Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Getting the Picture

A variant of the original map drawn by Dr. Joh...
A variant of the original map drawn by Dr. John Snow (1813-1858), a British physician who is one of the founders of medical epidemiology, showing cases of cholera in the London epidemics of 1854, clustered around the locations of water pumps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dr John Snow's 1854 dot map of London cholera fatalities is an early, and now famous, example of how data can be presented in an engaging and meaningful way. 

This and many other examples of 'visualising knowledge' are shown in a recent slideshare presentation by Conrad Taylor. Taylor's talk is impressively researched and provides a sound, albeit at times theoretical, background to infographics.

Developments in infographics, coming at a time when open data is becoming more relevant, is serendipitous. This should be of interest to everyone driving knowledge sharing and make know-how more accessible in organisations. 


Taylor's presentation was brought to my attention by KIN Associate Steve Dale, with whom I have been talking about a Spring 2013 KIN Masterclass on 'visualising knowledge'. As well as infographic examples and tools, we will look at how these can be employed to pragmatically improve communication, engagement and collaboration in organisations.

There is a huge amount of innovation going on in the graphical presentation of ideas, concept mapping and what Disney called 'imagineering'. I have mentioned Hans Rosling's Gapminder in a previous post. I can also highly recommend David McCandless' book and website 'Information is Beautiful'.
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