29 September 2016

Best American Infographics 2016 edited by Gareth Cook

Summary from Goodreads:
“When it comes to infographics…the best work in this field grabs those eyes, keeps them glued, and the grip is sensual—and often immediate. A good graphic says ‘See what I see!’ and either you do or you don’t. The best ones…pull you right in, and won’t let you go.”
—From the introduction by Robert Krulwich

The year’s most “awesome” (RedOrbit) infographics reveal aspects of our world in often startling ways—from a haunting graphic mapping the journey of 15,790 slave ships over 315 years, to a yearlong data drawing project on postcards that records and cements a trans-Atlantic friendship. The Best American Infographics 2016 covers the realms of social issues, health, sports, arts and culture, and politics—including crisp visual data on the likely Democratic/Republican leanings of an array of professions (proving that your urologist is far more likely to be a Republican than your pediatrician). Here once again are the most innovative print and electronic infographics—“the full spectrum of the genre—from authoritative to playful” (Scientific American). ROBERT KRULWICH is the cohost of Radiolab and a science correspondent for NPR. He writes, draws, and cartoons at Curiously Krulwich, where he synthesizes scientific concepts into colorful, one-of-a-kind blog posts. He has won several Emmy awards for his work on television, and has been called “the most inventive network reporter in television” by TV Guide.

I really love this series.  However, in this volume I feel like a few of the infographics selected were overly-hard to read. Not because they were interactive or large (which was an easy problem to since I could find them online) but because the graphs were unnecessarily complex, hard to interpret, or had data the graphic didn't/couldn't explain (was missing a key, etc). On the excellent side, there is a beautiful 8-page foldout of a NatGeo infographic about dome architecture and a charming graphic of Popemobiles over the years. Of importance to bibliophiles, there's one that tracks literary road trips in the US. I'd encourage you to go to the webpage and use the interactive bits.

Dear FTC: I bought my copy of this book.

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