My name is David Warlick, and I have been fascinated by infographics and data visualization for several years now. But of course, they are not new. An excellent example of an infographic that I use in my presentations is the periodic table.
It presents an enormous amount of fairly esoteric data in a way that expresses itself to anyone who has a basic working knowledge of chemistry (Junior-Year Chemistry).
Data visualization is also old hat, as bar, line, and pie graphs and charts have also been around for ages. It seems to me that a convergence has occured that has brought the forms of communication out into the forefront. They are
- Vast amounts of digital data
- Technologies for processing and transforming that data
- Vast audiences for data expression work
The 3rd is perhaps the reason that infographics and visualization have become so popular in the last year or so — because a growing audience has turned the field into an art form and even a performing art.