Sunday, June 05, 2005

Envisioning Information, by Edward R. Tufte

Envisioning Information, by Edward R. Tufte

I can’t decide if I like Tufte’s work or not. The ideas presented are thought provoking and the images capture your attention like few works I’ve ever seen; however, the attitude that comes through his writing reminds me of the worst of my college professors. I suppose in the idea of not shooting the messenger I should give him a pass because the message itself is strong. This book talks about how to best display information, especially lots of information in a small amount of space. I personally find cartography fascinating and there are plenty of maps to be found here. Color is another topic that is covered but could use an update in my opinion; in our new supposedly accessible world Section 508 is becoming more important but ignored in this text. Like Tufte’s other works I’d recommend this one, for the pictures if nothing else. Visually amazing.

First Sentence:
Even though we navigate daily through a perceptual world of three spatial dimensions and reason occasionally about higher dimensional arenas with mathematical ease, the world portrayed on our information displays is caught up in the two-dimensionality of the endless flatlands of paper and video screen.

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