Friday, September 10th, 2010

DataFlow 2 - Gestalten - Information Is Beautiful
Dataflow 2 is a collection of the latest data visualizations and information graphics sprouting from the fledgling infoviz scene. Everything’s here: computational art, newspaper infographics, academic spidergrams. Although there is a strange absence of work from Information Is Beautiful. Grump!

Nevertheless, it’s a generous pie-slice of interesting and intriguing and WTF? work from international designers big and small. All large-printed on lovely shiny paper. Worth a look.

You can order it on Amazon US and UK. DataFlow 1 is also a seminal collection (US | UK).


Here are a few of my favourites from the book.

(Disclosure: The publisher Gestalten sent me a free review copy.)

Rosemarie Fiore
This New York based artists took long exposure shots of classic video games, revealing the hidden logosof the game, normally unseen by the eye. See if you can guess the game…

Rosemarie Fiore - Long Exposure Video Games - Information Is Beautiful
N.B. Her visualisation of the hidden paths of amusement park rides are also pretty wow too.

Zero By Zero
Amazing South Korean studiospecializing in modern re-mixes of railway maps. Better looking, cooler curves, characterful detail. Here’s Tokyo

Zero By Zero - New York Tube Map - Information Is Beautiful
They’ve recently just re-envisioned the London Underground map too.
(Their site is chunking a bit. But you can check out their Flickr)

Golden Section Graphics
I really like the work of this German infographic design outfit, especially when they pare it all down to the essentials. This graphic of exported German words used around the world exemplifies their awesome-ness.

Golden Section Design - Wanderwort - Information Is Beautiful

Other work for German newspaper Die Zeit ist wunderbar also.

Life Map
This is old but gold. Information designer Ritwik Deydecided to make his life look beautiful and visualised his CV. Four years later it’s still a stunning piece of info design.

Ritwik Dey - LifeMap - Information Is Beautiful

If you’re intrigued by DataFlow 2 you can order it on Amazon US and UK. DataFlow 1 is also a seminal collection (US | UK).

Thanks to Joe Swainson for research and picture editing

Books and Store

Our Beautiful Books - Information is Beautiful Information is Beautiful Store

Show Comments ( )

  • Greg Freed

    It’s sometimes hard to share appreciation for a great collection of information from others, since the post doesn’t have that *wow* factor itself but conglomerates other wow factors, ending in the other posts being shared instead of where we found the information. I’m here to say that this post is very appreciated, at least by one fellow. Thanks!

  • Dusty

    The CV visualization is amazing, and a great idea for someone applying for jobs in web design. How (i.e. what software) would someone produce something like that?

  • Jessica

    And I love ZeroPerZero, but they’re actually Korean, not Japanese.

  • Doctor Memory

    The videogame is Atari’s 1981 “Tempest” — and that’s a gorgeous image.

  • Eric Melski

    The “Life Map” is pretty, but in terms of information density and utility it is barely better than a list of topics. The y-axis is not even labeled. What does it mean that “drawing” is constant width until the end of the graph, where it suddenly ticks upwards? What does it mean that “origami” is half the height of “derive”? I could guess, but isn’t the point of a good data visualization is that I shouldn’t have to?

    The color selection seems arbitrary as well, perhaps chosen for visual appeal, rather than to communicate some additional dimension of the data. That’s unfortunate, because it tends to highlight the activities the author was involved in longest, rather than those that are probably more relevant to their current interests / academic focus. For example, “elocution” is shown in bright red, which naturally catches the eye and draws attention to what is probably not a particularly interesting aspect of his education. In contrast, “advertising”, which I assume is part of his undergraduate degree focus, is shown in a pale brown that practically fades into the background.

    Surely there are better examples of data visualization than that.

  • wwwhitney

    Zero By Zero is from South Korea, not Japan.

  • Sergiy Grynko

    The German words map is very pretty, but I can’t help but notice that a lot of the Russian words they mention actually come from the English (closely related, but still…).

  • Ezmelts

    I would have been nice to slowly post these, now I’ve looked at these awesome graphics all at once :(
    My favorite is the German one, I am unsure if the area of France and it’s surroundings does not have any German words, or they are all so small it just looks like a gray area?

  • David Jimenez

    Hi David,

    I’m David Jimenez from United Nations University in Japan.
    Me and my coworkers have been your follower for a while and of course… we have your book!
    You are a fountain of inspiration for our web-magazine OurWorld 2.0
    The reason I’m writing you is because i noticed you wrote about Zero By Zero, I meet them here in Toyko and they are not Japanese, they are Korean actually.
    Just a small comment ;) and I hope we can collaborate in the future.
    Your fans in Tokyo.

  • Paul

    @Sergiy: all words come from German. The Goethe Institut did the research on that. You may also consult this list of german words in other languages.

    @Ezmelts: the grey area represents Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where German is the official language. France is the part to the left with “hamster” and “loustic”. In fact, you can view a zoom of that exact area on our blog (the post is in German and states that the graphic is available as a giant poster in the shop of Goethe Institut)

  • vicente

    Hello, I am sure that this article and its graphs will be on your interest

    Evolution of National Nobel Prize Shares in the 20th Century


    I´ve written down this information in my blog, in Spanish.

    That´s all. Thx for your attention

    Vicente T. Z.

  • Jack Frost

    @Eric Melski; you are correct, the book has little ‘information’ visualization. The subtitle of the book is misleading in that sense, a more accurate description is the core title “Data Flow”. Nevertheless it contains some interesting idea’s and a few examples of true Business Intelligence type infographs.
    More information here:

  • mo

    I often go to Moma museum in NY. Always there is busy. specially….. the Moma store.
    I think price is not cheap in Moma store but always busy. I often go to there because I can see many novel toys, cookers, books or office supplies….etc… I could see made in korea goods in the Moma store. I’ve seen the subway map in there. It was made in korea. It was really beautiful and so cute!! Manhattan is many foreigners or many people come from other state in US and Manhattan subway is pretty complicate for stranger, so whiout subway map they can’t trevel with subway…so I think it is really good idea. Isn’t it? beatiful map it can be souvenir, and it can be guide or it can be gift for friend.
    I love it.
    i want buy one!!