- Hardcover: 156 pages
- Publisher: Graphics Press (February 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0961392126
- ISBN-13: 978-0961392123
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.2 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 73 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
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With Visual Explanations, Edward R. Tufte adds a third volume to his indispensable series on information display. The first, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, which focuses on charts and graphs that display numerical information, virtually defined the field. The second, Envisioning Information, explores similar territory but with an emphasis on maps and cartography. Visual Explanations centers on dynamic data--information that changes over time. (Tufte has described the three books as being about, respectively, "pictures of numbers, pictures of nouns, and pictures of verbs.")
Like its predecessors, Visual Explanations is both intellectually stimulating and beautiful to behold. Tufte, a self-publisher, takes extraordinary pains with design and production. The book ranges through a variety of topics, including the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger (which could have been prevented, Tufte argues, by better information display on the part of the rocket's engineers), magic tricks, a cholera epidemic in 19th-century London, and the principle of using "the smallest effective difference" to display distinctions in data. Throughout, Tufte presents ideas with crystalline clarity and illustrates them in exquisitely rendered samples.
From Library Journal
Tufte is the master of visualization. You can immediately add this new work alongside his previous gems, Visual Display of Quantitative Information (1983) and Envisioning Information (1990, both from Graphics). Tufte's discussions take place in a world where specific software and certain parameters of the web don't exist?we all know such limitations are always changing anyway. His historical perspective allows Tufte to demonstrate simple, timeless guidelines that are independent of special stylesheets or the latest upgrade from Netscape. In this volume, Tufte illustrates not only traditional areas such as statistics, repetitions, and multiples but also magic and compositional allegories.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
It looks like he publishes one every seven years ("The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" in 1983, "Envisioning Information" in 1990) so I
think I'm going to budget $0.02 per day
and get them all.
Perhaps the most significant chapter is
his analysis of how bad graphic presentation contributed to the loss of the space shuttle "Challenger." Basically, he believes that data were available which could and should have led to a decision to cancel the launch, but that the engineers failed to communicate it to the decision-makers. And he shows exactly how and why they failed.
Left brain? right brain? Tufte shows us visual elegance in the service of quantitative thinking.