Monday, December 29, 2008

25 Years of Mac: Timeline

From  I like that this History of Apple isn't your traditional timeline.  It does go from left to right, but the images are mixed and overlapping.  It show a clear progression from beige to colors to white to silver.  The style also invites the viewer in to explore the details hidden in the image and find the extra images that specifically tagged with a date across the top.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Anamorphic Parking Garage Signage

These are images from the Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Australia.  Emery Studio (look at the "Placemaking" link) had the opportunity to use both the horizontal and vertical surfaces to design some anamorphic signage in the parking deck.  When viewed from the correct direction as you're driving, the words appear legible and lead you in the correct direction.  Viewed from another angle, the words appear as abstract lines and colors.

Thanks Ethyl for sending the link on Twitter!  Images are from the Kosmograd blog.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Tallest Building: Burj Dubai

The Burj Dubai is a construction project to build the world's tallest building in Dubai.  Their website has a nice interactive comparison to the other key skyscrapers in the world.  The photo-like images on a black background with the reflection is very similar to the Apple Computer photo slideshows.
The goal of Burj Dubai is not simply to be the world's highest building.  It's to embody the world's highest aspirations.  Burj Dubai looks different depending on where you're standing.  For those living nearby, it is a shining accomplishment - tangible proof of Dubai's central role in a growing world.
Thanks Alwyn!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Immigration to the U.S. 1820-2007

Immigration to the US, 1820-2007 v2 from Ian Stevenson on Vimeo.

Cool video by Ian Stevenson (hosted on Vimeo) that animates the origins and number of people that immigrated to the U.S. every decade from 1820 to 2007.

Thanks Garrett for the link!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

FREE Infographic Holiday Cards!

While supplies last, Funnel, Inc. is offereing a free set of Holiday Infographic Cards to anyone who registers on their mailing list.  You won't find the link on their website, but the direct URL is Order yours quick!

Also, there are three FREE Holiday desktop infographic images available on the same page at various resolutions.

The Convergence of Film and Gaming

From in Gemany, a potential look at the future merging of film and gaming into a complete immersive experience.  High-res image available here.

Thanks Alwyn for sending in the link!  Also found on

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chess: Watch the Artificial Intelligence

This is really awesome.  Thinking Machine 4 has an online chess game that lets you watch the computer evaluate all of the future moves in real time each time its the computer's turn.
When the machine (Black) is thinking, a network of curves is overlaid on the board.  The curves show potential moves--often several turns in the future--considered by the computer. Orange curves are moves by black; green curves are ones by white. The brighter curves are thought by the program to be better for white. 
I found this posted by Nathan on Simple Complexity.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ben Fry's Zipcode Project

Ben Fry is the author of Visualizing Data, and describes the ZipCode project in his book.  Each dot on the map is one zip code, and as you type a zip code, it highlights all of the dots that share that portion of the zip code.  You can turn on the "zoom" feature that zooms farther into the map for each digit you add.

This is built with the open source Processing tool that was recently released to the world as version 1.0.

Here are all of the zip codes that start with "6"

Thanks Steve for sending the link!

Here's a link to Ben's book on Amazon:

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Nuclear Express

From, this graphic is a summary of the proliferation of nuclear weapons based on the new book "The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation" by Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman.  The graphic is part of the NY Times article titled "Hidden Travels of the Atomic Bomb".
"The Nuclear Express" a new book on the history of the atomic age, describes the interlocking web of influence and espionage behind the proliferation of nuclear technology.  This diagram gives a summary of the authors' tracking of the transfers of nuclear technology and secrets.
Thanks Jesse for sending in the link.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The AI Landscape

From the Association of the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a cool poster image designed by Giacomo Marchesi that lays out the different areas of AI development.

Thanks Zach!  Also can be found on

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

10,000+ iPhone Apps Mosaic

To help Apple celebrate 10,000 iPhone apps in the iTunes App Store, TapTapTap created this iPhone mosaic using icons from the available apps.

Check out the TapTapTap blog.

Here is the high-resolution image.

World of Apple is offering the image as a poster for $50

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Hidden Cost of War

Found on both Information Aesthetics and Visualizing Econmics.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Species-Scape

Christopher Taylor posted this image on his Catalogue of Organisms blog, and it has raised a little controversey about the details.  The intent is that the relative size of each organism in the image is representative of the number of species in that group.  So the large fly represents the huge number of insect species.  Towards that intent, I believe the image succeeds, but I have read some disagreement about the specific numbers used to develop the image.

In case you're wondering where the mammals are, we're represented by the reindeer cowering underneath the mushroom.
Two very similar images with some differences are also available.  One from the University of Sydney:

And another on from Cornell University: (this link wasn't working for me)

No matter which is exactly correct (and there's no way to tell), you get the point how small number of species of mammals are compared to the others.

Thanks Kevin, for sending in the link!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The "Super" Family Tree of Dinosaurs

Recently published in the Proceedings of The Royal Society, Biological Sciences, Volume 275 Number 1650 on November 7, 2008.

This is over my head, but this radial family tree shows the diversity of dinosaur species.  It's used in the article to help challenge the theory that dinosaurs went through a rapid decline during the Cretaceous period.  A brief summary is online over at The New Scientist.
Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR).
Thanks for the link Michael!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Three Laws of Great Graphs

Back in July, Seth Godin posted his"three laws of great graphs" for PowerPoint presentations.  I may not agree with Seth's laws, but I thought it worth sharing for discussion.

1. One Story: While I don't agree for all infographics, I do agree with this specifically for giving PowerPoint presentation.  Steve Jobs is a master at this, or the master is whoever makes his keynote presentations.

2. No Bar Charts: I don't disagree that there are some horrible bar charts out there, but I don't think they should be eliminated altogether.  They have their place, and since they are the default chart in PowerPoint they often get used when another type of chart would be more appropriate.

3. Motion: I'll cautiously agree with this one.  Animation in PowerPoint is often distracting, but can be used as Seth describes.  Don't get caught up in slide transitions, but use animation to highlight the point you are trying to convey to your audience.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Voyager Infographic video

Voyager from Jaime Arvizu on Vimeo.

Jaime Arvizu, a student at the Vancouver Film School, sent me a link to this infographic video that he and his team mates (Tyler Lemermeyer and Leo Aguiar) created for their Motion Design class.  You can find a high resolution version at Jaime's blog.

Thanks for sending this in Jaime, I love it!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How Star Wars Changed the World

The original Star Wars has certainly gone on to produce more than just sequels.  It has created the people and the technologies that are now considered the best in the industry.  Michelle Devereaux created this family tree for Wired magazine back in 2005 and I love how the line colors indicate people, technologies and company connections, but the tree is organized into movies, sound, effects and technologies.

I actually believe the tree is incomplete.  I think Star Wars had far greater reach and influence that what Michelle mapped out here.
It all started with a band of rebels who wanted to help a farmboy follow his dream.  Three decades later, the Star Wars empire has grown into one of the most fertile incubators of talent in the worlds of movies (Lucasfilm), visual effects (Industrial Light & Magic), sound (Skywalker Sound), and videogames (LucasArts).  Along the way, some of the original Lucas crew has gone on to become his biggest competitors.  This chart maps the people, companies and technologies touched by the Force. - Michelle Devereaux
Thanks Alwyn!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Welcome to the world baby...Processing

In my email yesterday I received a note announcing the release of Processing 1.0.  It's very exciting to see this project release to the world.  There have been many beta versions leading up to this release (162 versions in fact), but for those interested in creating your own infographics this is big news.  What is Processing, you ask?
Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.
Processing is free to download and available for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.
Some of the infographics I have highlighted here on Cool Infographics have been created with the earlier versions of Processing, and I'm hoping for more to come.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The history of olympic medals

Grace Lee is a Junior at Parsons, the New School for Design in New York City.  She went back and visually laid out all of the medals won be every country in every Olympics since Athens in 1896.  Across the bottom it also shows how many nations participated each year and how many athletes were involved.  This was a project in her Information Design class, and she did a fabulous job!
The games have always brought of this world together in peace, leaving behind any racial or cultural boundaries.  The Olympic games create a time when the world can be smaller and united as a human race, rather than separate nations.  With the summer games in Beijing, China, and the upcoming games in Vancouver, Canada, the Olympic games will continue to be a time of friendly competition.

Thanks Grace.  I love how this project turned out.

By popular request I have uploaded the full PDF version here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis

This is a tall flow chart helping describe the financial crisis, from

Thanks Alwyn!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seasonal Visual Timelines

Roberto Rovira, and assistant professor of landscape architecture at the Florida International University's, School of Architecture, was kind enough to allow me to share some of his work with the readers of Cool Infographics.
Working as a consultant, these seasonal timelines were developed to show the activities and the plants used in a proposal for a project he led called "Envisioning Hudson Square" on the Hudson River near Manhattan, NY.
The first one shows the time of year that different activities would be active in this green area during the year like bicycling, bird watching and ice skating.  It also shows the different wildlife that would be present during the year like blue heron, striped bass and snowy egrets. Using the visual timeline you can see how the different activities overlap and that there would always be some type of activity during the year.
The second timeline from the same project show the proposed plant and trees to be used in the project, and with the use of the visual timeline shows their color and appearance throughout the year.
Graphics by Roberto Rovira, RLA, with assistance from landscape designer Kelly Woodward. Roberto is Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture at Florida International University ( and Senior Landscape Architect consultant for ArquitectonicaGEO (, a Miami-based landscape and planning firm. He led GEO's design team and developed the concepts for 'Hudson Square Prints Green!', a proposal for a 30-block New York City district on Manhattan's West Side, adjacent to the Hudson River.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Create Your Own Electoral Map

Since today is Election Day, the has a neat feature that lets you create your own Electoral Map.  Ireally like that it also gives you the option (seen above) to view the country with teh states sized by electoral votes or by geography (below).

It's been preloaded with the breakdown of how the states may fall today, and which states are still undecided.  It's a little misleading because there are more undecided states, but they have assumed they will lean as the have historically.  It also allows you to change them on your own so you can see the effect on the overall election.

When your done playing, you can also see the NYTimes version of the map that includes the states that are leaning, but are not yet truly decided.

As you can see, the site is predicting a Democratic win.  Let's see what really happens today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Where your Apple Tax goes...

A little humor Monday morning from the brilliant minds behind The Joy of Tech.  Click the link to see the full version.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wine Flavor Visualization

A great visualization by Carl Tashian on that connects different wine types with the flavors and notes of each.
What is the relationship between wine varieties and flavor components? This visualization attempts to show the strength of these relationships. I culled descriptive flavor words from over 5,000 published wine tasting notes written between 1995-2000 in a major Australian wine magazine.
Via Information Aesthetics.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Future of Food

Wired magazine has a great series of nine infographics from the November issue about the world's food supply problems.
Forty years ago, advances in fertilizers and pesticides boosted crop yield and fed a growing planet. Today, demand for food fueled by rises in worldwide consumption of meat and protein is again outpacing farmers ability to keep up. It's time for the next Green Revolution.
Thanks for the link Ethel!  Here are a few more.  Check them all out on


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Classic infographic from 1823!

Here's a classic from 1823!  It a hand drawn infographic titled "Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers of The World" by WR Gardner.  The high resolution image is on Flickr, but the post about the image is on

This one makes a great poster!  Thanks Roi for sharing in the comments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Map of Newspaper Presidential Endorsements

Staying on the presidential election theme, here's a great infographic on  Red shows newspapers endorsing McCain, and Blue show newspapers endorsing Obama.  The inner color of each circle also represents which candidate the newspaper endorsed in the 2004 election.  The size of the circle represents each newspapers circulation.

Also notice the mismatch between the newspaper endorsement and each state's "Red vs. Blue" alignment.

Thanks Garrett for the link!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Does Your Vote Matter? YES!

Sticking with the stuff from GOOD magazine, this is one of the GOOD Sheets available for sale as a poster at Starbucks for a limited time.  I've been looking for some good election related graphics.  There are a ton out there, but I'm looking for the gems.

I hear all the time that people don't think their vote matters, and in some cases it may get lost in an election that isn't close or competitive.  However, you never actually know if a race is going to be close or not (unless there is only one candidate).

In some of our local elections, I've seen some decisions put up to vote that won by only 12 votes!

I'm not pushing any specific politcal opinion, just that everyone should get out and vote.  Early voting is already open in many areas, so do your part and be heard!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's the Economy, Stupid!

Great timeline from GOOD Magazine (via
What most of the doom-and-gloom reports on our economy don’t provide is perspective—a historical survey of an economy that’s been through more than a few ups and downs in its day. Here’s a farsighted view of how our temperamental economic machine works, and a close-up of how it stands today.
Thanks Adam!

Monday, October 20, 2008

NEW Death and Taxes 2009 poster

New Death and Taxes infographic for 2009!  Interactive viewer let's you zoom in to see all of the details.
"Death and Taxes:2009" is a representational poster of the federal discretionary budget; the amount of money that is spent at the discretion of your elected representatives in Congress. Basically, your federal income taxes. The data is from the President's budget request for 2009. It will be debated, amended, and approved by Congress by October 1st to begin the fiscal year.

The poster provides a uniquely revealing look at our national priorities, that fluctuate yearly, according to the wishes of the President, the power of Congress, and the will of the people. If you pay taxes, then you have paid for a small part of everything in the poster. 
The Death and Taxes poster from 2007 was my initial post on Cool Infographics, so I'm very excited to see this update.  Now the 2009 version is available to purchase as a poster here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Brand Tags is a project by Noah Brier that gathers user input to create tag clouds for many of the biggest brands in our culture.  You can add your own input into the project on the main page, or browse brand results.  The example above is for Velveeta.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VizThink 2009

So VizThink Europe was this last weekend, and I came across this infographic ad in Fast Company magazine.  The next VizThink in the U.S. is coming up quickly.  February 22-25 in San Jose, CA.

Again, my friends at VizThink have created a discount code that I can offer to the readers of Cool Infographics!  Use the code BCRK01 to get $100 off of the standard registration price!

Special thanks to Ryan and the gang at VizThink!

$100 Off regular admission


Monday, October 13, 2008

Air Traffic Worldwide movie

Air Traffic Worldwide 24HR from kouko a on Vimeo.

Very similar to the Flight Patterns video I posted back in October 2007, this is a video showing all commercial flight in the world over a 24-hour period.  The previous video was only the U.S., but this one shows the entire world.  It also shows the day/night areas and you can see the increase in air traffic as dawn rises around the world.  Its from the Zhaw School of Engineering in Zurich.

Found via

Friday, October 10, 2008

Savings Mis-Trust video

Our friends over at XPLANE have done a fabulous video explaining what led up to the recent credit crisis in the U.S. economy.  A great job simplifying a complex problem.

Thanks Parker, and great job to your team!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Watercube, The Book

Watercube, is a new book by Ethel Baraona Pohl.  The book is about the National Aquatics Centre built in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, and has some cool infographics inside.  Some of the graphics were contributed by architect César Reyes Nájera.  A review of the book can be found here on
WATERCUBE: The Book is a complete monographic publication about the National Swimming Center for the Beijing Olympics 2008. With an exhaustive description about the Watercube we present a detailed study of the project. The book makes an holistic approach to the project that starts with a brief description of urban and social changes that China has been experienced in the last decade. These facts have encouraged the construction boom that made possible these kind of projects occur in cities like Beijing.

This page compared the amount of steel used to built the Watercube to some of the most well known buildings around the world.
This page shows a comparison to the same set of buildings around the world, but shows the tons of CO2 produced due to the steel used in their construction.

This page is one of the years of the timeline leading up to the construction of the Watercube.

Here you can buy Watercube, by Ethel Baraona Pohl, on

Special thanks to Ethel for sharing the images from her book, and allowing me to post them on Cool Infographics!