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David McCandless on information visualisation

August 23, 2010

Tonight, I realised that David McCandless was behind informationisbeautiful.net, a blog dedicated to information visualisation which I often mentionned before on this blog.

David McCandless speaking at TED, July 2010

Last month, David McCandless gave a talk at TED, a NGO “devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading”. And it was very interesting to hear him, to put a living face on a blog and to apprehend the amount of work to make such great infographics simple to understand. Here is the video (thanks to the license: CC-by-nc-ndon this page, there is a link to download the high quality video):

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

Why do I blog this? I was always and I am still interested in information visualisation, could it be from others (like the flu tracker or, more modestly, my own attempts (to stay in the flu topic). As David said, everyday, everyone of us is blasted by information design, it’s being poured into our eyes, it’s a “dormant litteracy”. And I am curious of new ways of visually presenting large datasets like at the Hack.lu 2009 InfoVis Contest or results of time-consuming models of disease spread.
But of course, on the other hand, you have to ask the right questions, look from the right angle: the one who master information design may also influence the minds of those who see this information and, more importantly, its interpretation. David McCandless didn’t say anything about this: the responsability of the designer regarding the interpretation of his/her design.

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