Envisioning Information By Edward Tufte
Posted on 17 Aug 2002
by Javier Velasco (mantruc)
Rated 3.94 (Ratings: 4)
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I had read many impressive comments about the trio of books of Professor EdwardR. Tufte. All of them were extremely favorable, yet vague. This made my curiosity about these books grow day after day. editorial.
Most of the pages or twofolds can be read as a single unit (or case study),which display an amazing synergy between text and diagrams, with notes like "in the image to the left is an example of..." that produces a very strong sensation of the narrative. Once immersed in the reading you feel like Prof. Tufte were there, explaining his points personally to you. Each illustration has been reproduced with such care to detail that they show the qualities of the original print. This was achieved by several special ink colors in the production. For instance, the old drawings of Galileo Galilei are framed by a subtle cream color, which make them stand out from the rest of the page, achieving the effect of aged paper. The contents of the explanations are irrefutable, each explanation is very clear and precise, the evidence evident.
The central problem of this study is presented in the first paragraph of theintroduction:
The world is complex, dynamic, multidimensional; the paper is static, flat.How are we to represent the rich visual world of experience and measurement on mere flatland?
This book explores the best uses for the presentation of multi-dimensionalphenomena into the two dimensions of paper, flatland , it does so with such passion and clarity, that once you reach the middle of the book, you start wishing for it to grow longer as each page passes.
Envisioning Information presents years of history of all kinds of maps, timetables,multi-dimensional graphs and instructions. Covering topics that include Geometry, Medicine, Dance, Astronomy, Geography, Human Transportation. One of the longest examples presentsan evolution of the presentation of solar spot observations, from Galileo's sketches to computer generated graphs. Although at first sight, this book is not directly related to web development, the knowledge presented can be applied to any discipline. Every professional activity is faced with the task of presenting measurements, comparations, observations, conceptual designs or visual designs: Envisioning Information can help anyone deliver better documents and make his message clear, regardless of his or her field of work. As described in the book:
The principles of information design are universal - like mathematics - and are not tied to unique features of a particlar language or culture. Consequently, our examples are widely distributed in space and time: illustrations come from 17 countries and 7 centuries, and, for that matter, 3 planets and one star.
This book is a real treasure. I highly recommend it.
The Tufte trio, as described in the Tufte website
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables.
This book celebrates escapes from the flatlands of both paper and computerscreen, showing superb displays of high-dimensional complex data.
|Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative is about pictures of verbs, the representation of mechanism and motion, process and dynamics, causes and effects, explanation and narrative.|