Friday, December 31st, 2010

Our first animation. Enjoy!

$US version – see the video on youtube

£UK version – see the video on youtube


We’ve been honing our animation skills. Expect more films, motion infographics and ‘info-mations’ in 2011. Follow us on Youtube for more.

If you’re an motion graphics type person looking to collaborate or work with us on similar projects, get in touch!

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Show Comments ( )

  • Midnighter

    It would have been so nice to have these videos with the original Tetris music and the characteristic sound when the stones set down ;)

  • Travis

    Great visualization! I’ve posted this video on my blog which normally is focusing on art, music and culture from around the globe. In this case I thought it was a terrific and beautiful way to communicate a message without being overt about it. Hope to see more visualizations from you in the future!

  • Jamie

    It looks like we are all owned by the banking system.

  • Daniel Lawson

    Nice idea. I’m sure this will lead to a lot of fun visualisations.

    You need to use colours that show up on white though – I could barely see the peach colour…

  • Bruno

    What font is that????

  • john Hobson

    This has launched a thousand ideas in 2010.

    I’ll be having an entire year group having a go at producing their own animated infographics inspired by David’s work!

  • Alex

    Like it a lot! What software did you use to create?

  • monroe

    congrats for your first animation. keep up the good work!

  • Brian

    I like your visualizations, but maybe it’s time to work a little harder on your data. For one thing, the “global cost of obesity” that you post in this particular visual is grossly understated, since it happens to equal the on-record cost of obesity to the US health care system earlier in the decade, a figure which was revised upward months ago. So now I have to wonder whether your other costs are factual, too.

    Maybe focus a little less on cute but pejorative comparisons and a little more on specific, sourcable, direct comparisons?

  • Jim

    Totally sweet. This inspired me to save the Amazon using the military FY11 budget. There’s something so tantalizing about squares!

  • Original Sin

    I’m sorry, this made no sense, you’re comparing numbers that have no bearing on each other. I’m all for highlighting the contradictions of US/UK government spending, but this graph just reads like a liberal graph-ploitation with cutesy music.

    • Really Curious

      Why do you interpret it as liberal? What is liberal about it? It is like me saying
      “this graph just reads like a right wing graph-ploitation with cutesy music”
      Your statement does not make any sense.

  • bob mills


    but too fast. even with pausing, it was difficult to grok the sources.

    i’m sure it seems ponderous to you, having developed it. but i’ll bet you comparable sums to those in the vids that if you surveyed people, it’s waaaaaay too fast. if you slowed it down 1.5x, maybe.

    thanks, though — brilliant idea!

  • Toby

    Great idea and well executed! For me much better if it slowed down a bit. I barely manage to read the text.

  • djib

    Interesting idea and wonderful realisation.

  • Paul

    Pretty. But mostly useless. I remember the rainforest thing, that’s about it – but only as a proportionate area, not as an absolute. And I couldn’t see where that was sourced from. This sort of visualisation is pernicious. It deludes people into thinking a) that transparent data has had any sort of actually useful benefit and b) that context, and the system mechanics that lead to some of those numbers being the way they are, are unimportant.

    This fuels a nation of whingers who will beat on the door saying: PRESS that big MONEY BUTTON Barack, and FIX the rainforest with a tiny bit of that OTHER BUDGET. There are no buttons like that. I’m sorry.

    If you compared the amount of attention that this trite graphic will get in comparison to what could have been achieved with a useful, explodable, explorable analysis – referenced, and with context – now THAT would make an interesting visualisation.

  • MagnificentMnmlst

    Whoa. That really puts things in perspective. I’m super impressed.

  • Andre

    Great way of visualizing data ! The fact that one block enters at a time
    makes the user focus on each of them instead of seeing only the largest

    Will you do a similar animation for green house gas emissions ?
    (for different sources)

  • Mike Battistella

    Very good. The animation supports the AHA moment since you don’t be overwhelmed by to much information at once. Everytime a new rectangle appears it let me smile.

    A heretical question. Why don’t you post your animation directly in flash – not going the detour with video showed in a Flash video player?

  • derek d

    Nice vid. Shame it claims the UK’s defence budget is the 2nd largest in the world. As someone pointed out upthread, if it’s wrong on one figure, on how many others is the presentation wrong? FYI both China and the US definitely spend more on defence than lil ol’ Blighty. It takes approximately 10 seconds on Google to work this out…

  • Hansen

    Your box sizes are wrong.

    Cost of Iraq war: £1890bn
    Cost of financial crisis: £7500bn

    This implies the area of Iraq war cost box should be around 25% of the financial crisis box. If you look at the graphic, this is obviously not the case.

    Interesting looking, but factually useless presentation.

    • Moritz Stefaner

      +1, I was a bit surprised to see it was that much off, too. What happened? Any plans to correct it?

  • Sandor Heder

    Brilliant! Congratulations.

  • J

    You’re definitely on the right track to a better way of presenting huge numbers.

    A few comments, however. The pace is too rapid for absorbing the information, and more important REFLECTING on it. Perhaps you could take pauses from time to time. Or reduce the amount of data.

    Having said that, this concept– when refined– will be far more effective that current methods of conveying numbers visually, which generally consists of presenting numbers. As for its impact on Business TV programs, your method would be a huge advance on the current practice of throwing up numbers and graphs on a screen (print journalism in a supposedly visual medium).

    Congratulations, and Good Luck with your efforts!

  • Richard

    Interesting demonstration of why pure information is not beautiful, but meaningless when presented out of context. The very fact that some of these facts are presented, and that they are juxtaposed with the natural inference being that we should compare them, is inherently misleading.

    Worst example is the comparison of US private charitable donation as compared to US government aid. What has the former to do with debt? Are you implying the latter should be greater, closer to private donation (if so why, and what has that to do with debt?) or that it should be reduced (which I would agree, and would be relevant to debt, but the context of the larger private donation block does not suggest that conclusion).

    Then there is the OPEC revenue and climate-change fund being given. That the later is tiny compared to the former is meaningless. That US$3 bn is a staggering amount of money for any project is not presented, let alone a pointless project based on the claims of a small handful of scientists who make millions out of it and a bunch of ex-communist enviro-fascists.

    The other good example is presenting African debt to the west. Why is that in the US video? Are we supposed to infer that this debt is some responsibility of the US, or that the US pay down that debt? I can’ see how you get to the former, and the latter is a terrible idea, for the damage it would do to the developing world.

  • Fernanda riofrío

    Son lo máximo, gracias por ese trabajo, es democratizar la información al fin alguien me lo da en una forma que entiendo por que se relacionan datos con la vida real NO PAREN

  • Marshall Kane

    I love the concept, and I was excited when I came across the link, but I must agree with a few others on the haphazard use of data. What exactly are you trying to convey? The nation’s private debt? The public debt? The government debt? It seems as though all you’ve done is cherry-pick data based upon your own spending preferences. For example, how does one highlight the financial impact of the Iraq War on the US national debt, but no so much as mention spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or any other social programs? Also, you toss around examples of government and private spending as if there is no distinction. Why include Walmart’s earnings? What does that have to do with debt? What does the rainforest have to do with any of this? As wonderful as it would be to save the rainforest or give more aid to developing countries would that not put us deeper into debt?

    With your knack for visuals I could see you producing some really interesting and useful stuff. However, that is unlikely if can only view data through such an ideological lens.

  • Ben G

    The video format doesn’t work very well for this sort of information. Once the caption is gone, there’s no way to find out again what a certain box represents. An interactive Flash animation where you could mouse over the blocks to recall their amounts and sources (and maybe citations of where you got the info) would be much better.

  • Silveira Neto

    I would like to also see in this animation the size of the NASA budget.