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Information is Beautiful [Kindle Edition]

David McCandless
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A visual guide to the way the world really works

Every day, every hour, every minute we are bombarded by information - from television, from newspapers, from the internet, we're steeped in it, maybe even lost in it. We need a new way to relate to it, to discover the beauty and the fun of information for information's sake.
No dry facts, theories or statistics. Instead, Information is Beautiful contains visually stunning displays of information that blend the facts with their connections, their context and their relationships - making information meaningful, entertaining and beautiful.
This is information like you have never seen it before - keeping text to a minimum and using unique visuals that offer a blueprint of modern life - a map of beautiful colour illustrations that are tactile to hold and easy to flick through but intriguing and engaging enough to study for hours.

Product Details

  • File Size: 19185 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (February 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BAJ6G4O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,852 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please be aware November 30, 2010
Please be aware that this book is exactly the same as The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia. Do not buy both, or you'll end up returning one of the two, as I'm going to do now.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Approach with skepticism... June 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm fortunate to have attended Edward Tufte's great lecture on the visual presentation of statistical information, and so I approach any chart as a skeptic.

First off, this IS the same book as The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia - you don't need to buy both.

The positive:

Elegantly designed, beautifully presented graphics, satisfies Tufte's first rule: "have a compelling story to tell with your data" (bad paraphrase, I'm sure). My book has NONE of the defects other reviewers describe (ink splats in EU version, no labels on some charts in US version).

The negative:

any reader who spends a little time with a ruler and a calculator analyzing the "Billion Dollar-o-gram" (p. 10) will wonder how many of the other charts in the book are fabrications. Seriously. $300 Billion isn't anything like 4.5 x $97 Billion, yet that's what the comparative areas in this chart suggest. What kills me is that the chart would've been just as interesting and MORE compelling if it was accurate. There's off-the-shelf treemap software that will generate such a diagram automatically AND accurately.

I had my questions about the validity of some of the charts my first time through, but other Amazon reviewers' questioning of their accuracy in The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia made me look for myself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Translating Numbers February 9, 2011
I like the title `Information is Beautiful'best because it says clearly what I love about this book. McCandless has transformed information in the form of number data into beautiful graphics. The information can become instantly more powerful by many orders. (I say can because not all the graphics are equally powerful).
There is a wonderful almost recursive aspect to this work- the world we perceive is shaped by `invisible' streams of stuff that can be converted to data and analysed. The abstractive power of numerical analysis allows us to discover lots of exciting new information about the world, but for so many people in the world, numbers and even graphs are a foreign language. Even for those of us who can `speak' numbers will not (cannot!) always put in the effort to work through every set of numbers we come across.
What McCandless has succeeded in doing is taking some of the analysis that has gone on (and one can quibble with that analysis behind some graphics, but that is not really the point) and translating it back into the way we like to perceive the world - visually - so that we instantly see the abstractive power of that analysis, most of it really engagingly set out in colors and forms that are clear and bright.
An example of this power is the graphic called `Life Times; how will you spend your 77.8 years?'.(See user images) I was already really familiar with the statistics of the time the average person spends watching television but when I SAW the relative size of that circle, I stopped watching television that same day and have hardly watched since.
The choice of information that this book works through also functions as a fascinating insight into the author working to make sense of the world he lives in.
The cases where the graphics do not work very well are where the information has not been truly `translated' from numbers to visuals; rather picture icons have been stuck onto standard graphs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most fun with any book in a long, long time! March 23, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Got this in my Reading Room. Great, great book. Full of fun, thought-provoking graphics.
Some of my favorites:

p.100 - Moral Matrix - I choose to be "Modern - New Age"
p.242 - Making a Book - This seems _very_ similar to my company's software development programs
p.156 - Types of Coffee - Why can't Starbucks make me a Granita con Panna ?
p.151 - Body By - HaHaHa!!
p.134 - Dangers of Death - I'm still trying to map this onto my activities list

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Pics, Okay Data September 4, 2011
This book is really cool and it opens your mind up to new possibilities for presenting information in dynamic ways. Not only was it an interesting read, I think I'll actually incorporate the presentation styles into presentations I do for work. The only complaint I had was that a lot of the data was pretty sketchy at best. If you read the footnotes about where financial and environmental data was derived from, you'll see that, in several cases, it might not stand up to scrutiny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Work! July 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Data is the new soil! What an interesting work and book.... Fun to interpret....!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
imagine years using excel charts to illustrate ppt presentations and then coming across this book. It's like being kept in a cave for years and one day finally meet the sun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book January 2, 2014
By Michela
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing and fun book... it shows how you can tell a story in a very clear way by using graphs and images.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought this as a gift, and it just keeps giving!
Great read! The data reflected in this book has been very useful in conversations and in my work. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in big data, current global... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stitch
5.0 out of 5 stars So Interesting
This age of information could not be more perfectly assessed, in an intuitive and graphically appealing book than this one!
Published 13 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Great inspiration
It can give good inspiration in way of sharing information or how we interpret it. I really recommend not only looking at it, but also understand the example given and even better... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kare Havlik
3.0 out of 5 stars condition unsatisfactory
book was in worse condition than listed. There was a chunk missing from the spine. It also took more than the maximum shipping time listed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Laura J.
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Grear !
A Real great coffee table book ! Also makes a great gift for a someone (all ages) who has everything.
Published 18 months ago by L Linklater
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book
Absolutely essential book on information graphic representation.

Have a look at this to see what this book is all about
Published 23 months ago by Rodrigo Soares Venancio
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is mesmerizing
There is an American edition of this book, but the cover is ugly and jumbled. Do yourself a favor and get the UK version. Read more
Published on May 25, 2012 by Rice Delman
5.0 out of 5 stars Only book to grace our coffee table
Was given this book as a gift. Everybody that visits is fascinated. Seems the author has done a conscientious job of getting the facts right - some areas are probably difficult... Read more
Published on April 17, 2012 by Pauline
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More About the Author

David McCandless is an award-winning writer, journalist, and copywriter. He has written for The Guardian, the Independent, Maxim, Stuff, and Wired; and has won two Webby awards.


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