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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(2 star).Show all reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2010
After having read Tufte's 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information' (a tour de force in its own right) I was severely disappointed with this book, 'Envisioning Information.'

'Quantitative Information' offered a host of not only genuinely new academic concepts and areas of thought, but delved deep within those respective ideas and left me with the feeling of expertise or, at the very least, a vocabulary with which to understand the graphs and charts with which the book is replete. I felt, after reading, that I'd been armed with a great arsenal of knowledge regarding not only graphs and charts, but the display of information itself.

'Envisioning Information', however, deviates from this wonderful pattern. It starts off somewhat clunkily -- presenting some coherent ideas and recycling others (but at a much more shallow) from 'Quantitative Information', but eventually seems to become little more than a scrapbook for the heaps of use cases that Tufte has stocked away in his archive.

Yes, the charts and graphs themselves are wonderful. I doubt that I've read a book to date with such an interesting and beautiful array of historical graphics, that truly do offer a myriad of ways in which to display information.

But the manner in which the book employs the graphics is clunky. Rather than starting with new concepts, building out the reader's understanding of said concepts, then using graphics as examples to allow the reader to comprehend said concepts in a more concrete fashion, Tufte's tendency is to start with a set of loosely-related graphics, then take the reader on something of a whistle-stop tour as he sort of remarks passively on the strengths and weaknesses of each and moves on to the next.

This, perhaps, underscores the ultimate *lack of information* in the book itself (60-70% of its pages are filled with graphics), an overall prioritization of the graphics themselves rather than the thought surrounding them. Perhaps Tufte truly has insight on the individual maps and images that he presents, but he fails to share them effectively (if at all).
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28 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2001
If you're a graphic designer looking for practical content on how to better present your infographics - look elsewhere. The book was filled with beautiful, but useless information. If you're after information theory, the book hits the mark - but for almost $50, it's hardly worth it.
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8 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2009
Don't get it why this book is so popular. The visual examples that are given are hard to understand without reading the text. I would think that a book that explains how information is envisioned would be self explanatory trough the visuals in the book. I would not recommend to anyone who is superficially interested in design. If you are a professional designer it could maybe be something for you.
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0 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2013
I never received this book.
Apologies to Edward Tufte - rating is the only way I know to open comment box.
Maybe one day I'll search it out and order again - Tufte and his cognitive art concepts are fascinating, and his printing press puts out an elegant product.
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4 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2010
Im not too happy with this book. Amazon delievered it on time and in good piece, but i really hate this book. it feels like I am reading a book with ADD
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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte (Hardcover - Jan. 2001)


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