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Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (edition 1997)

by Edward R. Tufte

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2,409132,579 (4.35)22
Member:daf
Title:Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
Authors:Edward R. Tufte
Info:Graphics Press (1997), Hardcover, 156 pages
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Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative by Edward R. Tufte

Recently added byucladma, douglasboyce, mkhall, mbarrington, PC-jacoby, magoldman, private library, benlaverriere
Legacy LibrariesEdward Tufte, Tim Spalding
  1. 30
    Visual and Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Decision Making by Edward R. Tufte (cfranco)
    cfranco: The booklet "Visual and Statistical Thinking : Displays of Evidence for Making Decisions" is a reproduction of the chapter 2 of the book "Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative". Therefore, there is no need to read both of them, read only the "Visual Explanations" book.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
An eye-opening read. As a linguistic who deals with databases, this book dramatically improved my writing and design of graphics for publication. ( )
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
In "Visual Explanations," Tufte walks us through various case studies of visual explanations (charts, graphs, graphics, diagrams and maps). Some of the case studies are about great works, while others are about epic failures. By grouping these examples into themes, Tufte himself explains his principles for analzying and design visual explanations.

Using a series of vivid examples from both history and modern day sources, Tufte brings life to what otherwise sounds like a dry subject. He also writes with discipline, always careful to supplement his theories with examples. Lastly, the hardcover itself is solidly designed; the interplay between the figures and the text is pleasant and easy to read. ( )
  jasonli | Dec 9, 2013 |
Wow, is this an excellent book. It helped my presentation of data skills, and beefed up the Power Point approach as well. I abhor presentations, as the facts are what I am after. The ability to marry up prose with data and present, this is an important skill for all today. The nicest surprise was the ability to understand how to maximize color in a presentation of information. ( )
  shdawson | Nov 19, 2012 |
It's been a while since I read anything by Tufte; luckily, this volume lives up to the fond remembrance I have of his earlier works. As with his other books, this work explores various aspects of the visual display of quantitative (or otherwise factual) infomation. More than a style guide, this book seeks to be an archetypal instance of the qualities praised within it - it succeeds with aplomb, and is invaluable to anyone who cares about honest, high-quality visual work. ( )
  gbsallery | Sep 4, 2011 |
The three seminal books by Edward Tufte all address visual information presentation with a focus on accessibility and usefulness. The first addresses presentation of numeric data and different diagramming techniques. The second has a broader scope, including maps and other kinds of information, with a fine discussion of strategies for visual design. The third book is about visual representations of processes, causes and explanations. All three are unusually beautiful and well designed by the author, thus serving as good examples of their own topics.
  jonas.lowgren | Aug 10, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Categories such as time, space, cause, and number represent the most general relations which exist between things; surpassing all our other ideas in extension, they dominate all the details of our intellectual life. If humankind did not agree upon these essential ideas at every moment, if they did not have the same conception of time, space, cause, and number, all contact between their minds would be impossible - Emile Durkheim, Les formes elementaires de la vie religieuse (Paris 1912), pp. 22-23
Dedication
For my teachers, for many years Virginia James Tufte, Raymond E. Wolfinger, Lincoln Moses, Richard A. Brody, Paul Ekman, Robert A. Dahl, Stanley Kelley Jr. John W. Tukey, Frederick Mosteller, Robert K. Merton, Cuthbert Daniel, Howard I. Gralla, Inge Druckrey, Tom Prichard
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Our thinking is filled with assessments of quantity, an approximate or exact sense of number, amount, size, scale.
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In the study of perception, just noticeable differences measure the very limits of human abilities to detect the faintest of differences between, say two adjacent colors almost exactly alike in a continuous spectrum of 100,000 colors. Ad Reinhardt’s paintings rely on these vaporous distinctions, with some gradations revealing themselves only after many minutes of focused viewing. This is fine for art but not for data. Rather than operating at such an exquisite threshold of perceptual acuity, data displays must be clear, assured, reliable, sturdy. In designing information, then, the idea is to us just notable differences, visual elements that make a clear difference by no more – contrasts that are definite, effective, and minimal.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0961392126, Hardcover)

With Visual Explanations, Edward R. Tufte adds a third volume to his indispensable series on information display. The first, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, which focuses on charts and graphs that display numerical information, virtually defined the field. The second, Envisioning Information, explores similar territory but with an emphasis on maps and cartography. Visual Explanations centers on dynamic data--information that changes over time. (Tufte has described the three books as being about, respectively, "pictures of numbers, pictures of nouns, and pictures of verbs.")

Like its predecessors, Visual Explanations is both intellectually stimulating and beautiful to behold. Tufte, a self-publisher, takes extraordinary pains with design and production. The book ranges through a variety of topics, including the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger (which could have been prevented, Tufte argues, by better information display on the part of the rocket's engineers), magic tricks, a cholera epidemic in 19th-century London, and the principle of using "the smallest effective difference" to display distinctions in data. Throughout, Tufte presents ideas with crystalline clarity and illustrates them in exquisitely rendered samples.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:21 -0400)

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