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Information is Beautiful (New Edition) New Edition by McCandless, David published by Collins (2012) Hardcover – 0010


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  • Hardcover
  • ASIN: B00EKYFH1Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,669,216 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


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 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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115 of 120 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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118 of 128 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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4 of 4 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GM72 on 29 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've been a big fan of Information is Beautiful since the start. I still am a big fan. I bought this book a few years ago and have just re-opened it since. I was a bit disappointed with it initially.

It is full of great stuff but also full of not so great stuff. This lets it down.

Too many items miss the whole point of data visualisations/infographics - a picture paints a thousand words. A visualisation should be easy to understand, or understand without adding too much text, otherwise just have the text. Too many you would just look and go 'what the...I have no idea what this is trying to represent'

"The one machine" on page 90 is just awful. A table of data would have sufficed here. "Three's a magic number" on page 36 is just nonsense. There is no data to visualise here it is just a drawing, and not very interesting at that.

Data visualisation can have artistic qualities but should not be art itself because that is art.

Definitely buy the book. It is just a shame McCandless didn't take a less is more approach.
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