The visualisation of raw data can bring understanding to concepts that may have been difficult to perceive beforehand. By making the “invisible visible” through visual representation of difficult concepts, we are able to more easily disseminate information to a wider audience.
Sometimes infographics can be created like the one above to represent data in a visually appealing way and present the data closer to its statistical nature. However sometimes it is just as effective to represent data in a symbolic way.
From this article from Metro UK about the decline in population in Polar Bears and the US Government’s position on climate change, the concept of a critically endangered species is conveyed. The lone polar bear perched precariously on a small piece of ice is more effective in communicating the concept of climate change and its effects on the species than the raw statistics of climate change data juxtaposed with the the numbers of polar bears over the years.
This image may not be representationally accurate, out of frame there might be large masses of ice with more polar bears but the image has been framed and used in a way that it is symbolic of the nature of the concept of climate change. It is emotive rather than accurate but still serves as the same effect as perhaps an infographic would.
Metrowebukmetro, “strugglung polar bears put on endangered list”, metro, may 15th 2008 [metro.co.uk/2008/05/15/struggling-polar-bears-put-on-endangered-list-137306/] last accessed 26/10/14