Information

for Advocacy
an Introduction to Information Design
Visualizing
Information
for Advocacy
an Introduction to Information Design
Visualizing
Information
for Advocacy
An Introduction to Information Design
2 3
This manual offers an introduction to
information design. It is intended to provide
NGOs with a useful and powerful tool for
advocacy and research.
The manual was written and designed by
John Emerson, Principal at Apperceptive LLC.
http://backspace.com, http://apperceptive.com
It was coordinated and produced by the
Tactical Technology Collective.
http://tacticaltech.org
Thanks to Caroline Kraabel, as well as Colleen
Macklin, Jane Pirone and Jesus Farcierth of
Parsons the New School for Design for their
comments and help.
Sponsored by the Open Society Institute
Information Program.
Printed in India, January 2008.
This work is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0
» On the cover: Illustrations designed by
Nigel Holmes for the Citizens Guide to the
Airwaves use different types of land use
as a metaphor for how the U.S. government
mismanages licensing of the public
radiofrequency spectrum to private
corporations. See pages 36 and 37 inside for
more on this example.
1o help undersLand hcw spectrum Icbbyinc wcrks,
here's an analogy wiLh lederal land granLs:
1he righLsholder laLer lobbies lor righLs Lo
buiId on Lhe land, arguing LhaL Lhis meeLs
public needs, as well as paying Lhe
righLsholder lor his invesLmenL.
5imilarly, lobbying by incumbent licensees Ior
spectrum'Ilexibility' can turn a limited·term, low·value TV license
into a permanent and Iar more valuable mobile Internet service.
1he righLsholder lobbies Lhe governmenL Lo
granL exLended righLs LhaL include mininc
and ciI deveIcpment.
1he governmenL granLs limiLed crazinc
righLs aL lavorable sub·markeL raLes.
1he governmenL owns undeveloped land.
The politics of spectrum
1
2
3
4
Contents
Introduction
What is Information Design?
How Can You Use Information Design?
Information Design for Advocacy
Information Design for Analysis
Information Design for Consumer Education
Information Design for Strategy

How to Begin
Planning Your Information Design
Assessing Your Data
Sorting and Sketching
Assessing Your Media
Designing Your Graphics
Clarifying Your Graphics
More Tips
Evaluate and Iterate
Additional Resources
Free Software Tools
1
4
8
10
11
14
15
20
21
24
25
28
32
34
35
40
41
42
4 1
Just Vision tells the stories of Palestinians and Isaelis working together for peace. Instead
of presenting a single account of the history of the conflict, the site hosts a collaborative,
subjective timeline composed of personal recollections. See http://justvision.org
A project of Greenpeace, Exxon Secrets charts funding by the Exxon Foundation to
institutions and individual “climate change skeptics” working to undermine solutions to global
warming and climate change. The interface makes it easy to visualize and navigate the research.
See http://exxonsecrets.org
»
»
Advocacy organizations tend to collect a lot of information.
They often package this information into detailed written reports.
While these reports support policy recommendations and are valuable
reference tools, they may not be the most effective way to make an
impact within a campaign.
We live in an information-rich environment and in our daily lives
constantly receive messages conveyed through design. Many of
these messages seek to influence as well as inform, serving a variety
of commercial and non-commercial interests. How do you make your
message heard?
Your campaign has vital information on an urgent issue.
How do you tell your story effectively?
How can NGOs make their messages as attractive
and compelling as other, competing, information?
By using information design.
Information design can help tell your story to a variety of constituencies.
You can use it as an advocacy tool, for outreach or for education. You can
facilitate strategic planning by making a visual map of a given situation.
This pamphlet is divided in two parts: first an overview of information
design, what it is and how it can be used for social change, followed by
some basic principles, tips and advice to help you get started.
The examples included in this pamphlet were made by advocacy
organizations, media companies and individuals around the world. The
graphics show some of the many ways information can be designed and
how information design can be used in your campaign.
Introduction
2 3
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8runel uar. 8ulearla 8urklna Fasc 8urundl Cambcdla Camerccn Canada Cape verde Cent. Afr. kep. Chad Chlle Chlna
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u|lbcutl ucmlnlca ucmlnlcan k. Fcuadcr Feypt Fl Salvadcr Fqu. Culnea Frltrea Fstcnla Fthlcpla Fl|l Flnland
France Cabcn Cambla Cecrela Cermany Chana Creece Crenada Cuatemala Culnea Culnea-8lssau Cuyana
Faltl Fcnduras Funeary lceland lndla lndcnesla lran lraq lreland lsrael ltaly lamalca
lapan lcrdan Kazakhstan Kenya Klrlbatl Kuwalt Kyreyzstan Lacs Latvla Lebancn Lescthc Llberla
Llbya Llechtensteln Llthuanla Luxembcure Madaeascar Malawl Malaysla Maldlves Mall Malta Marshall ls. Maurltanla
Maurltlus Mexlcc Mlcrcnesla Mcldcva Mcneclla Mcnteneerc Mcrcccc Mczamblque Myanmar hamlbla hauru hepal
hetherlands hew Zealand hlcaraeua hleer hleerla hcrway 0man Paklstan Palau Panama Papua h. C. Paraeuay
Peru Phlllpplnes Pcland Pcrtueal 0atar kep. cf Kcrea kep. Mcldcva kcmanla kussla kwanda St. K. 8 hevls Salnt Lucla
St. vlncent 8 C.Samca San Marlnc Sac Tcme 8 P. Saudl Arabla Seneeal Serbla Seychelles Slerra Lecne Slneapcre Slcvakla Slcvenla
Sclcmcn ls. Scmalla Scuth Afrlca Spaln Srl Lanka Sudan Surlname Swazlland Sweden Swltzerland Syrla Ta|lklstan
Thalland TFk Macedcnla Tlmcr-Leste Tcec Tcnea Trln. 8 Tcbaec Tunlsla Turkey Turkmenlstan Tuvalu ueanda ukralne
u.A.F. u.K. u.k. Tanzanla unlted States urueuay uzbeklstan vanuatu venezuela vletnam ¥emen Zambla Zlmbabwe
¥es
Kofi Annan, speaking for the United Nations, said yesterday, “The collective punishment of the
Lebanese people must stop. What is urgently needed is the immediate cessation of hostilities.”
This editorial information graphic ran on the cover of the Belfast Telegraph in July 2006.
It dramatically illustrates the world reaction to the Israeli bombing of Lebanon.
Middle East Crisis: Who backs an immediate cease-fire?
Afehanlstan Albanla Aleerla Andcrra Anecla Antleua 8 8ar. Areentlna Armenla Australla Austrla Azerbal|an 8ahamas
8ahraln 8aneladesh 8arbadcs 8elarus 8elelum 8ellze 8enln 8hutan 8cllvla 8csnla 8 Ferz. 8ctswana 8razll
8runel uar. 8ulearla 8urklna Fasc 8urundl Cambcdla Camerccn Canada Cape verde Cent. Afr. kep. Chad Chlle Chlna
Cclcmbla Ccmcrcs Ccnec (kep.) Ccsta klca Côte d'lvclre Crcatla Cuba Cyprus Czech kep. u. P. k. Kcrea u.k. Ccnec uenmark
u|lbcutl ucmlnlca ucmlnlcan k. Fcuadcr Feypt Fl Salvadcr Fqu. Culnea Frltrea Fstcnla Fthlcpla Fl|l Flnland
France Cabcn Cambla Cecrela Cermany Chana Creece Crenada Cuatemala Culnea Culnea-8lssau Cuyana
Faltl Fcnduras Funeary lceland lndla lndcnesla lran lraq lreland lsrael ltaly lamalca
lapan lcrdan Kazakhstan Kenya Klrlbatl Kuwalt Kyreyzstan Lacs Latvla Lebancn Lescthc Llberla
Llbya Llechtensteln Llthuanla Luxembcure Madaeascar Malawl Malaysla Maldlves Mall Malta Marshall ls. Maurltanla
Maurltlus Mexlcc Mlcrcnesla Mcldcva Mcneclla Mcnteneerc Mcrcccc Mczamblque Myanmar hamlbla hauru hepal
hetherlands hew Zealand hlcaraeua hleer hleerla hcrway 0man Paklstan Palau Panama Papua h. C. Paraeuay
Peru Phlllpplnes Pcland Pcrtueal 0atar kep. cf Kcrea kep. Mcldcva kcmanla kussla kwanda St. K. 8 hevls Salnt Lucla
St. vlncent 8 C.Samca San Marlnc Sac Tcme 8 P. Saudl Arabla Seneeal Serbla Seychelles Slerra Lecne Slneapcre Slcvakla Slcvenla
Sclcmcn ls. Scmalla Scuth Afrlca Spaln Srl Lanka Sudan Surlname Swazlland Sweden Swltzerland Syrla Ta|lklstan
Thalland TFk Macedcnla Tlmcr-Leste Tcec Tcnea Trln. 8 Tcbaec Tunlsla Turkey Turkmenlstan Tuvalu ueanda ukralne
u.A.F. u.K. u.k. Tanzanla u.S. urueuay uzbeklstan vanuatu venezuela vletnam ¥emen Zambla Zlmbabwe
hc
Margaret Beckett, Foreign Secretary, addressing the Cabinet yesterday, said:
“What people are really saying is they want a ceasfire with rockets still going into Israel.”
At a glance, it effectively shows the stark contrast between the majority and the minority —
and invites examination of the relationships between the countries in the minority.
4 5
Information Design Tells a Story What is Information Design?
Information design
uses pictures, symbols,
colors, and words to
communicate ideas,
illustrate information or
express relationships
visually.
Effective design is not just a matter
of making text pretty or entertaining,
but of shaping understanding and
clarifying meaning.

Information design adds seeing to
reading to make complex data easier
to understand and to use.
It can help illustrate complexity,
showing relationships between ideas
or actors, or providing a snapshot of
changing systems.

It takes many forms and appears in
many media. Some familiar forms
include charts, graphs, maps,
diagrams or timelines. These can
be big or small, simple or complex,
published in print or electronic
media.
Information design can help you
present your information in a clear
and compelling way, persuasively
convey facts or ideas or discover
something new in your data.
Web of Alliances in Ituri
Please note that alliances change frequently. This is accurate as of May 2003.
MLC
Movement for the
Liberation of Congo
RCD-National
Congolese Rally for
Democracy–National
RCD-G
Congolese Rally for
Democracy–Goma
PUSIC
Party for Unity and Safeguarding
of the Integrity of Congo
( Hema )
FPDC
Popular Force for
Democracy in Congo
( Alur / Lugbara )
FNI
Front for National
Integration
( Lendu )
FRPI
Patriotic Force of
Resistance in Ituri
( Ngiti )
FAPC
People’s Armed
Forces of Congo
( Cmdt Jerome )
RCD-ML
Congolese Rally for Democracy-
Liberation Movement
FIPI
Front for Integration
and Peace in Ituri
collpased in May 2003
national governments
national rebel movements
Rwanda Uganda Democratic Republic of Congo
( Kinshasa Government )
Helps train and arm
Helps arm
and support
Formed, helped
train and arm
Formed, helped
train and arm
Helps train and arm
Helps train and arm
UPC
Union of Congolese
Patriots
( Hema / Gegere )
Official political and
military alliance
Possible alliance
Formed and
armed, but
relationship
broken
Helps train and arm
Formed and helped
arm members of the
former FIPI platform
local armed groups in ituri
The July 2003
Human Rights Watch
report Ituri: “Covered
in Blood,” Ethnically
Targeted Violence in
Northeastern Congo
implicates national
governments in local
violence.
The accompanying
diagram illustrates
government
relationships, trade,
and training of armed
political groups in
Ituri.
Information design tells a
story with pictures.
It can tell “how many?” “when?” or
“where?” It can show trends over
time, compare elements or reveal
hidden patterns.
Information design brings form and
structure to information.
It is not the same as graphic
design, nor is it only about making
something aesthetically pleasing.
It’s not about branding, style, making
a glossy product or something that
looks “corporate.”
Information design is about making
your data:
Clear
It makes complex information easier
to understand.
Compelling
Visuals grab people’s attention.
Convincing
People who might not be persuaded
by raw numbers or statistics may be
more likely to understand and believe
what they see in a chart or graphic.
This graph generated on the
web site Many Eyes shows the
large number of prisoners jailed
on drug-related charges in the
United States.
It allows the reader to compare
the number of people jailed
for drug charges versus those
jailed for other offenses.
It reveals the disproportionate
impact of drug laws, and points
to a failure of mandatory
sentencing legislation.
6 7
The Highline is an abandoned
elevated-train railway which
runs along the edge of New York
City. The railway was neglected
for decades and was slated
for demolition when a coalition
formed a campaign to save the
unique structure and convert
it into an innovative, elevated
public park.
As part of its strategy, the
coalition to save the Highline
held a series of open meetings
where they used a wide
variety of photos, illustrations
and diagrams to present the
audience, the media and public
officials with a vision of how the
park could be revitalized and
developed.
The two timeline graphics
shown here were a part of these
presentations. Designed by the
landscape architecture firm Field
Operations, the graphics artfully
evoke the evolution of flora and
fauna, and public usage, over the
course of four years.
After years of campaigning,
the coalition has successfully
won the legislative and financial
support needed to save the Line
and start converting it into 1.5
miles of new public space.
Images © 2004. Field Operations
with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Courtesy the City of New York.
8 9
How Can You Use Information Design?
Here are just a few ways you can use information design:
Tell Your Story
• Toyourconstituencies
• Tofunders
• Togovernmentofficials
• Tothemedia
• Tootherorganizations
• Tothegeneralpublic
Analyze Your Data
• Discoverhiddenpatterns
• Findtrendsinchangingsystems
Make a Plan
• Analyzerelationshipsofpower
• Illustratesocialnetworks
• Findoutwhereyourissuehasthemostimpact
• Projectfuturetrends
Make Information Visible
• Showinfluenceandcausality
• Illustratetheconsequencesofspecificchoices
• Compareandcontrast
Simplify and Clarify
• Illustrateanalysisofanabstractidea
• Showtheflowofaprocessorchangingsystem
• Makeyourconclusionsvisibleandeasytonavigate
• Showstructureandorderinapparentlychaoticdata
The 2004 Global Witness report on
corruption and extortion affecting
Cambodia’s forest sector, entitled Taking
a Cut, uses two different types of graphics
to provide an overview of individuals with
command responsibility and personal
relationships with illegal logging syndicates.
The chart above illustrates specific
relationships between individuals. » The list
view presents the officials in order by rank
from the National Government to the Military
to the local police and local Government. Six
months after being implicated in the report,
the World Bank announced an investigation
of its Forest Concession Management and
Control Pilot Project in Cambodia.
Download the complete report at
http://globalwitness.org
Images © Global Witness, Taking a Cut, 2004
«
10 11
Information Design for Analysis
Information design can be integrated into the research process by
illuminating data visually, or providing a neutral platform with which to
identify trends or targets.
Translating data into a visual format may help reveal patterns that might not
otherwise be apparent. Representing data visually on a chart or graph can
reveal wider trends and unexpected clusters around specific demographics,
geographies or time-periods.
Using information design to examine larger networks and systems can
complement and provide context to individual case studies and testimonies.
In a campaigning context, information design can transform raw data into a
powerful advocacy tool to motivate an outcome.
Graphics can tell your story in a compelling, immediate and powerful way
to move your intended audience. Information design can simplify and
summarize a complex story — and add impact.
Information design should be considered within your overall strategy for
achieving policy change or increasing awareness. When and how you use
information design will depend on the information you want to convey and the
context in which you work.
Information Design for Advocacy
12 Costs to the smoker CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW
The cost of smoking
$5 and above
$4 – $4.99
$3 – $3.99
$2 – $2.99
$1 – $1.99
less than $1
no data
Cost of a pack of 20 Marlboro cigarettes or an equivalent
international brand 2003-05
selected countries US$
20 imported cigarettes cost
more than half average daily
income
45 44
Costs to the smoker 12
S
“Smoking makes the poor poorer, it takes
away not just health but wealth.”
Dr Bill O'Neill, Secretary of the British
Medical Association Scotland, 2004
mokers waste vast amounts of
money on their tobacco
addiction that could otherwise be
invested in productive economic
activity or used to obtain food,
clothes and education. In poverty-
stricken households where a large
proportion of the household income
is spent on food, tobacco addiction
can lead to malnutrition for the
smoker’s family.
Smokers also may suffer significant
loss of income due to illness, and ill
health can trigger a slide into
extreme poverty. Tobacco kills one
quarter of all smokers during their
most productive years of
employment, depriving their families
of vital income. Family members
must expend valuable time and
scarce resources caring for their sick
and dying smoking relatives. In many
developing countries, a visit to the
hospital can consume days of travel
and a family’s life savings.
Smokers must shoulder higher health
insurance premiums and many other
miscellaneous costs, such as
increased wear and tear on their
home, as well as increased fire risk.
A U S T R A L I A
RREP.
KOREA OREA
PUERTO RICO UERTO RICO U
WE ZIMBABWE W
UZBEKISTAN N GEORGIA GIAA
BAIJAN AZERBAIJAN AAAZERBAIJAN
JAMAICA CA
DOMINICAN
REP. REP.
BRUNEI DAR. R
M A L A Y S I A M
SAUDI ARABIA
C H I N A
VIET NAM VIET NAM
IA BODIA CAMBODIA BODIA
THAILAND DD A I N D I A
GLADESHH BANGLADESH
I SL. REP.
I RAN
PPAKISTAN NN P
T U R K E Y
CYPRUSS CYPRUS
ISRAEL
ORDAN JORDAN ORDAN
N BAHRAIN
UAE UAE
KUWAIT WAIT KK
L NEPALL N
K A Z A K H S T A N
U S A
C A N A D A
ALGERIA
S U D A N
NIGERIA PIA ETHIOPIA HIOPIA H
ANGOLA
E G Y P T
MOROCCOO
SENEGAL
CÔTE
D’IVOIRE
G H A N A
C N CAMEROONN
SOUTH
AFRICA
ZAMBIA
P. UNITED REP.
TANZANIA
KENYA
TOGO
TOGO
TOGO
GUATEMALAA
MEXICO
PARAGUAY AY PP AY
B R A Z I L
VENEZUELA
COLOMBIA
COSTA RICA CA
PANAMA
ECUADOR DOR
PERU
ARGENTINA
UAY URUGUAY UAY UAY
CH HILE
PHILIPPINES N S PINES PHILIPPINES
ng Hong Kong
R SAR
NEW
ZEALAND ND
A PAPUA
NEW
GUINEA GUINEA
I N D O N E S I A I N
JAPAN APAN
R U S S I A N
F E D E R A T I O N
SINGAPORE INGAPORE
TU SIA TU UNIS TU
L
ROATIA TTIA CROATIA
Y ITALY
REP. REP. REP.
OLDOVA MOLDOVA OLDOVA
UKRAINE
LITHUANIA ANIA AA
ESTONIA TONIA STONIA ONIA
AUSTRIA AUSTRIA AUSTRIA HUNGARY YY
ARIA BULGARIA
ROMANIA
GREECE G ECE GREECE
A & SERBIA && S & A
EGRO MONTENEGRO MONTENEGRO MONTENEGRO EGRO
POLAND
LOVENIA NIA OVENIA SLOVENIA SLOVENIA OVENIA SLOVENIA NIA
RUSSIAN
FED. U TED UNITED
KINGDOM KINGDOM KI
IRELAND LAND
DENMARK AR RK NMARK
FRANCE
SPAIN PORTUGAL GAL
GERMANY
Z SWITZ. SSWITZ. Z.
BELGIUM UM IUM B UM
LUX.
NETH. ETH.
D ICELAND
NORWAY NORWAY
FINLAND NLAND
EN SWEDEN
AAKIA OVAKIA SLOVAKIA A SLOVAKIA AK
CZECH CH CH
REP.
MALTA
RUSSIAN FED. R SSIAN FED.
In 2004, for the cost of
a pack of 20 Marlboro cigarettes
or equivalent international brand,
a person could buy:
…two and a half
small fish
in Sri Lanka…
…ten litres
of milk
in Algeria…
…five to eight
kilogrammes of apples
in Armenia…
…seven kilogrammes
of tomatoes
in Jordan…
…nine kilogrammes
of potatoes in Armenia
and Uruguay…
…four pairs of cotton
socks in Lao People’s
Democratic Republic. China
35
29
10 10
15
42
16
13 14 16
7
25
46 46
71
18
94
70
1088
96
Mumbai
India
Tokyo
Japan
Nairobi
Kenya
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Mexico City
Mexico
Karachi
Pakistan
Warsaw
Poland
Geneva
Switzerland
Dubai
UAE
Marlboro
1 kg of rice
A hard day’s smoke
Average minutes of labour required
to purchase 20 cigarettes or 1kg of rice
2003
selected cities
The Tobacco Atlas is a publication of the World Health Organization designed to influence
national policy. The map contextualizes data to give it more impact. It shows places in
the world where the cost of 20 cigarettes is higher than half an average days income and
compares the cost of a packet of cigarettes to locally available produce. See http://who.int/
tobacco/statistics/tobacco_atlas/en/
Mapping Poverty in New York City
From a case study produced by the Community Mapping Assistance Project (CMAP):
“[The Robin Hood Foundation] used CMAP’s expertise
with Census data to identify which of many possible
measures of poverty would best reveal the answers
they needed. Next, CMAP staff organized the data in
the ways most relevant to the foundation’s planning
process, including breakdowns by age, race, ethnicity
and single parent household. Finally, CMAP produced
a series of maps for study and display that illustrated
the geographic relationship between the foundation’s
current funding sites and current patterns of poverty.
What the maps revealed was striking, prompting Robin Hood to initiate a major redirection
of resources. The maps enabled the board to visualize the complexity of focusing Robin
Hood’s grants where in the city they can do the most good. In addition to their use in
planning, the maps have become a vital tool for orienting staff and donors. They visually
convey complex information to all kinds of people, making the point forcefully and
immediately. As a result, Michael Weinstein says, program officers ‘don’t even talk to me
about a new project unless it starts with Bed-Stuy, or one of the other high poverty areas
where we need to increase our impact.’ ”
Source: http://www.cmap.nypirg.org/case_studies/CS2/robin_hood_case_study.pdf
12 13
Historical Examples of Information Design and Advocacy
Information design is not a new communication technique. These historic examples, from
campaigns for social change, show information design applied to analysis and advocacy
respectively. In both cases, information design was used to tell a powerful, persuasive story
on behalf of a cause.
In 1859, physician John Snow mapped deaths from a devastating cholera outbreak in
London to determine its cause. Snow gathered data by talking to local residents. His map
revealed a pattern of infections around the Broad Street water pump. Despite skepticism,
he collected enough evidence to prompt officials to shut down the pump, after which the
epidemic quickly ended. Snow’s work promoting the idea that the disease was spread
through contaminated water became a major turning point in the history of public health.
Thomas Clarkson’s 1786 “Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of Human Species”
influenced the abolition movement in England. This diagram shows how hundreds of
enslaved Africans were crammed into ships. The image and accompanying description
of the conditions shocked and appalled readers. The slave trade was abolished in British
empire by the Slave Trade Act in 1807.
The images clarify key concepts in an experiential, and in the case of the slave ship image,
highly emotional way. These two examples show how vital information can be presented
powerfully and accessibly. They also remind us that strong design does not require high
technology or expensive computer software.
»
»
14 15
NGOs can also use information design internally to help with their planning
and self-assessment.
For instance:
• Mapping places and issues of significance can help groups to pinpoint
where and how they should focus their efforts.
• Creating diagrams of advocacy targets and constituencies, and of their
relationships, can help to illuminate strengths and weaknesses and thus
how best to organize supporters or apply political pressure.
• Charting the flow of information within an organization can reveal
bottlenecks and opportunities.
Information design acts as a force for change when
making information visible at the point of action.
For example, consumers change their purchasing decisions when presented
with informational graphics about a product’s health impact, energy
efficiency or other long-term costs.
Information Design for Strategy Information Design for Consumer Education
Energy use (kWh/year) range of all similar models
Clothes washers using more energy cost more to operate.
This model’s estimated yearly operating cost is:
Based on standard U.S. Government tests
ComparetheEnergy Useof this Clothes Washer
withOthers BeforeYouBuy.
Important: Removal of this label before consumer purchase violates the Federal Trade Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule
(16 CFR Part 305).
Energy use (kWh/year) range of all similar models
Clothes washers using more energy cost more to operate.
This model’s estimated yearly operating cost is:
Based on standard U.S. Government tests
ComparetheEnergy Useof this Clothes Washer
withOthers BeforeYouBuy.
Energy use (kWh/year) range of all similar models
Clothes washers using more energy cost more to operate.
This model’s estimated yearly operating cost is:
Based on standard U.S. Government tests
ComparetheEnergy Useof this Clothes Washer
withOthers BeforeYouBuy.
Energy use (kWh/year) range of all similar models
Clothes washers using more energy cost more to operate.
This model’s estimated yearly operating cost is:
Based on standard U.S. Government tests
ComparetheEnergy Useof this Clothes Washer
withOthers BeforeYouBuy.
Important: Removal of this label before consumer purchase violates the Federal Trade Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule
(16 CFR Part 305).
Important: Removal of this label before consumer purchase violates the Federal Trade Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule
(16 CFR Part 305).
Important: Removal of this label before consumer purchase violates the Federal Trade Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule
(16 CFR Part 305).
$23 $11
Uses Least
Energy
177
Uses Most
Energy
1298
kWh/year (kilowatt-hours per year) is a measure of energy (electricity) use.
Your utility company uses it to compute your bill. Only standard size clothes
washers are used in this scale.
4619 7020 6601
Clothes Washer
Capacity: Standard
Whirlpool Corporation
Model 9FLg0SM(3B)
when used with an electric water heater when used with a natural gas water heater
Based on eight loads of clothes a week and a 2000 U.S. Government national average cost
of 8.03¢ per kWh for electricity and 68.80¢ per thermfor natural gas. Your actual operating
cost will vary depending on your local utility rates and your use of the product.
This Model Uses
282kWh/year

ENERGY STAR
A symbol of
energy efficiency
ENERGY STAR clothes washers must
be rated with a modified Energy Factor
of 1.26 or higher.
The food pyramid is
a classic information
graphic promoting
public health. The
graphic makes it easy
to understand the
relative quantities of
food types required for
a healthy diet. Shown
here, a painted mural
at a school yard in Hue,
Viet Nam.
The Hannaford
Brothers chain of
markets in the U.S. rate
the health benefits
of the foods on their
shelves with a system
called Guiding Stars.
Labels designed by
Burkey Belser for U.S.
government agencies
inform consumers at
the point of purchase
about energy efficiency
and nutrition.
«
« «
«
In a September 2006 workshop, members of the Malawi Economic Justice Network made
this map of information’s life-cycle in their campaign, in order to identify how information
flows through their organization.
16 17
Tactical Mapping for Analysis and Planning
Tactical mapping is a visualization exercise used to analyze circumstances
surrounding an issue and to form a strategic plan.
Tactical maps clarify the relationships between the parties in a given
situation. They can be used to identify:
• Which key relationships need to be affected to move your strategy
forward
• What tactics are currently being used or potentially available
• How these tactics might affect key institutions, relationships, social
groups and contexts that you want to target
• Which key groups, relationships or contexts are not affected by current
tactics
• What tactics might be brought into play to engage targets that are not
currently affected
• Who are your potential allies for building a more comprehensive and
effective strategy
Tactical map on torture by U.S. military in Guantamo Bay.
To create a tactical map, start by identifying a human rights issue. The
affected community is drawn in the center. From there, identify the
individuals and organizations that affect the situation. Then draw direct and
indirect relationships, with arrows showing who has influence over whom.
Identify your allies and opponents.
With this in place, you can start devising a strategy. Examine what
connections and resources you already have. With a strategic goal in mind,
you can determine tactics you have access to or would like to explore.
Both paper and interactive versions of the map allow the users to manipulate
the map dynamically, changing and moving actors to visually represent
different relationships and scenarios.
For more information on tactical mapping, visit
http://www.newtactics.org/main.php/TrainingTools
A tactical map
on domestic
violence in the
process of being
created.
Sticky notes
and marker
on a white
board provide
a flexible,
changeable
surface on
which to
develop a map
in progress.
18 19
In 2005, the Human Rights Watch report The
Curse of Gold documented how the gold trade
fueled massive atrocities in northeast Congo.
It included the map above, which illustrated
the relationships between local paramilitary
groups, international corporations benefitting
from access to gold rich areas, and local
towns where people suffered from ethnic
slaughter, torture and rape. See http://hrw.org/
reports/2005/drc0505/
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20 21
Planning Your Information Design
There are many ways to tell a story or to present data. How do you know
what kind of presentation to use?
The main thing to consider is: how will your information
design be used?
Is it for planning? Or advocacy? Are you trying to tell a specific story?
Or are you trying to create a more neutral map to guide a process of
discovery?
Keeping your purpose in mind can help guide your development process as
well as your decisions about the most effective format and medium. The
following pages focus on practical tips, suggestions and things to bear in
mind when creating your information design.
How to Begin
The design process itself can be as
illuminating as the final product. Students
in New York City worked with artist Amanda
Matles and the Center for Urban Pedagogy
to investigate and map the sources of their
favorite snacks and the resources required
to bring them to their neighborhood in
East Harlem. The conclusion? That kids
can reduce their environmental impact by
buying foods grown close to New York City.
See http://anothercupdevelopment.org/
projects/detail/41
What kind of data is best
presented as a chart, as a
diagram or as a map?
Maps are useful for showing spatial
issues or locations. Charts are useful
for showing quantities and trends
over time. Diagrams and flowcharts
may best illustrate processes or
relationships.
How do you know what
information to focus on and
what to exclude?
Some key questions are:
• What story do you want to tell?
• To whom?
• How do you want to reach them?
What is your overall strategy
for change?
Consider your overall campaign —
and how your information graphics
fit within the context of your
communications strategy and overall
advocacy campaign.
What is your desired
outcome?
Determining this will help determine
who your audience is, and what you
want them to do.
What will move your
constituency or target?
Consider the story you are telling as
well as the tone, style, and format
of your message. How it will be read
by your target audience? Does your
audience have a prior interest in your
subject or are you trying to reach a
new audience?
Different audiences may respond
better to different graphic
treatments — for example a
campaign targeting youth, a rural
population or government officials.
Design for your audience,
not for you.
If your audience doesn’t get it, it’s
no good for you. Identifying your
audience will help determine the tone
of your language and the format of
your publication.
A user-centered design process
starts with lots of questions, rather
than answers. The key is identifying
the user’s perspective at the outset.
Don’t let your design reflect your
institutional structure or bias.
Design has a tendency to reflect
bureaucracy, especially in NGOs.
22 23
Gapminder is a non-profit venture in Sweden
developing software tools to visualize human
development. The interactive Flash application
displays statistics from the UNDP Human
Development Report. Animated charts help
show trends over time; for instance seeing the
rich getting richer while the poor grow poorer.
The bubble plot above displays several
kinds of data at the same time. The vertical
and horizontal axes compare income per
capita and life expectancy. The size of each
population is represented by the size of the
relevant bubble. Colors on the bubble chart
correspond to geographical regions, below.
See http://gapminder.org.
Direct Visual Comparison to Illustrate Contrast

In September 2006 Amnesty International published satellite images of the Porta Farm
settlement in Zimbabwe to show the destruction of more than 850 houses and structures,
practically all of which are absent from the center image.
The third image indicates the center points of the destroyed structures.
See http://news.amnesty.org/pages/zwe-080906-news-eng. Images © DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Interactive, printed cards for a campaign by
TrueMajority examine the enormous budget
of U.S. military and reveal how the money
could be better spent. The campaign urged
Congress to reallocate 15% of military budget
to education and health care. The cards were
designed by Sagmeister, Inc.
Pulling the blue card to the right
reveals a second layer of pictures
and text, describing an alternative
budget.
The image on the card above changes as
it is turned and viewed from different angles.
The images compare the number of schools
that could be built for the price of a single
fighter jet.
«
»
»
24 25
Card Sorting
One of the first steps in organizing information according to topic or theme.
Card Sorting is an exercise used by designers and information architects to
help structure data in groupings that make sense.
To start, put notes on a wall describing aspects of your information. Arrange
these notes freely into shapes and clusters that make sense. Rearranging
these clusters should help you start to form an organizing scheme that you
can use as the basis for your initial designs.
Personas & Scenarios
Now try putting yourself in the role of your audiences. Identify your various
constituencies. What are they looking for? What is their point of view? What
do they already know about the issue? In what context will they read your
graphics? How much time do they have? Are they more likely to be reached
by posters, reports, or other media? Distill this information into profiles of
“typical” users. These profiles and scenarios should help inform how your
design should be structured.
Sketching
Finally, before turning to computer software, sketch your idea on paper
or on a white-board. Think in broad strokes at first, saving detail for later.
Sketching out your ideas first will help you think outside the confines of the
page or the screen. It will free your ideas from the limitations of your design
program and tools.
Card sorting and sketching are also useful for testing your assumptions
and your design with a test audience before investing time and resources
in producing final, polished graphics. Testing with a rough draft allows you
to make changes to your graphics quickly and cheaply, and to test several
variations without having to redo expensive production work.
Sorting and Sketching
What information should I collect?
Do you have what you need to tell your story? We require a context to
understand the meaning and importance of facts. It’s often easier to
remember a story than to remember raw data.
What types of information do I have?
Information design can illuminate quantitative or qualitative data.
Do I have information worth using?
One way to assess this is to try to put yourself in the place of your audience.
Is your information persuasive?
What is my key message or desired outcome?
Are you trying to project a holistic picture of a situation? Or one specific
aspect of it? You may not need to include everything in a single graphic. It
may be more effective to create multiple graphics.
What can I leave out?
Prioritize the importance and usefulness of your data. What is the key
message, what is the most important thing? Without sacrificing clarity,
simplify and decide what to remove.
When planning your information graphics, you may discover that the data you
have is not sufficient. You might need to collect additional data, for instance,
if you are comparing your data to information from another source.
For example, you may have data relating to populations that you work with
directly, but people in other areas might be affected as well. Taking the time
to amass this additional information may improve your graphics considerably.
The process of assessing your data and designing your graphics may raise
useful questions about the larger geographic, demographic or policy context
of your organization and your data — it may even extend the scope of your
work.
Assessing Your Data
26 27
A map of satellite coverage of Africa
published by the International Development
Research Centre reveals that policy not
technology holds back greater connectivity.
The map illustrates the conclusion that
“Every square inch of Africa is covered by
satellite bandwidth, but restrictive telecom
policies stop this from supporting Africa’s
development.” See http://www.idrc.ca/en/
ev-53486-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html
A cartogram is a cross between a map
and a diagram. Cartograms distort the
area of a given country to represent
data. Worldmapper displays a collection
of cartograms illustrating a variety of
economic and social indicators in dramatic
global patterns. The map below shows the
proportion of all children worldwide with
evidence of trachoma, or “blinding disease.”
See http://worldmapper.org
Mapping and Advocacy in Africa
»
This poster, published by
Myriad Editions for UNIFEM,
charts the impact of war and
peace on women in Africa,
illustrating the refugee
population, statistics on HIV/
AIDS, current and former UN
peacekeeping operations, and
the growing number of women
in parliament.
The interactive map at http://
kitab.nl/tunisianprisonersmap
plots prisons in Tunisia with links
to audio and video to expose the
stories of prisoners, their cases
and the brutality of the Tunisian
police. The map uses Google
Maps to plot the data and
YouTube to host the audio and
video files. The government of
Tunisia is notoriously secretive
about its penal system.
»
»
»
Maps are a useful way of representing data – and there are many ways to use a map.
28 29
What is it for? How will it be published or distributed?
Media formats vary widely in cost, reach and audience. What medium works
best for your campaign, your audience and for your graphics?
Graphics that work well in one medium may not be as effective in another.
Pamphlets, posters, web sites, video and other media each have their
strengths and weaknesses for conveying information.
Will people be able to stop and read the graphics? Or will it fly by in a few
seconds? A faster medium may require a simpler, bolder approach. A slower
medium may allow for more detail and density of information.
The medium in which you design your graphics is usually not the medium
in which you finally publish your graphics. Information is read differently at
different sizes. Colors and grays also render differently in different media.
Where possible, it is always best to test your graphics in the final size and
format in which they will appear.
How will your design live over time?
While graphics may be targeted towards a specific moment in a campaign,
they often live on. Posters, for instance, may be ephemeral, printed quickly
and cheaply to promote an event, but they can also linger on walls for days,
even years. Beautiful posters are often kept and cherished, even becoming
an iconic part of a movement’s history. Posters illuminate the history of many
struggles.
Printed reports and other publications may also have a long shelf life. With
this in mind, be careful when printing web addresses that may not last as
long as the document that contains them. Consider how graphics or web
pages will live on.
One benefit of online information is that it can be kept up-to-date. A
consequence of this is that readers may expect the data to be current. As
such, it is helpful to show a visible date stamp that indicates when the page
or data was last updated.
Assessing Your Media
A combination chart, form and script walks the reader through the process of gathering
information used to combat invasive telemarketers in the Netherlands. The layout makes the
otherwise tedious task fun.
30 31
Posters and Stickers
The size of your final publication also determines the amount of information
you can convey. Smaller formats like postcards and stickers may be cheaper
to print and easier to distribute than larger formats. Given the smaller format,
images should have a very simple and direct message.
Posters provide the luxury of space to display a range of information and fine
detail. Posters may also be viewed from a distance as well as close up. This
provides an opportunity to catch readers from afar and draw them in. This
is not a reason to fill the space with information, but rather to consider the
hierarchy implicit in your material and how different levels of information will
be revealed as your reader approaches.
On Paper
Printed graphics can be bold and simple or complex and detailed. Print can
convey more detail and provide the luxury of time for viewers to study the
graphics. Print can be distributed in person at an event or location, via postal
mail, or posted to the walls of an urban environment.
Black-and-white printing on paper is cheaper to produce than color, but limits
the amount of visual information. Some printing methods (like photocopying)
may not produce subtle ranges of grays.
Printing methods and materials also make a statement about your work and
your organization. Materials and techniques — visibly cheap or luxurious
printing or paper, the use of recycled paper or soy-based inks — as well as the
location and conditions under which your graphics are produced are also part
of the story your graphics tell.
On Screen
Television, computer screens, video and slide projectors are very different
from print. Screens are generally much lower resolution than print and do not
offer a large area. Larger type, fewer words, and simpler imagery work best
in these media.

Depending on your constituency, publishing on the Internet may have a
broader reach than printed matter, though this requires web access to
publish and does assume a web-connected constituency.
Both the sequence of screens and the printed pages of a brochure or book
can selectively reveal information bit by bit over time to build your story
progressively. However, the web also makes it possible to design interactive
graphics that allow users to explore your data in a non-linear sequence, or
perhaps to filter the information they are accessing. The addition of audio
to interactive or video graphics creates a more immersive and emotional
experience.
Information can be conveyed through the context of a design. This campaign promoting
breast cancer awareness in Brazil placed stickers on fruit reading “You see? It is easy to
do auto-examination.” The sticker makes an analogy between self-examination and how
shoppers routinely examine fruit. The campaign was developed by the advertising agency
JWT for Hospital do Cancer, Sao Paulo.
32 33
Designing Your Graphics
Innovative design ideas come from embracing your constraints. Being obliged
to adjust your graphics to your medium of publication, budget and technology
of reproduction may lead you to discover unexpected opportunities.
Color
While color can be used to convey additional layers of meaning and emotion,
black-and-white may be more cost-effective and more readable at high
contrast. Color also disappears when photocopied or printed in black-
and-white. When designing your graphics, consider using contrasting
thicknesses, tints, line styles or shapes first, before considering color.
You don’t have to use all the colors of the rainbow. Instead, choose a limited
color scheme that relates to your data. Make sure colors vary in intensity, not
just hue — some of your readers may be color-blind.
Typography
Use text in a way that makes it readable. Placing text over a patterned
background or photograph is a difficult art. Use headlines that draw the
readers’ eye and entice them to read more.
Charts can focus
on one type of
information,
or can display
multiple kinds of
information at one
time.
These sample
charts show a few
possibilities for
combining one,
two, three, and
four types of data
using position,
size, and color.
Data along a single axis
reveals where data clusters
and shows the range of a
measurement.
Data plotted on two axes make a
comparison. For instance showing
GDP vs. life expectancy in different
countries.
Structure
The way information is presented and organized is as important as the
content. What information is presented first? How will your reader’s eye
move across the design? Structure your design so that the most important
information is the most prominent. Consider using a visual hierarchy to
capture the reader’s attention and direct it across the page. Most people
start reading at the top of the page and move in the direction their language
is read.
Elements
The style of your elements can convey meaning. Objects can be
differentiated by size, color, pattern, and placement. However, too many
styles may clutter the page. Thin lines are generally preferable to thick lines,
which may compete with text and other information.
Technology
Computers are great for producing professional-looking graphics, but you
don’t necessarily need a computer to create great design. Designing graphics
with pen, paper or collage can be fast and inexpensive.
To reflect additional information, such
as the relative size of a country’s
population, increase the size of your
data points.
Here color reveals a fourth variable.
In this case, population divided by
demographic or gender.
34 35
More Tips
Here are a few more tips for data presentation:
• Sketch out ideas on paper frst, before you turn on the computer. All
graphics used to be drawn by hand. Software reduces creativity; good
graphics are created despite your software.
• People will look at your pictures before they read your text, if they read it
at all. Graphics have to be self-contained. Put your conclusion right there
in the caption.
• The graphic has to tell a story (if it doesn’t, don’t use it) and your job is to
keep redesigning it until the story is as clear as possible.
• Show the actual data, as much as you can. People can deal with much
greater information density than you think. Your job is to help them see the
patterns in the data, but…
• Show as few non-data elements as you can. Remove boxes, lines,
colored backgrounds, grids, shadows, and other decoration, except where
it’s essential to understanding the data. If you can’t remove it, fade it out
or make it smaller, thinner, or dotted.
• Minimize the number of steps required to interpret your graphic. Don’t
put required information in the text that could go in the caption, or in the
caption if it could go in a key, or in a key if you could just label the points or
lines directly.
• Provide context. Always use a scale and give sources. Six small, related
graphs juxtaposed in the space we’d usually use for just one provide more
than six times as much content.
• Learn some basic typography and a graphics application like Illustrator,
Photoshop, or Free Software tools like GIMP or Inkscape. It’s not hard to
find tutorials, and they’re wonderful transferable skills.
Adapted from Mike Dickison’s Tip List, http://numberpix.com/2007/02/mikes_tip_list.html
Design that is easy to understand can be better evaluated for its credibility.
Below are a few principles, suggestions, and questions for improving your
information graphics.
• What is most important? If some information is more important to your
story than other information, consider giving it greater prominence. This
can be done with size, color, line, bold or other type treatment.
• Keep it simple. What you leave out is as important as what you leave in.
Every element you add to a page competes with every other. Is everything
in your graphic crucial to the story you are telling? Without sacrificing
clarity, consider removing detail.
• Show comparisons, contrasts, and differences. This is both a vivid way
of displaying information and a primary way we perceive and understand
information. Visible variation can convey meaning.
• Is the language clear and easy to understand?
• Is the choice of typeface clear and legible at a glance? The size and style
of your text can also convey information, but should not be at the expense
of clarity.
• Is your title clear? Is it easy to understand? Does it convey the story you
are telling?
• Do your graphics require a legend to label the patterns and symbols you
use?
• Is your documentation clear? Listing your data sources makes your data
authoritative and verifiable. Disclosing funding sources for your campaign
or project also creates transparency and credibility.
• Consider the limitations and opportunities inherent in your medium of
publication.
Clarifying Your Graphics
36 37
The Citizen’s Guide to the Airwaves was published
by the New America Foundation to educate the
public, media and political leaders about the value
and mismanagement of the nation’s radiofrequency
spectrum.
Designed by Nigel Holmes, the guidebook is full of
illustrations depicting economic, social and political
aspects of spectrum policy and is accompanied by
a color poster with a visual map of the spectrum.
The Foundation describes the airwaves as: “the
most valuable natural resource of the information
economy.”
The pamphlet uses a variety of graphics and
techniques within a consistent overall style to tell
many different stories which explain various aspects
of the issue.
See http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/
citizens_guide_to_the_airwaves
A graphic
depiction
of the uses
—and misuses—
of the radio
frequency
spectrum
“They used to rob trains in the Old West.
Now we rob spectrum.”
Senator John McCain,
Chairman, Senate Commerce Committee
Sources
and further
reading are
included in
the separate
report that
accompanies
this chart.
SPECTRUM
POLICY
PROGRAM
*
The
citizen’s
guide
to the
airwaves
Notes and
definitions
“The wireless spectrum
belongs to the public, and thus
should be made to serve the public.”
Senator Ernest Hollings, former Chairman,
Senate Commerce Committee The value of the
spectrum if it were
thought of as
real estate
Obstacles frequencies
can overcome
(propagation characteristics)
Frequency
assignments used by
everyday devices
CB
radio
FM radio
Broadcast
TV
Broadcast
TV
Cordless
phones
Remote-
controlled
toys
C
Short-
wave
Radio:
AM
Citizen’s access
spectrum
(unlicensed, amateur, personal radio)
FREQUENCIES
100
megahertz (MHz) 200 30
(see note* at bottom of page)
100 MHz
The value
of the airwaves
(vertical scale)
varies with frequency
(horizontal scale)
$1.00
billion
per
MHz
$0.75
billion
per
MHz
$0.50
billion
per
MHz
$0.25
billion
per
MHz
Potential windfall
if the spectrum
is privatized ( )
Market value of
current use ( )
Radio waves are transmitted at different
frequencies measured in hertz (Hz). A slice
of spectrum contains a band of frequencies.
The wider the band, the more information
carrying capacity it has. (It has more “bandwidth”).

The electromagnetic spectrumhas long
wavelengths (low frequency) at one end and short
wavelengths (high frequency) at the other end. kilohertz (1,000 hertz) is written as kHz,
megahertz (1 million hertz) is written as MHz, and
gigahertz (1 billion hertz, or 1,000 megahertz) is written as GHz.
Abbreviations:
A wavelength is the distance
between the
recurring peaks
of a wave.
F I F T H A V E N U E , N E W Y O R K C I T Y
Broadcast
TV
ar alarms
Garage door
openers
Medical
implants
Family
Radio
Service
(walkie
talkies)
Wireless
medical
telemetry
Mobile
phones Highway
toll tags*
Cordless
phones* Wireless
medical
telemetry
Broadcast
TV
Most
of the
white
space
is spectrum
reserved for
military, federal
government
and industry use.
GPS
(Global Positioning
System)
*overlapping
use
00 400 600 700 800 900 1.1
1 GHz 500 MHz
$26 billion
$60 billion
The light areas ( )
represent:
1. The windfall an incumbent
spectrum licensee could receive if
granted flexibility to use it for any
purpose or to sell it (i.e., ownership
rights).
2. The compensation taxpayers
could receive if government
charged market rates for use of
this public asset.
3. The efficiency loss from not
allowing this spectrum to be used
for services most highly valued by
consumers.
500
MHz
1 GHz 1.2 1.3 1.4
(1,000 MHz)
Pagers
Mobile
phones
$453 billion
($6.7 billion per channel)
BROADCAST TV
(67 channels)
The size of the wavelength influences the ability of a wave to pass through objects.
Generally, as a wavelength decreases in size, its value also decreases.
Wireless bandwidth is generally counted in megahertz.
Mobile phones
(Narrowband-
PCS)
The value
of today’s
restricted
usage
rights
The value of
completely
flexible
usage rights
(i.e., ownership
rights); number
based on
recent auctions
Today, the government
restricts the use of this
6 MHz to broadcasting one
TV signal (this example is
channel 14). The market
values this limited license
at $390 million.

If the license allowed the
same 6MHz to be put to its
most highly valued use (e.g.,
cellular telephone service),
its market value jumps to
$7.2 billion. The difference
($6.8 billion) is the potential
value of spectrumflexibility
on channel 14. Note that if
all broadcasters were grant-
ed flexibility, the greater
supply of spectrum would
lower this value considerably.
Permeable zone: signals, which carry information, can easily traverse through dense objects such as buildings, mountains, forests, and storms.
microwaves infrared
visible
light ultraviolet x rays gamma rays
300 GHz 3 kHz
THE RADIO SPECTRUM
The radio spectrum
(enlarged in the charts above)
is the portion of the total
electromagnetic spectrum
distinguished by its value
for communication.
Satellite
phones
Satellite
radio
(SDARS)
Weather radar
Wireless
networking
(Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth)*
Microwave*
ovens
Mobile
phones Cordless*
phones
Satellite
phones
*overlapping
use
Unlicensed
PCS
1.5 GHz 3 GHz
$1 b.
$30 b.
$1 b.
$42 b.
$2 billion
$18 billion
$2 billion
$18 billion
$143 billion
1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.2 3.4
Semi-permeable (transition) zone:
2
GHz
2 GHz
3
GHz
1.5
GHz
2.4 GHz is unlicensed—a “public park” free to a wide
variety of consumer devices (300 and growing fast).
Non-geostationary
mobile satellite
service (NGSO-MSS)
Non-geostationary
mobile satellite
service (NGSO-MSS)
Satellite
radio
Electronic
news-
gathering
(Broadcast TV)
Mobile phones
(Broadband PCS)
GPS
The
area under
this curve is
$4.5 trillion, which
should not be interpreted
as the total market value of
spectrum. The curve shows
the marginal value of par-
ticular bands based on recent
auctions, which only fetched
as much as they did because
most spectrum cannot be
purchased at any price or is
mandated for inefficient use.
If government allowed
spectrumto be used for any
purpose—or allowed the
unlicensed sharing of under-
utilized bands (see other
side)—its supply would
increase and market value
decrease. The $782
billion estimate for the
spectrum’s total value, at
right, assumes reforms are
instituted to allow flexible
use. Without reform, the
auction value of prime
spectrum will remain
artificially high.
Voice (e.g., telephone quality)
Music (e.g., CD quality)
Standard definition TV (e.g., VCR quality)
High definition TV (e.g., movie theater quality)
Super high definition TV* (e.g., glossy magazine quality)
The amount of spectrum required
for everyday communications
“The basic problem is that
demand for spectrum is
outstripping the supply.”
U.S. General Accounting Office
Report, September 2002 *Super high definition video in 3D or holography would require additional bandwidth.
10 kHz
100 kHz
1,000 kHz (=1 MHz)
5,000 kHz (=5 MHz)
50,000 kHz (=50 MHz)
“[Spectrum is]
the most
valuable natural
resource of the
information age.”
William Safire,
New York Times
APPROXIMATELY
Today, most wireless communication is low fidelity
audio. In the future, high fidelity video could require
up to 5,000 times as much bandwidth.
LOW FIDELITY
COMMUNICATIONS
HIGH FIDELITY
COMMUNICATIONS
Security
alarms
Satellite
TV
Driver safety warning
30 GHz 20 GHz 40 GHz
Highway toll tags
Security
alarms
Police
speed radar
Police
speed radar
Wi-Fi
The
spectrum’s
worth
compared
to other
things
each = $1 billion
Temporary
assistance
for needy
families (TANF)
$24 billion
annually
McDonalds
$31.2 billion
All the gold
stored in
Fort Knox
$45.5 billion
Bill Gates
$52.8 billion
Government
Medicaid
spending
$147 billion
annually
Empire
State
Building
$1 billion
3kHz 300 GHz 2GHz 5GHz 50GHz
3kHz 300 GHz 200 GHz 100 GHz
Higher frequencies are less valuable than
lower ones because popular consumer
services (broadcasting and cell
phones) need to penetrate
buildings, and this gets
harder as you move
up the spectrum.
3.6 3.8 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.8 30 20 45 10
Fixed satellite
communications (cable
TV networks are carried
on these bands)
signals have difficulty traversing dense objects. Long line-of-sight zone: signals cannot traverse dense
objects but can be sent long distances through the atmosphere.
5
GHz
50
GH
4
GHz
In order to emphasize the most valuable
parts of the spectrum, this scale gives
the lower frequencies disproportionate space.
Using an unadjusted linear scale,
the values part of the chart would appear like this:
U P S C A L E S U B U R B H I G H L Y P R O D U C T I V E F A R M L A N D B A R R E N FA R M L A N D S O U T H W E S T
Note: Spectrum
valuations, which are
notoriously volatile, are
as of December 31, 2001.
15 25 35 40
The airwaves
needed for all
the everyday
uses shown here
amount to less
than 2% of the
total Radio
Spectrum.
“[The spectrum allocation] system is inefficient,
unresponsive to consumer demand, and a huge
barrier to entry for new technologies anxious to
compete in the marketplace.”
Thomas Hazlett, Former Chief Economist, FCC
U.S. military
budget
$357 billion
annually
U.S. radio spectrum $771 billion (est.)
300
GHz
100 150 200 250
0
Hz
Short line-of-sight zone: signals
can only be sent very short distances.
S A H A R A D E S E R T S C R U B L A N D
microwaves infrared
visible
light ultraviolet x rays gamma rays
300 GHz 3 kHz
THE RADIO SPECTRUM
The radio spectrum
(enlarged in the charts above)
is the portion of the total
electromagnetic spectrum
distinguished by its value
for communication.
Satellite
phones
Satellite
radio
(SDARS)
Weather radar
Wireless
networking
(Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth)*
Microwave*
ovens
Mobile
phones Cordless*
phones
Satellite
phones
*overlapping
use
Unlicensed
PCS
1.5 GHz 3 GHz
$1 b.
$30 b.
$1 b.
$42 b.
$2 billion
$18 billion
$2 billion
$18 billion
$143 billion
1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.2 3.4
Semi-permeable (transition) zone:
2
GHz
2 GHz
3
GHz
1.5
GHz
2.4 GHz is unlicensed—a “public park” free to a wide
variety of consumer devices (300 and growing fast).
Non-geostationary
mobile satellite
service (NGSO-MSS)
Non-geostationary
mobile satellite
service (NGSO-MSS)
Satellite
radio
Electronic
news-
gathering
(Broadcast TV)
Mobile phones
(Broadband PCS)
GPS
The
area under
this curve is
$4.5 trillion, which
should not be interpreted
as the total market value of
spectrum. The curve shows
the marginal value of par-
ticular bands based on recent
auctions, which only fetched
as much as they did because
most spectrum cannot be
purchased at any price or is
mandated for inefficient use.
If government allowed
spectrumto be used for any
purpose—or allowed the
unlicensed sharing of under-
utilized bands (see other
side)—its supply would
increase and market value
decrease. The $782
billion estimate for the
spectrum’s total value, at
right, assumes reforms are
instituted to allow flexible
use. Without reform, the
auction value of prime
spectrum will remain
artificially high.
Voice (e.g., telephone quality)
Music (e.g., CD quality)
Standard definition TV (e.g., VCR quality)
High definition TV (e.g., movie theater quality)
Super high definition TV* (e.g., glossy magazine quality)
The amount of spectrum required
for everyday communications
“The basic problem is that
demand for spectrum is
outstripping the supply.”
U.S. General Accounting Office
Report, September 2002 *Super high definition video in 3D or holography would require additional bandwidth.
10 kHz
100 kHz
1,000 kHz (=1 MHz)
5,000 kHz (=5 MHz)
50,000 kHz (=50 MHz)
“[Spectrum is]
the most
valuable natural
resource of the
information age.”
William Safire,
New York Times
APPROXIMATELY
Today, most wireless communication is low fidelity
audio. In the future, high fidelity video could require
up to 5,000 times as much bandwidth.
LOW FIDELITY
COMMUNICATIONS
HIGH FIDELITY
COMMUNICATIONS
Security
alarms
Satellite
TV
Driver safety warning
30 GHz 20 GHz 40 GHz
Highway toll tags
Security
alarms
Police
speed radar
Police
speed radar
Wi-Fi
The
spectrum’s
worth
compared
to other
things
each = $1 billion
Temporary
assistance
for needy
families (TANF)
$24 billion
annually
McDonalds
$31.2 billion
All the gold
stored in
Fort Knox
$45.5 billion
Bill Gates
$52.8 billion
Government
Medicaid
spending
$147 billion
annually
Empire
State
Building
$1 billion
3kHz 300 GHz 2GHz 5GHz 50GHz
3kHz 300 GHz 200 GHz 100 GHz
Higher frequencies are less valuable than
lower ones because popular consumer
services (broadcasting and cell
phones) need to penetrate
buildings, and this gets
harder as you move
up the spectrum.
3.6 3.8 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.8 30 20 45 10
Fixed satellite
communications (cable
TV networks are carried
on these bands)
signals have difficulty traversing dense objects. Long line-of-sight zone: signals cannot traverse dense
objects but can be sent long distances through the atmosphere.
5
GHz
50
GH
4
GHz
In order to emphasize the most valuable
parts of the spectrum, this scale gives
the lower frequencies disproportionate space.
Using an unadjusted linear scale,
the values part of the chart would appear like this:
U P S C A L E S U B U R B H I G H L Y P R O D U C T I V E F A R M L A N D B A R R E N FA R M L A N D S O U T H W E S T
Note: Spectrum
valuations, which are
notoriously volatile, are
as of December 31, 2001.
15 25 35 40
The airwaves
needed for all
the everyday
uses shown here
amount to less
than 2% of the
total Radio
Spectrum.
“[The spectrum allocation] system is inefficient,
unresponsive to consumer demand, and a huge
barrier to entry for new technologies anxious to
compete in the marketplace.”
Thomas Hazlett, Former Chief Economist, FCC
U.S. military
budget
$357 billion
annually
U.S. radio spectrum $771 billion (est.)
300
GHz
100 150 200 250
0
Hz
Short line-of-sight zone: signals
can only be sent very short distances.
S A H A R A D E S E R T S C R U B L A N D
38 39
The Map of Tashkent was part of an advocacy
campaign by Human Rights Watch (HRW)
around the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development’s (EBRD) decision to hold
its annual meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
in 2003. Countries hosting the meeting
historically stand to gain significant
investment and international legitimacy. The
goal of the HRW campaign was to move the
Bank to link human rights progress to the
decision to hold the meeting in Tashkent.
The campaign included letter-writing, media
advocacy, coalition-building with other NGOs
and personal meetings with EBRD officials in
2002 and 2003.
Realizing that participants would be
anticipating information about Tashkent
and that the Uzbek government would be
promoting their country, HRW worked with
a graphic designer to develop an alternative
map of Tashkent. The map mimics the style
of tourist brochures, marking out tourist
sites as well as locations where human rights
violations had taken place in the city.
By linking data from HRW’s research to data
about well-known tourist sites, the map invited
the target audience to take a walk through
the campaign’s data. The map was posted
online as well as printed and distributed to the
meeting’s attendees.
As a result of the campaign, the Bank faced
public criticism for its decision to hold the
meeting in Uzbekistan. On its web site, HRW
notes:
“The Bank’s annual meetings usually center
on investment opportunities in the host
country. But this year, the coalition’s campaign
turned the meeting into a debate of the Uzbek
government’s poor human rights record and
the Bank’s commitment to addressing these
concerns.... In keynote speeches, broadcast
live on Uzbek television, EBRD President
Jean Lemierre and U.K.’s then-Development
Minister Clare Short emphasized the need
for the Uzbek leadership to make progress
on human rights. They raised in particular the
recent recommendations by the U.N. Special
Rapporteur on Torture, which found torture in
the country to be ‘systematic.’ This amounted
to a public scolding of President Karimov’s
broken promise, and it did not go unnoticed.
As Lemierre and Short delivered their critical
speeches, President Karimov removed his
headphones and demonstratively covered his
ears.”
See http://hrw.org/campaigns/uzbekistan
40 41
Additional Resources
Dickison, Mike. Pictures of Numbers. Illustrated techniques for improving your data
graphics. http://www.numberpix.com
Emerson, John. Social Design Notes. Writing and clippings on design and activism.
http://backspace.com/notes
Friendly, Michael and Daniel J. Denis. Milestones in the History of Thematic Cartography,
Statistical Graphics, and Data Visualization. An extensive catalog of visualization
techniques used throughout history. http://www.math.yorku.ca/SCS/Gallery/milestone
IDEO Methods Cards. Tips and techniques for user testing.
http://www.ideo.com/methodcards/MethodDeck/index.html
Krygier, John and Denis Wood. Making Maps, A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS. The
Guilford Press; New York, NY. http://makingmaps.owu.edu
Lengler, Ralph and Martin J. Eppler. A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods.
http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html
Lindenbaum, Stephanie. Mapping for Advocacy, Case studies. April 2006. http://www.
soros.org/initiatives/information/focus/communication/articles_publications/
publications/gis_20060412
Many Eyes. A web service allowing users upload and render their data in a variety of
interactive, visual formats. http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/browse/
visualizations
Moere, Andrew Vande. Information Aesthetics. A gallery of dramatic experiments in the
translation of data into images. http://infosthetics.com
Nielsen, Jakob. Writings about usability and user-centered design. http://useit.com
Swivel. A web service for uploading, visualizing, and sharing data and designs.
http://swivel.com
Tufte , Edward. Author of several beautiful, informative books on information design.
http://www.edwardtufte.com
Williams, Robin. The Non-Designer’s Design Book: Design and Typographics Principles for
the Visual Novice. Peachpit Press; September, 2003.
How do you know if your graphics are working? Just ask your audience.
Testing your graphics with even a small number of typical users can provide
useful insight for revising and improving your work.
For instance, the meaning of images is often a matter of interpretation. An
image in one context may have an entirely different meaning in another. The
representation of ideas, individuals or groups of people may be affected
by assumptions and pre-conceptions. As with any visual representation,
different communities may ascribe different meanings to the same image.
One way of addressing this is to test your design with a sample group from
your audience. Testing can be as simple as showing your design to your
audiences, soliciting their feedback and revising your graphics accordingly.
Information design is not just presenting information in a pretty way, but
making it easier to understand and providing new routes to understanding.
Your audience completes the design, bringing their interpretation and taking
action. Cycles of testing and revising your graphics bring your audience into
the design process and help ensure your design meets your goals.
Evaluate and Iterate
Above, alternative cover designs tested while producing this report. Each mock-up employs
a good example of information design, but the one that was chosen for the cover best
achieves a combination of simplicity, clarity and visual narrative.
Visualizing
Information
for Advocacy
An Introduction to Information Design
Visualising Social
Information
A
sm
all accre
d
itatio
n
to
th
e
visu
al can
co
m
e
h
e
re
.
Visualising Social
Information
A
sm
all accre
d
itatio
n
to
th
e
visu
al can
co
m
e
h
e
re
.
Visualising Social Information
A
sm
all accre
d
itatio
n
to
th
e
visu
al can
co
m
e
h
e
re
.
Visualizing
Information
for Advocacy
An Introduction to Information Design
42 43
Free Software Tools
Below is brief list of Free Software and Open Source tools you can download
or use online to help with your information graphics. Once you’ve planned
your graphics, these tools can help render, polish and prepare them for
printing.
OpenOffce
OpenOffice is an office productivity suite. It includes a word processor,
spreadsheet, presentation manager and drawing program. OpenOffice also
works with a variety of file formats, including those of Microsoft Office and
open formats such as .odt. OpenOffice runs on Linux and Windows and on
Mac OS X under X11.
http://openoffice.org
NeoOffce
NeoOffice is a fully-featured set of office applications (including word
processing, spreadsheet, presentation and drawing programs) for Mac OS
X. Based on OpenOffice, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac
features and can import, edit and exchange files with other popular office
programs such as Microsoft Office.
http://neooffice.org
Ajax13
Ajax13 is a web-based Office Suite that allows you to create and share
documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Ajax13 also has a sketch tool
to do basic diagrams and a media player. The tool supports files in a variety of
formats.
http://us.ajax13.com
InkScape
Inkscape is a vector graphics editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator,
Freehand or CorelDraw. It supports rendering of shapes, paths, text,
markers, clones, transparency, transformations, gradients, patterns and
grouping. Available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
http://inkscape.org
PDFCreator
PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows
application that can print.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator
Scribus
Scribus can be used to create layouts for newsletters, stationery, posters,
training manuals, technical documentation, business cards and other
documents that need flexible layout or sophisticated image handling. It has
precise typography controls and image sizing not available in current word
processors. Available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
http://www.scribus.net
The Gimp
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Programme. Typical uses include
creating graphics and logos, resizing and cropping photos, changing colors,
combining images, removing unwanted image features and converting
between image formats. GIMP can also be used to create animated images.
GIMP is a powerful image editor supporting advanced image editing,
manipulation and professional graphics creation. For Windows, Linux and
Mac.
http://gimp.org
GimpShop
GIMPShop is a version of the GIMP image editor modified to be more user-
friendly for Photoshop users. The interface is adapted to look and feel more
like Photoshop and act more like a single, unified program. Available for
Windows and Mac.
http://gimpshop.com
44
If you would like to send us examples of your information
design or learn more about information design, please write
to infodesign@tacticaltech.org
You’ve got data, now what do you do with it?
How do you tell your story effectively?
How can you move your audience?

This manual offers an introduction to information design. It is intended to provide NGOs with a useful and powerful tool for advocacy and research. The manual was written and designed by John Emerson, Principal at Apperceptive LLC. http://backspace.com, http://apperceptive.com It was coordinated and produced by the Tactical Technology Collective. http://tacticaltech.org Thanks to Caroline Kraabel, as well as Colleen Macklin, Jane Pirone and Jesus Farcierth of Parsons the New School for Design for their comments and help. Sponsored by the Open Society Institute Information Program. Printed in India, January 2008.

Contents
1 4 8 10 11 14 15 20 Introduction What is Information Design? How Can You Use Information Design? Information Design for Advocacy Information Design for Analysis Information Design for Consumer Education Information Design for Strategy How to Begin Planning Your Information Design Assessing Your Data Sorting and Sketching Assessing Your Media Designing Your Graphics Clarifying Your Graphics More Tips Evaluate and Iterate Additional Resources Free Software Tools

The politics of spectrum
1 2

21 24 25 28 32 34 35 40 41 42

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

3

» On the cover: Illustrations designed by
Nigel Holmes for the Citizens Guide to the Airwaves use different types of land use as a metaphor for how the U.S. government mismanages licensing of the public radiofrequency spectrum to private corporations. See pages 36 and 37 inside for more on this example. 2

4

3

Introduction Advocacy organizations tend to collect a lot of information. The examples included in this pamphlet were made by advocacy organizations. How do you make your message heard? Your campaign has vital information on an urgent issue. See http://exxonsecrets. While these reports support policy recommendations and are valuable reference tools. Just Vision tells the stories of Palestinians and Isaelis working together for peace. they may not be the most effective way to make an impact within a campaign. subjective timeline composed of personal recollections. Information design can help tell your story to a variety of constituencies. what it is and how it can be used for social change. information? By using information design. Exxon Secrets charts funding by the Exxon Foundation to How do you tell your story effectively? How can NGOs make their messages as attractive and compelling as other. followed by some basic principles. serving a variety of commercial and non-commercial interests. Many of these messages seek to influence as well as inform. See http://justvision.org A project of Greenpeace. » » institutions and individual “climate change skeptics” working to undermine solutions to global warming and climate change. They often package this information into detailed written reports. Instead of presenting a single account of the history of the conflict.org 4 1 . the site hosts a collaborative. You can use it as an advocacy tool. You can facilitate strategic planning by making a visual map of a given situation. This pamphlet is divided in two parts: first an overview of information design. tips and advice to help you get started. competing. media companies and individuals around the world. The interface makes it easy to visualize and navigate the research. for outreach or for education. The graphics show some of the many ways information can be designed and how information design can be used in your campaign. We live in an information-rich environment and in our daily lives constantly receive messages conveyed through design.

said: “What people are really saying is they want a ceasfire with rockets still going into Israel. “The collective punishment of the Lebanese people must stop. It dramatically illustrates the world reaction to the Israeli bombing of Lebanon. it effectively shows the stark contrast between the majority and the minority — and invites examination of the relationships between the countries in the minority. Foreign Secretary. speaking for the United Nations. 3 .” This editorial information graphic ran on the cover of the Belfast Telegraph in July 2006. What is urgently needed is the immediate cessation of hostilities. said yesterday.Middle East Crisis: Who backs an immediate cease-fire? Kofi Annan. 2 At a glance. addressing the Cabinet yesterday.” Margaret Beckett.

The accompanying diagram illustrates government relationships. making a glossy product or something that looks “corporate. Information design can help you present your information in a clear and compelling way. helped train and arm Helps train and arm Helps train and arm national rebel movements RCD-ML Congolese Rally for DemocracyLiberation Movement MLC Movement for the Liberation of Congo RCD-National Congolese Rally for Democracy–National Formed and armed. political groups in Ituri. and words to communicate ideas. compare elements or reveal hidden patterns. It is not the same as graphic design. helped train and arm Formed. report Ituri: “Covered in Blood. style. It takes many forms and appears in many media. Information design brings form and structure to information. graphs.What is Information Design? Information design uses pictures. Effective design is not just a matter of making text pretty or entertaining. but of shaping understanding and clarifying meaning. This is accurate as of May 2003. but relationship broken RCD-G Congolese Rally for Democracy–Goma Helps train and arm Formed and helped arm members of the former FIPI platform Helps arm and support Official political and military alliance Possible alliance local armed groups in ituri FRPI Patriotic Force of Resistance in Ituri ( Ngiti ) FIPI Front for Integration and Peace in Ituri collpased in May 2003 FAPC People’s Armed Forces of Congo ( Cmdt Jerome ) UPC Union of Congolese Patriots ( Hema / Gegere ) FNI Front for National Integration ( Lendu ) It reveals the disproportionate impact of drug laws. and points to a failure of mandatory sentencing legislation. It’s not about branding. diagrams or timelines.” Ethnically Rwanda Democratic Republic of Congo ( Kinshasa Government ) Uganda Targeted Violence in Northeastern Congo implicates national governments in local violence. showing relationships between ideas or actors. maps. Information design adds seeing to reading to make complex data easier to understand and to use. These can be big or small. PUSIC Party for Unity and Safeguarding of the Integrity of Congo ( Hema ) FPDC Popular Force for Democracy in Congo ( Alur / Lugbara ) Please note that alliances change frequently. It allows the reader to compare the number of people jailed for drug charges versus those jailed for other offenses. Some familiar forms include charts. published in print or electronic media. simple or complex. It can help illustrate complexity. symbols. and training of armed Helps train and arm Formed. or providing a snapshot of changing systems. The July 2003 Human Rights Watch Web of Alliances in Ituri national governments This graph generated on the web site Many Eyes shows the large number of prisoners jailed on drug-related charges in the United States. nor is it only about making something aesthetically pleasing. colors.” Information design is about making your data: Clear It makes complex information easier to understand. 4 5 . persuasively convey facts or ideas or discover something new in your data. Compelling Visuals grab people’s attention. Convincing People who might not be persuaded by raw numbers or statistics may be more likely to understand and believe what they see in a chart or graphic. trade. It can tell “how many?” “when?” or “where?” It can show trends over time. illustrate information or express relationships visually. Information Design Tells a Story Information design tells a story with pictures.

over the course of four years. Designed by the landscape architecture firm Field Operations. the coalition has successfully won the legislative and financial support needed to save the Line and start converting it into 1. the coalition to save the Highline held a series of open meetings where they used a wide variety of photos. The two timeline graphics shown here were a part of these presentations. Courtesy the City of New York. The railway was neglected for decades and was slated for demolition when a coalition formed a campaign to save the unique structure and convert it into an innovative. elevated public park. Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. 6 7 . After years of campaigning. illustrations and diagrams to present the audience. the media and public officials with a vision of how the park could be revitalized and developed.The Highline is an abandoned elevated-train railway which runs along the edge of New York City. the graphics artfully evoke the evolution of flora and fauna. and public usage. Images © 2004.5 miles of new public space. As part of its strategy.

org Images © Global Witness.How Can You Use Information Design? Here are just a few ways you can use information design: Tell Your Story • • • • • • To your constituencies To funders To government officials To the media To other organizations To the general public Analyze Your Data • • Discover hidden patterns Find trends in changing systems Make a Plan • • • • Analyze relationships of power Illustrate social networks Find out where your issue has the most impact Project future trends The 2004 Global Witness report on corruption and extortion affecting Cambodia’s forest sector. The chart above illustrates specific Make Information Visible • • • Show influence and causality Illustrate the consequences of specific choices Compare and contrast « relationships between individuals. the World Bank announced an investigation of its Forest Concession Management and Control Pilot Project in Cambodia. Six months after being implicated in the report. entitled Taking a Cut. » The list view presents the officials in order by rank from the National Government to the Military to the local police and local Government. 2004 Simplify and Clarify • • • • Illustrate analysis of an abstract idea Show the flow of a process or changing system Make your conclusions visible and easy to navigate Show structure and order in apparently chaotic data 8 9 . uses two different types of graphics to provide an overview of individuals with command responsibility and personal relationships with illegal logging syndicates. Download the complete report at http://globalwitness. Taking a Cut.

pdf 11 35 29 18 10 25 10 gh Nairobi Kenya 15 16 13 14 16 7 Dubai UAE …two and a half small fish in Sri Lanka… …ten litres of milk in Algeria… …five to eight kilogrammes of apples in Armenia… …seven kilogrammes …nine kilogrammes of tomatoes of potatoes in Armenia in Jordan… and Uruguay… …four pairs of cotton socks in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. When and how you use information design will depend on the information you want to convey and the context in which you work.” Dr Bill O'Neill. The maps enabled the board to visualize the complexity of focusing Robin Hood’s grants where in the city they can do the most good. Using information design to examine larger networks and systems can complement and provide context to individual case studies and testimonies. Next. Michael Weinstein says. Finally.org/case_studies/CS2/robin_hood_case_study. Z. Tobacco kills one quarter of all smokers during their most productive years of employment. S mokers waste vast amounts of money on their tobacco addiction that could otherwise be invested in productive economic activity or used to obtain food. CMAP staff organized the data in the ways most relevant to the foundation’s planning DENMARK NMARK ARK R LITHUANIA A ANIA R SSIAN RUSSIAN FED. Family members must expend valuable time and scarce resources caring for their sick and dying smoking relatives.99 $1 – $1.99 less than $1 no data POLAND UKRAINE REP. 12 Costs to the smoker CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BL CK A Information Design for Analysis Information design can be integrated into the research process by illuminating data visually. the maps have become a vital tool for orienting staff and donors. such as increased wear and tear on their home. The map contextualizes data to give it more impact. geographies or time-periods.’” Source: http://www. clothes and education. 2004 Costs to the smoker The cost of smoking ICELAND D FINLAND NLAND NORWAY SWEDEN EN ESTONIA STONIA TONIA ONIA UNITED U TED KI KINGDOM IRELAND LAND NETH. FRANCE SWITZ. Z GERMANY CZECH CH REP.nypirg. P. depriving their families of vital income. B IUM BELGIUM UM LUX. SWITZ. S China h Mumbai an India Tokyo Japan Kuala ai Lumpur Mexico City Malaysia Mexico Karachi Pakistan Warsaw Poland Geneva Switzerland 44 45 The Tobacco Atlas is a publication of the World Health Organization designed to influence national policy. NEW I N D O N E S I A BRAZIL ANGOLA ZAMBIA ZIMBABWE W WE Smokers must shoulder higher health insurance premiums and many other miscellaneous costs. 12 “Smoking makes the poor poorer. Information design can simplify and summarize a complex story — and add impact. $5 and above $4 – $4. Smokers also may suffer significant loss of income due to illness. it takes away not just health but wealth. a person could buy: CHILE H AY P PARAGUAY AUSTRALIA URUGUAY UAY 108 8 SOUTH AFRICA A hard day’s smoke 94 ARGENTINA 96 Average minutes of labour required to purchase 20 cigarettes or 1kg of rice 2003 selected cities 70 Marlboro 1 kg of rice 46 46 42 71 ZEALAND ND What the maps revealed was striking. Graphics can tell your story in a compelling. prompting Robin Hood to initiate a major redirection of resources.cmap. In addition to their use in planning. information design can transform raw data into a powerful advocacy tool to motivate an outcome. SLOVAKIA OVAKIA AK AKIA Cost of a pack of 20 Marlboro cigarettes or an equivalent international brand 2003-05 selected countries US$ RUSSIAN FED. IRAN K WAIT KUWAIT BAHRAIN N C H I N A PAKISTAN N N L NEPAL ALGERIA DOMINICAN REP. R MALAYSIA SINGAPORE INGAPORE process. tobacco addiction can lead to malnutrition for the smoker’s family. or providing a neutral platform with which to identify trends or targets. making the point forcefully and immediately. immediate and powerful way to move your intended audience. MEXICO $3 – $3. or one of the other high poverty areas where we need to increase our impact. including breakdowns by age. CMAP produced a series of maps for study and display that illustrated the geographic relationship between the foundation’s current funding sites and current patterns of poverty. for the cost of a pack of 20 Marlboro cigarettes or equivalent international brand. KOREA OREA JAPAN APAN TUNIS U SIA MOROCCO O CYPRUS S ISRAEL L JORDAN ORDAN ISL. They visually convey complex information to all kinds of people.int/ tobacco/statistics/tobacco_atlas/en/ 10 . In povertystricken households where a large proportion of the household income is spent on food. Secretary of the British Medical Association Scotland. TANZANIA and single parent household.Information Design for Advocacy In a campaigning context. Mapping Poverty in New York City From a case study produced by the Community Mapping Assistance Project (CMAP): “[The Robin Hood Foundation] used CMAP’s expertise with Census data to identify which of many possible measures of poverty would best reveal the answers they needed. as well as increased fire risk. and ill health can trigger a slide into extreme poverty. ETH. As a result.99 20 imported cigarettes cost more than half average daily income C A N A D A PORTUGAL GAL SPAIN CROATIA ROATIA TIA ITALY Y S SERBIA & A MONTENEGRO BULGARIA EGRO ARIA G ECE GREECE MALTA KAZAKHSTAN U S A GEORGIA GIA A TURKEY AZERBAIJAN AZERBAIJAN BAIJAN UZBEKISTAN N REP. ethnicity PAPUA A NEW GUINEA ECUADOR DOR PERU UNITED REP. Translating data into a visual format may help reveal patterns that might not otherwise be apparent. Representing data visually on a chart or graph can reveal wider trends and unexpected clusters around specific demographics.99 RUSSIAN FEDERATION MOLDOVA OLDOVA AUSTRIA HUNGARY Y ROMANIA SLOVENIA LOVENIA OVENIA NIA $2 – $2. In 2004. Information design should be considered within your overall strategy for achieving policy change or increasing awareness. a visit to the hospital can consume days of travel and a family’s life savings. PUERTO RICO U UERTO EGYPT SAUDI ARABIA UAE BANGLADESH GLADESH H Hong Kong ng SAR R VIET NAM THAILAND D CAMBODIA BODIA IA PHILIPPINES PINES NS JAMAICA CA GUATEMALA A INDIA SENEGAL GHANA TOGO COSTA RICA CA PANAMA VENEZUELA COLOMBIA SUDAN CÔTE D’IVOIRE NIGERIA CAMEROON C N KENYA ETHIOPIA H PIA HIOPIA BRUNEI DAR. See http://who. race. In many developing countries. REP. It shows places in the world where the cost of 20 cigarettes is higher than half an average days income and compares the cost of a packet of cigarettes to locally available produce. program officers ‘don’t even talk to me about a new project unless it starts with Bed-Stuy.

Despite skepticism. The image and accompanying description of the conditions shocked and appalled readers. show information design applied to analysis and advocacy respectively. This diagram shows how hundreds of enslaved Africans were crammed into ships. These two examples show how vital information can be presented powerfully and accessibly. he collected enough evidence to prompt officials to shut down the pump. These historic examples. after which the epidemic quickly ended. Snow gathered data by talking to local residents. Snow’s work promoting the idea that the disease was spread through contaminated water became a major turning point in the history of public health. » Thomas Clarkson’s 1786 “Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of Human Species” influenced the abolition movement in England. persuasive story on behalf of a cause. from campaigns for social change.Historical Examples of Information Design and Advocacy Information design is not a new communication technique. information design was used to tell a powerful. highly emotional way. His map revealed a pattern of infections around the Broad Street water pump. The slave trade was abolished in British empire by the Slave Trade Act in 1807. They also remind us that strong design does not require high technology or expensive computer software. The images clarify key concepts in an experiential. and in the case of the slave ship image. In 1859. 13 . physician John Snow mapped deaths from a devastating cholera outbreak in » 12 London to determine its cause. In both cases.

government agencies inform consumers at the point of purchase about energy efficiency and nutrition.26 or higher. Your utility company uses it to compute your bill. Government tests Burkey Belser for U. Information Design for Strategy NGOs can also use information design internally to help with their planning and self-assessment. Viet Nam.80¢ per therm for natural gas. members of the Malawi Economic Justice Network made this map of information’s life-cycle in their campaign. Government national average cost of 8. This Model Uses 282kWh/year Compare the Energy Use of this Clothes Washer with Others Before You Buy. The graphic makes it easy to understand the relative quantities of food types required for a healthy diet. 4619 7020 6601 Important: Removal of this label before consumer purchase violates the Federal Trade Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule (16 CFR Part 305). Shown here. and of their The food pyramid is relationships. For instance: • Mapping places and issues of significance can help groups to pinpoint where and how they should focus their efforts.S.S. a painted mural at a school yard in Hue. consumers change their purchasing decisions when presented with informational graphics about a product’s health impact. This model’s estimated yearly operating cost is: $23 when used with an electric water heater $11 when used with a natural gas water heater In a September 2006 workshop.03¢ per kWh for electricity and 68. Important: Removal of this label before consumer purchase violates the Federal Trade Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule (16 CFR Part 305). can help to illuminate strengths and weaknesses and thus how best to organize supporters or apply political pressure. Government tests . Labels designed by Based on standard U.S.S. ▼ ENERGY STAR A symbol of energy efficiency Energy use (kWh/year) range of all similar models Uses Least Uses Most ENERGY STAR clothes washers must Energy Energy be rated with a modified Energy Factor of 1.Information Design for Consumer Education Information design acts as a force for change when making information visible at the point of action. 15 Based on eight loads of clothes a week and a 2000 U. a classic information graphic promoting public health. Based on standard U. in order to identify how information flows through their organization. Energy use (kWh/year) range of all similar models Clothes washers using more energy cost more to operate. Clothes Washer Capacity: Standard Whirlpool Corporation Model 9FLg0SM(3B) Compare the Energy Use of this Clothes Washer with Others Before You Buy. 177 1298 kWh/year (kilowatt-hours per year) is a measure of energy (electricity) use. This model’s estimated yearly operating cost is: Clothes washers using more energy cost more to operate. Government tests Based on standard U. Government tests Based on standard U. Your actual operating cost will vary depending on your local utility rates and your use of the product.S. Only standard size clothes washers are used in this scale. rate the health benefits of the foods on their shelves with a system called Guiding Stars. energy efficiency or other long-term costs.S.S. 14 «« « « • Charting the flow of information within an organization can reveal bottlenecks and opportunities. For example. • Creating diagrams of advocacy targets and constituencies. The Hannaford Brothers chain of markets in the U.

visit http://www. changeable surface on which to develop a map in progress. With this in place. social groups and contexts that you want to target • Which key groups. Sticky notes and marker on a white board provide a flexible. With a strategic goal in mind. Examine what connections and resources you already have.Tactical Mapping for Analysis and Planning Tactical mapping is a visualization exercise used to analyze circumstances surrounding an issue and to form a strategic plan. you can determine tactics you have access to or would like to explore. To create a tactical map. From there. you can start devising a strategy.S. relationships or contexts are not affected by current tactics • What tactics might be brought into play to engage targets that are not currently affected • Who are your potential allies for building a more comprehensive and effective strategy A tactical map on domestic violence in the process of being created.newtactics. They can be used to identify: • Which key relationships need to be affected to move your strategy forward • What tactics are currently being used or potentially available • How these tactics might affect key institutions. start by identifying a human rights issue. military in Guantamo Bay. Both paper and interactive versions of the map allow the users to manipulate the map dynamically. identify the individuals and organizations that affect the situation. For more information on tactical mapping. 16 Tactical map on torture by U. Then draw direct and indirect relationships. with arrows showing who has influence over whom. Identify your allies and opponents. Tactical maps clarify the relationships between the parties in a given situation. changing and moving actors to visually represent different relationships and scenarios.org/main. relationships. The affected community is drawn in the center.php/TrainingTools 17 .

org/ reports/2005/drc0505/ 19 numbers. torture and rape. designed by Adriana Lins de Albuquerque and Alicia Cheng. international corporations benefitting from access to gold rich areas. and local towns where people suffered from ethnic slaughter. It included the map above.deaths in the month of January. See http://hrw. the Human Rights Watch report The Curse of Gold documented how the gold trade fueled massive atrocities in northeast Congo. occupation. The figurative depictions give a better sense of the magnitude of the tragedy than would a simple list of names or This graphic.S. . which illustrated the relationships between local paramilitary 18 groups. ran in the New York Times in February 2007 to illustrate Iraqi civilian In 2005. The use of the map illustrates the lack of safety and security across the entire country during the U.

If your audience doesn’t get it. What will move your constituency or target? Consider the story you are telling as well as the tone. See http://anothercupdevelopment. How it will be read by your target audience? Does your audience have a prior interest in your subject or are you trying to reach a new audience? Different audiences may respond better to different graphic treatments — for example a campaign targeting youth. The design process itself can be as illuminating as the final product. rather than answers. Diagrams and flowcharts may best illustrate processes or relationships. and format of your message. The key is identifying the user’s perspective at the outset. How do you know what kind of presentation to use? Planning Your Information Design What kind of data is best presented as a chart. and what you want them to do. A user-centered design process starts with lots of questions. What is your overall strategy for change? Consider your overall campaign — and how your information graphics fit within the context of your communications strategy and overall advocacy campaign. especially in NGOs. not for you. it’s no good for you. style. Don’t let your design reflect your institutional structure or bias. Charts are useful for showing quantities and trends over time. a rural population or government officials. Design has a tendency to reflect bureaucracy. The following pages focus on practical tips.How to Begin There are many ways to tell a story or to present data. suggestions and things to bear in mind when creating your information design. How do you know what information to focus on and what to exclude? Some key questions are: • What story do you want to tell? • To whom? • How do you want to reach them? Design for your audience. as a diagram or as a map? Maps are useful for showing spatial issues or locations. Identifying your audience will help determine the tone of your language and the format of your publication. The main thing to consider is: how will your information design be used? Is it for planning? Or advocacy? Are you trying to tell a specific story? Or are you trying to create a more neutral map to guide a process of discovery? Keeping your purpose in mind can help guide your development process as well as your decisions about the most effective format and medium. 21 . Students in New York City worked with artist Amanda Matles and the Center for Urban Pedagogy to investigate and map the sources of their favorite snacks and the resources required 20 to bring them to their neighborhood in East Harlem. The conclusion? That kids can reduce their environmental impact by buying foods grown close to New York City.org/ projects/detail/41 What is your desired outcome? Determining this will help determine who your audience is.

The interactive Flash application displays statistics from the UNDP Human Development Report. Animated charts help show trends over time. The images compare the number of schools that could be built for the price of a single fighter jet. printed cards for a campaign by TrueMajority examine the enormous budget of U. for instance seeing the rich getting richer while the poor grow poorer. The cards were designed by Sagmeister. 22 23 » it is turned and viewed from different angles.S.org/pages/zwe-080906-news-eng. The image on the card above changes as « settlement in Zimbabwe to show the destruction of more than 850 houses and structures. » Pulling the blue card to the right reveals a second layer of pictures and text. The campaign urged Congress to reallocate 15% of military budget to education and health care. Interactive.amnesty. Inc. Colors on the bubble chart correspond to geographical regions.org. The bubble plot above displays several kinds of data at the same time. below. The size of each population is represented by the size of the relevant bubble. The third image indicates the center points of the destroyed structures. Images © DigitalGlobe. The vertical and horizontal axes compare income per capita and life expectancy.Direct Visual Comparison to Illustrate Contrast In September 2006 Amnesty International published satellite images of the Porta Farm Gapminder is a non-profit venture in Sweden developing software tools to visualize human development. Inc. See http://news. practically all of which are absent from the center image. See http://gapminder. military and reveal how the money could be better spent. describing an alternative budget. .

Arrange these notes freely into shapes and clusters that make sense. You might need to collect additional data. Sketching Finally. It’s often easier to remember a story than to remember raw data. Do I have information worth using? One way to assess this is to try to put yourself in the place of your audience. before turning to computer software. What is my key message or desired outcome? Are you trying to project a holistic picture of a situation? Or one specific aspect of it? You may not need to include everything in a single graphic. Sketching out your ideas first will help you think outside the confines of the page or the screen. demographic or policy context of your organization and your data — it may even extend the scope of your work. What types of information do I have? Information design can illuminate quantitative or qualitative data. Think in broad strokes at first. Is your information persuasive? Personas & Scenarios Now try putting yourself in the role of your audiences. What can I leave out? Prioritize the importance and usefulness of your data. Taking the time to amass this additional information may improve your graphics considerably. It will free your ideas from the limitations of your design program and tools. What is the key message. if you are comparing your data to information from another source. simplify and decide what to remove. These profiles and scenarios should help inform how your design should be structured. For example. When planning your information graphics.Assessing Your Data What information should I collect? Do you have what you need to tell your story? We require a context to understand the meaning and importance of facts. for instance. Identify your various constituencies. Sorting and Sketching Card Sorting One of the first steps in organizing information according to topic or theme. The process of assessing your data and designing your graphics may raise useful questions about the larger geographic. Card sorting and sketching are also useful for testing your assumptions and your design with a test audience before investing time and resources in producing final. you may discover that the data you have is not sufficient. sketch your idea on paper or on a white-board. To start. or other media? Distill this information into profiles of “typical” users. Testing with a rough draft allows you to make changes to your graphics quickly and cheaply. put notes on a wall describing aspects of your information. what is the most important thing? Without sacrificing clarity. Rearranging these clusters should help you start to form an organizing scheme that you can use as the basis for your initial designs. Card Sorting is an exercise used by designers and information architects to help structure data in groupings that make sense. and to test several variations without having to redo expensive production work. saving detail for later. 24 25 . What are they looking for? What is their point of view? What do they already know about the issue? In what context will they read your graphics? How much time do they have? Are they more likely to be reached by posters. It may be more effective to create multiple graphics. you may have data relating to populations that you work with directly. reports. but people in other areas might be affected as well. polished graphics.

” See http://worldmapper. and the growing number of women in parliament. charts the impact of war and peace on women in Africa.html A cartogram is a cross between a map kitab. The interactive map at http:// A map of satellite coverage of Africa published by the International Development Research Centre reveals that policy not technology holds back greater connectivity. Cartograms distort the area of a given country to represent data.Maps are a useful way of representing data – and there are many ways to use a map. The map uses Google Maps to plot the data and YouTube to host the audio and video files. The map below shows the proportion of all children worldwide with evidence of trachoma. The government of Tunisia is notoriously secretive about its penal system. their cases and the brutality of the Tunisian police. illustrating the refugee population. and a diagram. Worldmapper displays a collection of cartograms illustrating a variety of economic and social indicators in dramatic global patterns.ca/en/ ev-53486-201-1-DO_TOPIC. published by » » » 27 .” See http://www. The map illustrates the conclusion that “Every square inch of Africa is covered by satellite bandwidth. but restrictive telecom policies stop this from supporting Africa’s development.nl/tunisianprisonersmap plots prisons in Tunisia with links to audio and video to expose the stories of prisoners. current and former UN peacekeeping operations. statistics on HIV/ AIDS. Myriad Editions for UNIFEM.idrc.org 26 » Mapping and Advocacy in Africa This poster. or “blinding disease.

Printed reports and other publications may also have a long shelf life. Beautiful posters are often kept and cherished. even years. A slower medium may allow for more detail and density of information. The medium in which you design your graphics is usually not the medium in which you finally publish your graphics. reach and audience. it is helpful to show a visible date stamp that indicates when the page or data was last updated. Posters illuminate the history of many struggles. video and other media each have their strengths and weaknesses for conveying information. printed quickly and cheaply to promote an event. A consequence of this is that readers may expect the data to be current. Posters. form and script walks the reader through the process of gathering information used to combat invasive telemarketers in the Netherlands. Pamphlets. your audience and for your graphics? Graphics that work well in one medium may not be as effective in another. A combination chart. but they can also linger on walls for days. 28 29 . bolder approach. posters.Assessing Your Media What is it for? How will it be published or distributed? Media formats vary widely in cost. Where possible. it is always best to test your graphics in the final size and format in which they will appear. What medium works best for your campaign. The layout makes the otherwise tedious task fun. Consider how graphics or web pages will live on. One benefit of online information is that it can be kept up-to-date. Colors and grays also render differently in different media. may be ephemeral. Will people be able to stop and read the graphics? Or will it fly by in a few seconds? A faster medium may require a simpler. even becoming an iconic part of a movement’s history. be careful when printing web addresses that may not last as long as the document that contains them. With this in mind. As such. for instance. web sites. Information is read differently at different sizes. they often live on. How will your design live over time? While graphics may be targeted towards a specific moment in a campaign.

the web also makes it possible to design interactive graphics that allow users to explore your data in a non-linear sequence. Posters may also be viewed from a distance as well as close up. This is not a reason to fill the space with information. Printing methods and materials also make a statement about your work and your organization. Black-and-white printing on paper is cheaper to produce than color. Smaller formats like postcards and stickers may be cheaper to print and easier to distribute than larger formats. but rather to consider the hierarchy implicit in your material and how different levels of information will be revealed as your reader approaches. 30 31 . video and slide projectors are very different from print.” The sticker makes an analogy between self-examination and how shoppers routinely examine fruit. but limits the amount of visual information. However. images should have a very simple and direct message. Materials and techniques — visibly cheap or luxurious printing or paper. This campaign promoting breast cancer awareness in Brazil placed stickers on fruit reading “You see? It is easy to do auto-examination. publishing on the Internet may have a broader reach than printed matter. via postal mail. Screens are generally much lower resolution than print and do not offer a large area. fewer words. Information can be conveyed through the context of a design. computer screens. Posters provide the luxury of space to display a range of information and fine detail. Posters and Stickers The size of your final publication also determines the amount of information you can convey. Given the smaller format. This provides an opportunity to catch readers from afar and draw them in. or perhaps to filter the information they are accessing. or posted to the walls of an urban environment.On Paper Printed graphics can be bold and simple or complex and detailed. Both the sequence of screens and the printed pages of a brochure or book can selectively reveal information bit by bit over time to build your story progressively. though this requires web access to publish and does assume a web-connected constituency. Print can be distributed in person at an event or location. and simpler imagery work best in these media. Sao Paulo. Some printing methods (like photocopying) may not produce subtle ranges of grays. The campaign was developed by the advertising agency JWT for Hospital do Cancer. On Screen Television. Larger type. the use of recycled paper or soy-based inks — as well as the location and conditions under which your graphics are produced are also part of the story your graphics tell. Depending on your constituency. Print can convey more detail and provide the luxury of time for viewers to study the graphics. The addition of audio to interactive or video graphics creates a more immersive and emotional experience.

Make sure colors vary in intensity. What information is presented first? How will your reader’s eye move across the design? Structure your design so that the most important information is the most prominent.Designing Your Graphics Innovative design ideas come from embracing your constraints. too many styles may clutter the page. color. not just hue — some of your readers may be color-blind. or can display multiple kinds of information at one time. Instead. black-and-white may be more cost-effective and more readable at high contrast. Placing text over a patterned background or photograph is a difficult art. Thin lines are generally preferable to thick lines. increase the size of your data points. Being obliged to adjust your graphics to your medium of publication. two. budget and technology of reproduction may lead you to discover unexpected opportunities. and placement. size. three. choose a limited color scheme that relates to your data. Objects can be differentiated by size. Elements The style of your elements can convey meaning. For instance showing GDP vs. and color. Technology Computers are great for producing professional-looking graphics. . paper or collage can be fast and inexpensive. 32 Data along a single axis reveals where data clusters and shows the range of a measurement. line styles or shapes first. However. These sample charts show a few possibilities for combining one. pattern. To reflect additional information. Typography Use text in a way that makes it readable. In this case. consider using contrasting thicknesses. Charts can focus on one type of information. life expectancy in different countries. and four types of data using position. 33 Here color reveals a fourth variable. Structure The way information is presented and organized is as important as the content. Data plotted on two axes make a comparison. which may compete with text and other information. Designing graphics with pen. Most people start reading at the top of the page and move in the direction their language is read. Color While color can be used to convey additional layers of meaning and emotion. You don’t have to use all the colors of the rainbow. but you don’t necessarily need a computer to create great design. tints. Use headlines that draw the readers’ eye and entice them to read more. such as the relative size of a country’s population. population divided by demographic or gender. Consider using a visual hierarchy to capture the reader’s attention and direct it across the page. before considering color. Color also disappears when photocopied or printed in blackand-white. When designing your graphics.

This is both a vivid way of displaying information and a primary way we perceive and understand information. as much as you can. All graphics used to be drawn by hand.html • Consider the limitations and opportunities inherent in your medium of publication. or in a key if you could just label the points or lines directly. Remove boxes. • Keep it simple. related graphs juxtaposed in the space we’d usually use for just one provide more than six times as much content. and questions for improving your information graphics. or Free Software tools like GIMP or Inkscape. or dotted. Graphics have to be self-contained. color. Below are a few principles. shadows. contrasts. Adapted from Mike Dickison’s Tip List. line. This can be done with size. colored backgrounds. Don’t put required information in the text that could go in the caption. 34 35 . consider removing detail. • Show comparisons. Every element you add to a page competes with every other. and differences. consider giving it greater prominence. • The graphic has to tell a story (if it doesn’t. fade it out or make it smaller. but should not be at the expense of clarity. Is everything in your graphic crucial to the story you are telling? Without sacrificing clarity. People can deal with much greater information density than you think. • Is your documentation clear? Listing your data sources makes your data authoritative and verifiable. Visible variation can convey meaning. • People will look at your pictures before they read your text. Always use a scale and give sources. Put your conclusion right there in the caption. Disclosing funding sources for your campaign or project also creates transparency and credibility. More Tips Here are a few more tips for data presentation: • Sketch out ideas on paper first. • Show the actual data. and they’re wonderful transferable skills. before you turn on the computer. thinner. • Minimize the number of steps required to interpret your graphic. and other decoration.com/2007/02/mikes_tip_list. if they read it at all. don’t use it) and your job is to keep redesigning it until the story is as clear as possible. • Show as few non-data elements as you can. bold or other type treatment. but… • Is the language clear and easy to understand? • Is the choice of typeface clear and legible at a glance? The size and style of your text can also convey information. or in the caption if it could go in a key. • Learn some basic typography and a graphics application like Illustrator. Software reduces creativity. Six small. except where it’s essential to understanding the data. • Is your title clear? Is it easy to understand? Does it convey the story you are telling? • Do your graphics require a legend to label the patterns and symbols you use? • Provide context. lines. http://numberpix. good graphics are created despite your software.Clarifying Your Graphics Design that is easy to understand can be better evaluated for its credibility. • What is most important? If some information is more important to your story than other information. Your job is to help them see the patterns in the data. grids. What you leave out is as important as what you leave in. suggestions. Photoshop. It’s not hard to find tutorials. If you can’t remove it.

FREQUENCIES 00 30 400 (see note* at bottom of page) 500 MHz 600 700 800 900 (1. telephone quality) Music (e.e. forests.” Senator Ernest Hollings. New York Times McDonalds $31. N E W Y O R K C I T Y U P S C A L E S U B U R B LOW FIDELITY COMMUNICATIONS H I G H LY PRODUCTIVE FARMLAND B A R R E N FA R M L A N D SOUTHWEST SCRUBLAND SAHARA DESERT SPECTRUM POLICY PROGRAM frequencies measured in hertz (Hz). the values part of the chart would appear like this: 3kHz 100 GHz 200 GHz 300 GHz The spectrum’s worth compared to other things each = $1 billion Empire State Building $1 billion Temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) $24 billion annually Bill Gates $52. Without reform.4 4.S..25 billion per MHz (67 channels) The value of today’s restricted usage rights The light areas ( ) represent: 1.S. Now we rob spectrum. number based on recent auctions 3kHz 2GHz 5GHz 50GHz 300 GHz $0.000 hertz) is written as kHz. The compensation taxpayers could receive if government charged market rates for use of this public asset. assumes reforms are instituted to allow flexible use.2 3. The wider the band.5 GHz 2 GHz 3 GHz In order to emphasize the most valuable parts of the spectrum. media and political leaders about the value and mismanagement of the nation’s radiofrequency spectrum. 3 kHz Abbreviations: kilohertz (1.g. the greater supply of spectrum would lower this value considerably. Note that if all broadcasters were granted flexibility. The $782 billion estimate for the spectrum’s total value. Senate Commerce Committee Obstacles frequencies can overcome Permeable zone: signals.000 kHz (=50 MHz) 3D or holography would require additional bandwidth. $143 billion Mobile phones (Broadband PCS) Electronic newsgathering (Broadcast TV) The area under this curve is $4. and thus should be made to serve the public. $1. and gigahertz (1 billion hertz.net/publications/policy/ citizens_guide_to_the_airwaves 36 37 .4 GHz is unlicensed—a “public park” free to a wide variety of consumer devices (300 and growing fast). as a wavelength decreases in size. at right.7 2 GHz 2. radio spectrum $771 billion (est.6 3. personal radio) Citizen’s access spectrum “The wireless spectrum belongs to the public. Designed by Nigel Holmes. and this gets harder as you move up the spectrum. its value also decreases.000 megahertz) is written as GHz. most wireless communication is low fidelity audio. Today.. “They used to rob trains in the Old West.. Senate Commerce Committee The value of the airwaves (vertical scale) varies with frequency (horizontal scale) 1 GHz 1. Chairman. the guidebook is full of illustrations depicting economic.8 billion U. $42 b. FCC The Citizen’s Guide to the Airwaves was published by the New America Foundation to educate the public.” The citizen’s guide to the airwaves Sources and further reading are included in the separate report that accompanies this chart. In the future.) Government Medicaid spending $147 billion annually $18 billion Non-geostationary mobile satellite service (NGSO-MSS) $30 b.” U. the auction value of prime spectrum will remain artificially high. amateur.g..g. The curve shows the marginal value of particular bands based on recent auctions. Wireless medical telemetry GPS Satellite phones Unlicensed PCS Satellite radio (SDARS) Wireless networking (Wi-Fi. (propagation characteristics) Long line-of-sight zone: signals cannot traverse dense objects but can be sent long distances through the atmosphere.2 3 GHz 3. and a huge barrier to entry for new technologies anxious to compete in the marketplace. Satellite radio $18 billion Non-geostationary mobile satellite service (NGSO-MSS) Higher frequencies are less valuable than lower ones because popular consumer services (broadcasting and cell phones) need to penetrate buildings. A wavelength is the distance between the recurring peaks of a wave. A graphic depiction of the uses —and misuses— of the radio frequency spectrum Frequency assignments used by everyday devices Shortwave CB radio Broadcast TV Cordless phones Broadcast TV C ar alarms Broadcast TV Family Radio Service (walkie talkies) Broadcast TV Mobile phones Mobile phones Microwave* ovens *overlapping use Garage door openers *overlapping use Highway toll tags* Cordless* phones Weather radar Highway toll tags 2.4 2.5 GHz 1. the government restricts the use of this 6 MHz to broadcasting one TV signal (this example is channel 14). If government allowed spectrum to be used for any purpose—or allowed the unlicensed sharing of underutilized bands (see other side)—its supply would increase and market value decrease. and storms. The radio spectrum (enlarged in the charts above) is the portion of the total electromagnetic spectrum distinguished by its value for communication. Bluetooth)* Satellite phones Fixed satellite communications (cable TV networks are carried on these bands) Security alarms Satellite TV Security alarms 20 GHz 30 GHz 40 GHz The airwaves needed for all the everyday uses shown here amount to less than 2% of the total Radio Spectrum. The windfall an incumbent spectrum licensee could receive if granted flexibility to use it for any purpose or to sell it (i.2 4. its market value jumps to $7. THE RADIO SPECTRUM microwaves 300 GHz infrared visible light ultraviolet x rays gamma rays The size of the wavelength influences the ability of a wave to pass through objects. The Foundation describes the airwaves as: “the most valuable natural resource of the information economy. the more information carrying capacity it has. The efficiency loss from not allowing this spectrum to be used for services most highly valued by consumers. 2. See http://www.9 $2 billion 2.8 Note: Spectrum valuations.” Thomas Hazlett..000 kHz (=5 MHz) 50. 3. which only fetched as much as they did because most spectrum cannot be purchased at any price or is mandated for inefficient use.2 billion All the gold stored in Fort Knox $45.. If the license allowed the same 6MHz to be put to its most highly valued use (e.7 billion per channel) $453 billion Potential windfall if the spectrum is privatized ( ) Market value of current use ( ) BROADCAST TV $0. glossy magazine quality) “The basic problem is that demand for spectrum is outstripping the supply.e. federal government and industry use.8 5 GHz Wi-Fi 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 0 Hz GH 100 150 200 250 300 GHz Radio: AM Remotecontrolled toys FM radio Medical implants Wireless medical telemetry Cordless phones* Pagers GPS (Global Positioning System) Most of the white space is spectrum reserved for military.000 kHz (=1 MHz) 5. Short line-of-sight zone: signals can only be sent very short distances. Using an unadjusted linear scale. $1 b. megahertz (1 million hertz) is written as MHz. Generally. Voice (e.3 1.4 1. The electromagnetic spectrum has long wavelengths (low frequency) at one end and short wavelengths (high frequency) at the other end.8 billion) is the potential value of spectrum flexibility on channel 14.00 billion per MHz The value of completely flexible usage rights (i.S.000 times as much bandwidth.8 4 GHz 4. are as of December 31.newamerica. September 2002 “[The spectrum allocation] system is inefficient.6 4..5 billion $26 billion 100 megahertz (MHz) 200 $2 billion $1 b. VCR quality) High definition TV (e. or 1.8 1. Former Chief Economist. high fidelity video could require up to 5. A slice of spectrum contains a band of frequencies.100 MHz 500 MHz Today.g. this scale gives the lower frequencies disproportionate space..g. cellular telephone service). can easily traverse through dense objects such as buildings. The difference ($6. which carry information.5 trillion. General Accounting Office Report. Senator John McCain. Semi-permeable (transition) zone: signals have difficulty traversing dense objects. former Chairman.000 MHz) 1 GHz 1. mountains. The amount of spectrum required for everyday communications *Super high definition video in 10 kHz 100 kHz 1.2 billion. 1.1 1. ownership rights). The value of the spectrum if it were thought of as real estate Notes and definitions F I F T H A V E N U E .50 billion per MHz ($6. (It has more “bandwidth”).6 1. Mobile phones Police speed radar Police speed radar Driver safety warning (unlicensed. ownership rights). movie theater quality) Super high definition TV* (e. which should not be interpreted as the total market value of spectrum.2 1.75 billion per MHz $60 billion Mobile phones (NarrowbandPCS) $0. military budget $357 billion annually U.4 3.g. The market values this limited license at $390 million.6 2. which are notoriously volatile.” The pamphlet uses a variety of graphics and techniques within a consistent overall style to tell many different stories which explain various aspects of the issue. HIGH FIDELITY COMMUNICATIONS A P P R O X I M AT E LY * Radio waves are transmitted at different Wireless bandwidth is generally counted in megahertz. 2001.” William Safire. social and political aspects of spectrum policy and is accompanied by a color poster with a visual map of the spectrum. unresponsive to consumer demand. CD quality) Standard definition TV (e. “[Spectrum is] the most valuable natural resource of the information age.

the Bank faced public criticism for its decision to hold the meeting in Uzbekistan. Countries hosting the meeting historically stand to gain significant investment and international legitimacy. Realizing that participants would be anticipating information about Tashkent and that the Uzbek government would be promoting their country. But this year. The goal of the HRW campaign was to move the Bank to link human rights progress to the decision to hold the meeting in Tashkent. The map mimics the style of tourist brochures. the coalition’s campaign turned the meeting into a debate of the Uzbek government’s poor human rights record and the Bank’s commitment to addressing these concerns.. media advocacy. The campaign included letter-writing. In keynote speeches. Uzbekistan in 2003. HRW notes: “The Bank’s annual meetings usually center on investment opportunities in the host country. and it did not go unnoticed. On its web site. President Karimov removed his headphones and demonstratively covered his ears.org/campaigns/uzbekistan 38 39 .” See http://hrw. HRW worked with a graphic designer to develop an alternative map of Tashkent.The Map of Tashkent was part of an advocacy campaign by Human Rights Watch (HRW) around the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) decision to hold its annual meeting in Tashkent. broadcast live on Uzbek television. As Lemierre and Short delivered their critical speeches.K. They raised in particular the recent recommendations by the U. EBRD President Jean Lemierre and U.N. which found torture in the country to be ‘systematic.’ This amounted to a public scolding of President Karimov’s broken promise. By linking data from HRW’s research to data about well-known tourist sites. As a result of the campaign. coalition-building with other NGOs and personal meetings with EBRD officials in 2002 and 2003. Special Rapporteur on Torture.. The map was posted online as well as printed and distributed to the meeting’s attendees.’s then-Development Minister Clare Short emphasized the need for the Uzbek leadership to make progress on human rights. marking out tourist sites as well as locations where human rights violations had taken place in the city.. the map invited the target audience to take a walk through the campaign’s data.

Eppler. Mike. soros. the meaning of images is often a matter of interpretation. Cycles of testing and revising your graphics bring your audience into the design process and help ensure your design meets your goals.org/initiatives/information/focus/communication/articles_publications/ publications/gis_20060412 Many Eyes. New York. Author of several beautiful. The representation of ideas.edwardtufte.math.com/manyeyes/browse/ visualizations Moere. 40 A small accreditation to the visual can come here. As with any visual representation.com/methodcards/MethodDeck/index.yorku.Evaluate and Iterate How do you know if your graphics are working? Just ask your audience.visual-literacy. The Guilford Press. but making it easier to understand and providing new routes to understanding. individuals or groups of people may be affected by assumptions and pre-conceptions.edu Lengler. An image in one context may have an entirely different meaning in another. http://makingmaps.org/periodic_table/periodic_table. Milestones in the History of Thematic Cartography. Tips and techniques for user testing. http://services. http://www. Each mock-up employs a good example of information design. Illustrated techniques for improving your data graphics.owu. Jakob.com Williams. A gallery of dramatic experiments in the translation of data into images.com Swivel. and sharing data and designs. visual formats. A small accreditation to the visual can come here. A web service for uploading. Testing your graphics with even a small number of typical users can provide useful insight for revising and improving your work. Denis. Andrew Vande. visualizing. Robin. John. A web service allowing users upload and render their data in a variety of A small accreditation to the visual can come here. different communities may ascribe different meanings to the same image. For instance. http://backspace. NY.ideo. 41 . A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS. Information design is not just presenting information in a pretty way. April 2006. http://www. The Non-Designer’s Design Book: Design and Typographics Principles for the Visual Novice.alphaworks. bringing their interpretation and taking action. clarity and visual narrative. http://www.numberpix. http://swivel.com Tufte . Testing can be as simple as showing your design to your audiences. alternative cover designs tested while producing this report. Making Maps. soliciting their feedback and revising your graphics accordingly. 2003.ca/SCS/Gallery/milestone IDEO Methods Cards.com/notes Friendly. Case studies. Edward. Mapping for Advocacy. Additional Resources Dickison.html Lindenbaum. Peachpit Press. http://www. http://infosthetics. http://www.html Krygier.ibm. http://useit. Writings about usability and user-centered design. A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Michael and Daniel J. Writing and clippings on design and activism. September. but the one that was chosen for the cover best achieves a combination of simplicity. John and Denis Wood. Information Aesthetics. Pictures of Numbers.com Emerson. Visualising Social Information Above. Social Design Notes. and Data Visualization. http://www.com Nielsen. informative books on information design. Stephanie. Ralph and Martin J. An extensive catalog of visualization techniques used throughout history. Your audience completes the design. Statistical Graphics. One way of addressing this is to test your design with a sample group from your audience. Visualising Social Information Visualizing Information for Advocacy An Introduction to Information Design Visualizing Information for Advocacy An Introduction to Information Design interactive.

Available for Windows and Mac. spreadsheet. including those of Microsoft Office and open formats such as . http://us. presentation and drawing programs) for Mac OS X. http://inkscape. markers.com GimpShop GIMPShop is a version of the GIMP image editor modified to be more userfriendly for Photoshop users. OpenOffice runs on Linux and Windows and on Mac OS X under X11. Based on OpenOffice. these tools can help render. http://gimpshop. paths. resizing and cropping photos. The tool supports files in a variety of formats.org 42 43 .org The Gimp GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Programme. http://openoffice. http://www. http://neooffice. training manuals. manipulation and professional graphics creation. gradients. combining images. removing unwanted image features and converting between image formats. Typical uses include creating graphics and logos. presentation manager and drawing program. stationery.ajax13.org Scribus Scribus can be used to create layouts for newsletters. OpenOffice also works with a variety of file formats. For Windows. The interface is adapted to look and feel more like Photoshop and act more like a single. It has precise typography controls and image sizing not available in current word processors. Linux and Mac. GIMP is a powerful image editor supporting advanced image editing. Ajax13 also has a sketch tool to do basic diagrams and a media player. Linux and Mac. It supports rendering of shapes. edit and exchange files with other popular office programs such as Microsoft Office. polish and prepare them for printing. GIMP can also be used to create animated images. spreadsheet. NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features and can import.net/projects/pdfcreator OpenOffice OpenOffice is an office productivity suite. transparency. http://gimp. Once you’ve planned your graphics. unified program. PDFCreator PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application that can print. spreadsheets and presentations. changing colors. Linux and Mac.odt. technical documentation.com InkScape Inkscape is a vector graphics editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator. transformations. text. It includes a word processor. http://sourceforge.org Ajax13 Ajax13 is a web-based Office Suite that allows you to create and share documents. patterns and grouping. Available for Windows. clones. Freehand or CorelDraw. Available for Windows.net NeoOffice NeoOffice is a fully-featured set of office applications (including word processing. posters. business cards and other documents that need flexible layout or sophisticated image handling.Free Software Tools Below is brief list of Free Software and Open Source tools you can download or use online to help with your information graphics.scribus.

please write to infodesign@tacticaltech.org 44 .You’ve got data. now what do you do with it? How do you tell your story effectively? How can you move your audience? If you would like to send us examples of your information design or learn more about information design.

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