Data Visualization vs Infographics

Comments: 3


  • I agree that data visualization and infographics are different things but I disagree that data visualization doesn’t tell a story. I argue that data visualization is the interpretation of raw data in a visual format (which may or may not tell a story) and that an infographic is the blend of data and image for the purpose of using data (or even data visualizations) to make a point, to persuade, to sell something, or give a perspective. With infographics we can change the meaning of data without changing the figures through the use of visual rhetorical devices such as color theory, image-number association, typestyle, etc. Both can be problematic because data is ultimately an abstraction from the truth, only things which can be quantified are counted, and both rely on data collection which is a whole other problematic issue. How do we know we have asked the right questions, measured the important things, collected enough data and information, etc.? The medium is the message, data is the medium, nothing is true, everything is permitted.

  • Interesting post. I think both the terms are interchangeable to some degree but yes there can be a gap if you look for it.

    One thing that disturbs me a little though is how some normal, spruced up graphics are passed as infographics. I think there needs to be substantial info in the graphic to actually warrant the proper definition.

  • I almost whole heartedly disagree with your post. I believe information design principles should persist no matter what delivery method you choose (eg. data viz v infographic). Also, both are for telling stories, just ask Cole: http://www.storytellingwithdata.com

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