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on 16 September 2017
Wonderful book let down by ill consider production. The printing and binding seem to have been ignored resulting in information disappearing into the spine of the book. Many examples in the book are printed over two pages and exhibit the loss of information. For a book about presenting information this is unacceptable. See pictures for examples. Maybe I have a bad copy but given that other pages and borders appear correct, the book is poorly produced.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 February 2014
Apparently there were numerous errors in earlier versions of this book, but this review is for the 2012 edition which would appear to have corrected the omissions and errors of earlier editions.

The most serious fault that I can level at McCandless's "Information is Beautiful" is that is has almost single handedly given rise to the infographic obsession that means that you can hardly go online without encountering some designer's view of information that is all style and little substance. However, returning to McCandless's book shows how, when done with thought and insight, the graphic can add to the reader's understanding of the data. The book is one part modern art, one part geek-porn and several parts graphic design. It's not only interesting, but is indeed as beautiful as the title promises it to be.

When the book was first published, in 2009, many of the designs were seldom used - not most of them will be familiar and that threatens to minimise the importance of the book in the history of infographic design. Rather like HDR photography, a badly thought out infographic is dull and a bit cliche now, but when done properly, they really do get the message over. A picture is said to paint a thousand words, but a well-designed infographic can get over more than that. And this is full of them.

McCandless is good at sourcing the data. One slight concern though is that there is a fair bit that is sourced from Wikipedia - which is seldom the most reliable of sources on anything. With that caveat, this book is a modern design classic. It's beautiful, interesting, clever and thoughtful.
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on 5 April 2014
a graph will teach you in an instant what a chapter of prose will fail to teach in an hour.here is that concept on steroids and speed.my only beef (!)---some of the information presented as fact is in fact controversial.we are going to have trouble in the future because of our acceptance of the intrusion of politics into science(remember mad cow?we seem to have got away with that one---for now.)and this does nothing to restrain the stupid process.but if you ask yourself the increasingly vital questions---"who is telling me this?" "what have they got to gain from me believing them?" "how can i check these putative facts ?" "has anyone repeated the experiment or observation on which the were based?" ( clue .no one seems to be repeating experiments...it is regarded as too expensive. ) "is money involved?" "what about votes?"this wonderful book will excite and provoke any but the dullest mind.
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VINE VOICEon 28 November 2010
For those of you stuck in spreadsheet hell then this is book you should really like. The many and varied way that data is displayed in this book is a treat - and informative to boot
My working environment is characterised by massive spreadsheets where the prize seems to be to hide the information you need in a morass of data that you don't - what this book does is show that just because you have a lot of data in order to make sense of it you don't have to display all of it (never mind the quality feel the width approach) For example on Page 218 there is a display of whole has the worlds's oil - and who will have it in 2020 - now, instead of a big table you get a bubble diagram showing the relative sizes - and the point just leaps off the page that the Middle East will have a GREATER share of the world's oil in 2020 that it does today - now thats information and NOT data - one for the policy makers to mull over ?
And the book is full of them
Then try the one on Page 158/9 on Carbon production - again a table, even or ordered one does not give you the full difference - but put a picture on it and you see that the airline industry produces a huge amount
This book shows you many ways to present data - not all of them work for me - but oh it makes it more interesting that yet another line or bar graph - now if we could just use this in the civil service ..
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This is a brilliant book but don't buy it if you have a copy of The Visual Miscellaneum as they are the same book. I discovered this after ordering both ! ! !
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on 28 September 2017
I don't know which I like best - the range of information or the different ways in which it is presented. Either way, this is a superb book.
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on 23 June 2013
This book contains a series of page-spread infographics covering a variety of topics. Many are interesting, but few cause you to think - or even stop - for more than the time it takes to glance over the page and absorb the gist of the information. I flicked through in about half an hour and was left feeling ripped off.

I bought it hoping to take some inspiration from the design exhibited and the innovation of the information-conveyance techniques. I was again disappointed as there isn't really anything here you haven't seen before. So, this would probably make a decent coffee table book, that is, if your guests are the sort of people who would presume to flick through a book with such a title. I know most people wouldn't be interested, judging by the cover.
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on 20 January 2018
Lovely book, and great infographics and gathered research. Also quite inspirational for those wanting to present knowledge in a quirky, different way. Definitely recommend.
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on 25 August 2015
Visual thought candy, perhaps a bit lacking in purpose though. This is basically a graphical form of statistics and it should always make you consider what the designer intends you to learn, versus the real situations the data come from.
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on 3 August 2017
Bought for my daughter. I already have my own copy so knew it would be useful to show creative and visual ways of sharing analytics
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