Friday, 2 October 2009

22 Visualisation Styles

Data visualisation is a no doubt popular and growing field with many innovative solutions arising every day, there are a few places that try to help structure and define this field for some clarity and hopefully more creative decisions.

Decisions such as the usually struggling question of what style/type of visualisation form should I use?

I saw Info Many Eyes had useful thumbnails and defintions of the types of visualisations it offers, and Joel Laumans made a fantastic booklet on the subeject that had many types that weren't included. Therefore I wanted to unify their defintions and style types in a table. Bit of a challenge deciding how they should line up together as some are the same and others not or are categorised differently. I think it was Correlations with Joel's grouping that I had to split to fit with Many Eyes.

If you cant see this table, it may be because it is viewed in an rss, click here to see the table

Also useful on the topic of data visualisation and infovis Manuel Lima has produced a provocative manifesto to aid in this effort to help bring some structure to our complicated and diverse visual forms.

analysed here:

“Information Visualisation Manifesto”, 'a provocative (but characteristically generous and nuanced) take on the future of data visualisation which tackles head on the thorny questions at the heart of this ever-expanding field:

Art versus Science
Intrigue versus Immediacy
Aesthetics versus apprehension. '

Watch and listen to him here:

He also was complimented on his writing by Stephen few (author. Information Dashboard Design plus other books) in an intersting article that got me stirred into a comment as well as Ben at

If you know of more styles not featured or would like to elaborate the defintions, styles, or you know of someone elses lists and categories that I could append please feel free to comment. I hope this helps a beginner or even more experienced data visualiser, infographic maker decide the best format to enhance and communicate their data sets.

Again many thanks for the thumbnails Joel.

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