but I hate them because they can also manipulate statistics to push a biased agenda.

A second aspect of info graphics that I do enjoy is that they have a power to make the mundane interesting – much like a documentary.  There have been many many late nights of Discovery Channel or National Geographic viewing that I’ve subjected myself to simply because a documentarian was able to make the mating practices of high altitude sheep intriguing.  I don’t know how they do it but the best of them can make any story or factoid incredibly interesting.  Same with info graphics.

Here’s a very basic one (which is barely an info graphic because of it’s lack of graphic).  This simple restructuring a something as complex as the US Budgetary situation brings massive clarity to the dilemma that the US is currently facing.  I wouldn’t run my family finances this way…why run a country this way?  All this person needs now is a friend who has an eye for colour and knack with Photoshop to really punch up this information.

This second example I recently found is a great info graphic.  How often have I heard guys like CBC’s Bob McDonald rattle one about evolutionary “stuff” and, although very interested, have a difficult time following his chronology.  Then “boom” – this info graphic comes out and I have a visual, simple and easy to remember timeline for planetary evolution.  It really is a beautiful thing.  Maybe i don’t hate them all that much after all??

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