If you know anything about me you probably know that I am fascinated by a great many things in life, some of them quite obvious to those who read my musings here on the site. Perhaps less obviously than my interests in the Middle Ages and science and Tolkien and writing and Jeeps and the Broncos, however, is this:
Probably this goes back to the teacher in me, but I am consistently fascinated with the ways we present information to one another.
I bring this up because today I came across this terrific article in the New York Times that attempts to present the information about Usain Bolt’s recent gold medal run in the Olympics in a different way. It turns out that it’s part of series of multimedia infographics that the NYT has been running throughout this Olympiad, and they’re all terrific at combining multiple streams of information into a format that is highly accessible to the human mind.
(The videos also, as it happens, do a terrific job of working out scale, a problem that I recently mentioned in regards to the Mars Curiosity landing.)
If you’re interested in this kind of thing, do check out the Information Is Beautiful website, run by David McCandless. Or watch his TED talk, which is really terrific and insightful. Here’s one of my favorite McCandless infographics, visualizing the two primary political parties here in the United States. I have it posted on my office door as a matter of fact: