It’s the story, stupid

It may well be the most famous interactive infographic: Gapminder World, the interactive and animated graph showing the wealth and health of nations since 1800. Of course it is renowned for its clear and innovative design and the importance of the data is represents. But most of all its fame is based on the inspiring TED presentations of Hans Rosling, the creator of the underlying trendalyzer software and a passionate advocate of a data driven approach to world development.

For me the most important message of these talks is the importance of a story. Animation and interaction are nice, but adding narrative really can make an infographic powerful. Rosling’s recent presentation about a the “front-page-worthy good news” that we’re winning the war against child mortality is the latest illustration of this fact. Bill Clinton would say: it’s the story, stupid!

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  1. […] Having been very busy with teaching and trying to finish the first chapter of my dissertation, I’ve neglected this blog for a while. So it’s time for some catching up. And although you’ve probably seen it on all the other blogs about visualization, the trailer of The Joy of Stats should not be missing here. In this BBC documentary Hans Rosling once again will demonstrate his enormous enthusiasm about the revealing powers of visualized statistics. According to some critics the slick, minority report-like visuals are a poor and unnecessary substitute for Roslings original TED-talks, the snippet shows again that the real power of interactivity and visualization is revealed in combination with a strong narration. […]

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