The stories behind the graphs
December 17, 2011 11:17 AM   Subscribe


 
She gave an example of a helicopter illustration that was so detailed it appeared to show every bolt and you could just about build your own just based on the illustration.

I agree with her point that you need to ask how much detail should you show in these illustrations.

But if you ask this question in this particular case, she and I come up with different answers. For the technically minded, having such a detailed drawing is a lot of fun and draws such readers into the article.

In other words, she sees such a drawing and says "what a waste of detail", whereas I say "Oh wow, cool!"
posted by eye of newt at 11:46 AM on December 17, 2011


She is looking at it from a different angle, i.e. what elements help convey the story and/or information.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:36 PM on December 17, 2011


For the technically minded, having such a detailed drawing is a lot of fun and draws such readers into the article.

Tufte might call such embellishments "chart-junk", and, for my own part, to the extent that judicious simplification of an abstraction focuses the reader's attention on the actual information and the larger narrative, I try to follow this guidance when making scientific figures in my work. There's little room for cruft in visually dense informatics, whether it is a schematic, subway map, network graph, etc. And not just aesthetically, but functionally, as well.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:11 PM on December 17, 2011


"There's little room for cruft in visually dense informatics"

But perhaps, on an interactive illo/dia (illodia?) there is room for a more cruft, please button.
posted by bz at 7:53 PM on December 17, 2011


If you're interested in interactive graphs the Guardian's Mariana Santos did a talk at OpenTech 2011 (audio - it's the middle one of three speakers). The Guardian's interactive charts are collected here.
posted by robertc at 3:27 AM on December 18, 2011


« Older YouTube, circa 1997   |   Sodade Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments