- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 6, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195135326
- ISBN-13: 978-0195135329
- Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Information Graphics: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference
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From Scientific American
This book will be particularly useful to people doing desktop publishing, will help introduce general readers to the language of graphic designers, and can be used as a guidebook for finding the best way to present graphic information. Recommended for all levels. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From The New Yorker
The breadth and depth of entries, examples, and cross-references are almost overwhelming. The book's 448 pages pack in more than 850 entries and nearly 4,000 illustrations covering everything from mundane pie charts to complex visualization techniques for data analysis and business operations. Readers can explore subjects to the depth necessary--it's all there. The writing is straightforward and precise without being overly technical, and presupposes no special knowledge of graphics or mathematics. I am glad to add Information Graphics to my technical communications library. I recommend that you add it also. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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This book is a catalog of ideas and a guide for selecting the best possible way to display information in graphical format. Now, instead of floundering around playing with two or three ways to graphically depict information I turn to this book and pick the most appropriate graphic type. My ability to communicate has dramatically improved because now that I have confidence that I am using the optimal method to display information I find myself using graphics not only more effectively, but more wisely.
Prior to this book my graphics tools were implements that more often than not produced inappropriate charts, giving credence to the adage that "A fool with a tool is still a fool". Since this book I now use my software tools like a skilled craftsman who has the perfect blueprint. With 450 pages of illustrations that show how to depict information visually in the best possible way this book is my perfect blueprint.
This is a uniquely comprehensive encyclopedia of graphical techniques with just enough detail on each technique to help you choose the right one for each situation.
There are no long, detailed explanations of principles. What you get are a few illustrations of each type of graph, with a general description of the strengths of that particular technique and several variations to show how it could be applied to different situations which share some central similarity.
One review criticized the alphabetic listing of the techniques, which is a reasonable critique in general. However I think the weakness is mitigated significantly by the way the graphs are grouped together into broad categories once you get to those. The alphabetically listed individual headings are mainly for cross-reference. It seems clear to me that the book wasn't intended to be read from front to back alphabetically, but that the reader would have a rough idea what sort of graph they needed, would start with the heading for that category, and then when neccessary, would refer to the cross-referenced section alphabetically.
In any case, I found it useful to place sticker-tabs on the pages for the main categories of graph that I care most about, and use those tabs as my starting place for choosing the right graphic. There are about ten broad categories of graphs I usually care most about, such as bar, area, column, line, and point graphs, control charts, statistical distribution charts, and time/activity charts. In addition there are about another dozen or so big categories of topics about graphs in general, such as choosing the right aspect ratio, the right font, and the right scale.
Don't get the wrong idea here, none of these topics is covered in great detail, this book is wonderful *index* to visual techniques for showing data for operational purposes but it is not a detailed how-to or an academic treatise on the individual techniques. Also, the book is not intended for creating flashy presentation or marketing graphics, nor does it cover argument maps, truth maps, or any other single sort of conceptual maps in any great detail (although it does touch on the topic in general).
A welcome bonus is that the bibliography is particularly well selected, and not just a list of popular books on graphs. Some of his references are difficult to get and I suspect that some of these sources may even out of print, but some of them like Tukey's work and William Cleveland's texts are well worth searching for.
This is an indispensible encyclopedia of operational information graphics for helping you to help data tell its own story in its clearest and most revealing light, whether you are trying to manage the quality of a process or track down the source of a problem. The examples are extremely well chosen and representative, and the explanations are concise and helpful in a way that lets you use this as a quick reference and not just as a textbook.
It's all black and white, and omits some of the more recent developments (no Heat Maps, Tree Maps, Sparklines).However it's a serious professional reference that I have personally found useful
Could use an update
Most recent customer reviews
5-10 graphics examples per page.Read more