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Information is Beautiful Hardcover – 4 Feb 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (4 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007294662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007294664
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 2.9 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a London-based author, data-journalist and information designer, working across print, advertising, TV and web. My book and blog Information Is Beautiful is dedicated to visualising ideas, issues, knowledge and data. All powered by my passion for discovering new patterns and stories in the seas of data swamping and surrounding us.

I started my career as a writer for cult video games magazines in the late 80s, hacking into games and penning a programming column. Over the next 25 years, I've worked as a journalist, conceptual copywriter, web editor, creative director and comedy writer. I've had pieces exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Wellcome Trust gallery in London, and at the Tate Britain. I have an occasional column on the Guardian's Datablog.

See
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net
http://www.davidmccandless.com
http://www.twitter.com/mccandelish


Product Description

Review

"Information is Beautiful" is a wonderful present for anybody from 6 years to 96. I can't stop reading it. A lot of information is funny, all of it interesting, some of it even quite useful, so no house should be without one.
--Stoker Devonshire (12th Duke of Devonshire)

From the Publisher

We are on the third reprint and all copies now available are free from printing errors.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Page 128 of this book is devoted to the different types of graphics used in diagrams, forty are named with a little graphic of each (pie chart; bar chart; word cloud etc and one called 'Dunno what to call it' chart) and I thought it would have been useful to run this page at the front of the book so that readers could try and identify what type of graphic was used on each page.

The editorial is an interesting one and gets away from the Tufte format of reproducing existing material by creating all the graphics for this book and maybe this is one of its weaknesses. I found so many of these graphic pages just too unwieldy and confusing, sort of the opposite of what this type of material is supposed to do: visually present information with clarity and simplicity. Plenty of pages have data that has been crowbarred into something visual that really should have remained just as typed list.

Shame about the missing text that everyone has mentioned. More importantly to me (and a real editorial weakness) is the large amount of unreadable type, either white out of a black page, light coloured panels or just too tiny. Heavy use of 'Batteries Not Included Bold Condensed' and 'Prices Subject To Change Without Notice Roman' do not encourage clarity. It means I quickly turn over the page to the next diagram.

There are some fascinating visual ideas here but because they were not created for anything other than this book they lack the creative rigor that would normally be required if they were to be used in print elsewhere.
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113 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Robin Hilton on 21 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted this book from the day I read about it, but waited until the printing errors were sorted out. Amazon haven't really highlighted the publishers note that says this is now on to the third reprint, and is therefore error free. So I now have a copy. And it was worth the 6 month wait.

This really is beautiful. The way some of the figures are presented is brilliantly original, and really fires the imagination for how information could be better presented. And I was surprised at some practical pages as well - eg salad dressing recipes, with quantities represented visually.

This is one of those books that will sit in the book case and be dipped into every now and again for inspiration. Enjoy it.
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117 of 127 people found the following review helpful By J. Dawson VINE VOICE on 21 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Author David McCandless deserves full marks for concept, design, and content of this book. It is indeed a beautiful and endlessly fascinating book that presents all sort of information from the profound to the trivial in a highly accessible way. It is the sort of thing that is ideal to dip into at random and know you are bound to come away with some new bit of knowledge, and I have no doubt our copy will end up very well-thumbed indeed.

So why the low marks? Those are for the publishers alone. A substantial number of the graphics here are missing the text that turns them from an abstract image into information. Some graphics seem to disappear off the edge of the page, others have a title but no legend to help decipher the image, graphs may show a legend for only one axis and leave the reader to guess the other. Frustratingly, the author's own website reveals that these errors were noticed in the American edition and he attempted to correct them before the British edition was printed, however the publishers opted to just publish the same book, errors and all.

This should be a stunning book with broad appeal, however in its present state I cannot honestly recommend paying for a copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. T. Baxter VINE VOICE on 24 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a great idea for book, especially for us stat-buffs. There are loads of diagrams, graphical representations and charts - many in original and colourful formats - presenting data from a huge range of subjects.

The author, David McCandless, has, on the whole, done a great job compiling and devising this book, but there are a few problems which undermine it:

1) As others have mentioned, some - quite a few- diagrams are missing captions and labels, rendering them meaningless (e.g. country names missing from a diagram showing relative %age of athiests by country)

2) Some of the data is collected from less than 24 carat sources (eg. small commercial websites). This doesn't mean the information is less 'fun', but it is less representative.

3) Sometimes the more unusual charts need a bit of time in interpretation. We could do with a brief explanation of how to read them sometimes.

Despite these limitations this is a fun book to dip in and out of, and looks very nice (although I would prefer a high gloss paper to the matt that the publisher chose). I'd probably recommend the second print run - there are too many mistakes in this one - just hope the publishers haven't produced too many already!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danny on 24 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So the information contained in this book is fascinating, educational & ultimately beautifully presented.

However, there still seems to be errors:

1) A portion of the graphics are missing at the seam when they cover two pages. For example, page 166/167 features illegible text where the pages meet. 230/231 is also mis-matched. It's strange because it seems care has been taken to prevent this for some pages and yet not others.

2) On page 219 for 'The Future of Energy' there are text labels missing for the Geothermal & Hydroelectric images.

These errors have been noticed within 10 minutes of reading so I imagine there may be other examples too.

A real shame when the whole purpose of infographics is to present information beautifully and clearly. It taints the brilliance of this book. Would have been 5 stars otherwise.

Fingers crossed a new edition will appear that is completely correct!
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