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January 10, 2007

The Art of Visualization

Periodic Table.jpg Check out this excellent compilation of visualization methods called “A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods.” This came to my attention via a convoluted path from BoingBoing (who thanks Mike Love) to Seth Godin to Acorn Creative. Ralph Lengler and Martin J. Eppler created it. You might also enjoy reading their paper, entitled “Towards a Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for ManagementInnovation.jpg

On a related topic, some people are lucky enough to have the ability to transform the spoken word into graphics in real time. I gave a speech to the International Coach Federation, and Martha McGinnis created this graphic representation of it. You may find this useful as a quick summary of my Art of Innovation speech (you can watch the speech online here). Here is Martha’s chart in two sizes:

And I just found out about this mind map of the book at Anabubula.com.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Art of Visualization:

» Topography to Teacup from Joey Roth
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Comments

To me, if you need to visualize a business model or a project, XPLANE.com are the masters. I sold them my visualization company in Spain (Ideamaps) and I am still learning from them.

Dave Gray, its CEO at: http://communicationnation.blogspot.com/ See XPLANE´s next generation search engine visualization as an example in this page.

Great article Guy, I believe that the origianl concept of mindmaps was coined by a Tony Buzan and he has writen a number of excellent books on the subject. His basic concept was that mindmaps mirror the way the brain thinks and relates to problems, using related links. The use of PC applications that can create and manage mindmaps is a definate advantage over paper maps. I have found it a wonderful way of creatively analysing a new sales account opportunity, positioning our companys offerings or managing my sales pipeline. My favorite Mindmap software is Mindjet mindjet.com which links into Outlook and MS Office.
Ciaran

I've posted a similar article at http://myselfdevelopment.net with a reference to this post as well. Thanks.

I also try to be creative these days but it's hard (Engineer + MBA, so rational ;-))

Here are 2 attempts :

Value Chain & SOA

and

A web 2.0 Architecture

Guy -

I always appreciate your insights - this post misses one fairly obvious connection. One of the leading (if not the primary) consultant groups in visual facilitation is and always has been The Grove Consultants International. http://www.grove.com/

If you look around, you will realize that a lot of what is out there now, comes from their method. It is a testimony to their vision in many ways. Since they are from the Bay Area, I would be surprised if you haven't run across them before, but it is always good to revisit old friends.

Nice pages here. Great information. Will visit again and recommend.

I like those charts from Martha. I don't usually have time for quite that much artistic creativity, but when I attend a conference I usually come home and make a one-pager laid out in a fun (maybe obnoxious) way to sit on my desk. While most people are forgetting what they learned, I'm continuously reviewing...

Here's one I did for the Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2001.

Thank you very much for this post - I absolutely love the periodic table for visualisation link!

Very interesting, I also find it amazing how some people has the ability to transform words into images so effectively

This is the most useful post I have read for a long while.
A new poster is already ready for my office wall, and I think I will use this technique to teach my students as well.

Very impressive.

Hey can you do a report on the iPhone? I would definitely Digg it. Incidentally I find it humorous that Steve Jobs said they were going to capture 1% of the market with 10 million phone -- I'm confused now. What's with the mixed messages Guy? It is still faux pas to say 1%?!

Art of the visualisation, it really is amazing how you can simplify complex things using a table...quite an interesting approach.

Speaking of visualization - you guys may want to watch the presentation of Hans Rosling on TED Talks. He received great feedback for the visualization during his session:

http://tedblog.typepad.com/tedblog/2006/06/hans_rosling_on.html

Visualization is not only a relfection of some art processes, but also a scientific field of investigation ( as infovis is ).
Among the resources listed above, I would like to give a look to Manuel Lima's work on collecting complex systems and networks visualizations on his http://www.visualcomplexity.com/.

Guy,

This is a great find! I posted an article a couple months ago showcasing some of the great work that's been done in info/data visualization. You and your readers might be interested.

Dataesthetics: The Power and Beauty of Data Visualization
http://eric-blue.com/blog/2006/10/dataesthetics_the_power_and_be.html

That illustration of your talk is wonderful! You and she should sell posters :-)

Using Visualization in software development process is very effective and useful. But the challenge is to find someone who understands the requirement and also knows to draw the idea in visual forms. Thanks for the post on this interesting topic.

Two very different but very cool visualizations. Now if I could only learn to draw...

In a nutshell, you know what I like about Guy Kawasaki? It's that he can write about Linkedin one week and in the same space one week later write about "The Art of Visualization".

But what I really, really, deeply like about him is that he can write about such "seemingly" disparate things as Linkedin and The Art of Visualization on a blog called "How To Change The World" - and no one dares to challenge him for using such a seemingly audacious title for his outstanding little "practical blog for impractical people."

Thanks for sharing The Art of Visualization and KUDOS for breaking molds, Guy!

If you want some good mind mapping tips the folks at NovaMind provide a great free paper called The Laws of Mind Mapping.

http://www.nova-mind.com/AboutMM/

These tools make it easy to turn text into visual. It took a lot more left-brain training to learn to use them as change tools. I also like them for seeing synchronicity and patterns in seemingly disparate pieces of information..great for blogging.

Visualization as applied to enhancing athletic performance has been around for years. I interviewed an Olympic Judo coach back in the early 80's who used it as a component of the Feldenkrais Method. In my view, it's a critical tool, and the Periodic Table you linked to is a terrific way to explore it. I'm going to share it with my peers at Microsoft.

It is scary when blogs I read start to overlap.

Here's Stephen Few's comments on the periodic table.
http://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/?p=81

His blog is great for those interested in visualisation, and I highly recommend his book on dashboards.

Speaking about the art of visualization, please take a look here: [http://anabubula.com/node/25]
A very nice mindmapping approach using as example one of your super books

I would second http://infosthetics.com/ as a great resource. Great visualizations can be hard to come by and are often much more powerful than text at conveying information. Plus don't they just give that warm fuzzy feeling. Here's a great example I came across recently thanks to all the iphone hype http://www.sizeasy.com.

I wish I would have that ability like Martha has =) Another great resource on visualization that regularly visit and enjoy is http://infosthetics.com/

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