Visual Display of Information

I’m a big fan of Edward Tufte‘s.  Thanks to previous employers, I have attended two of his courses and have acquired four of his books: Beautiful Evidence (2006), Visual Explanations (1997), The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (1992), Envisioning Information (1990), even (perhaps especially) his essay “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint.”  His work has honed my appreciation for clearly and concisely explaining large amounts of complex data.

So, I was thrilled when I read about Information Architects Web Trends Map series (screen shot below, but for a zoomable version go to Zoomorama).  They use Tokyo’s subway map as a metaphor to explain the relationships amongst web companies and the people that drive them.  Each colored subway line is a “trend line”, for example the “Identity” line has Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail as stations.  The “Creative” line has TED, flickr, vimeo, Creative Commons (also on the “sharing” line), and our own WordPress (also on the “publishing” line).  Other lines include: Application, Opinion, News, Consumption, Entertainment, and Filter.

Listed in the #1 spot is Google (the Shinjuku station) with Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, Marissa Mayer, Vint Cerf and Larry Page as “trend setters”.  The wider the station, the more stable the company is; the Taller the station, the more successful.  The Google station is wide and tall.



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