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Thirty percent of the world’s
population spends time online.
That may not seem like a large percentage, but it represents 2,095,006,005 people who spend a cumulative 35 billion
hours online each month. That’s equivalent to 3,995,444 years, an infographic from Go-Gulf.com says.
What does everyone do
during all that time?
average Internet user spends most of his time online on social media (22 percent), search (21 percent), reading content (20
percent), and email (19 percent).
Internet users visit Google more than any other website, but spend more time on Facebook than anywhere else.
Here are a few more interesting facts
about the world’s online habits:
People search more than 1 billion queries on Google per day.
Location-based services are the fastest
growing Internet trend.
The United Kingdom has the highest online population. The United States ranks fifth.
More than 56 percent of social media
users use social networks to spy on their significant others.
Check out the graphic for more:
A lot of
phrases get thrown around in the world of information graphics. "Infographics." "Data visualization."
While the more pedantic out there might argue about exactly what kind of information belongs
in each category, we prefer to acknowledge the fact that most of these things overlap. So let's step back and, instead of
strictly defining terms, take a look at the overall category.
We use the term "data visualization" as the overarching word for all this stuff.
What "stuff" are we talking about? We're talking about any graphic that displays and explains information, whether
that be data or words. When we use the term "data visualization," we're using it as a general term used to describe
data presented in a visual way.
To us, infographics are different because information graphics have a flow to them. They're data visualizations that
present complex information quickly and clearly. Think of maps, signs, and charts used by statisticians or computer scientists:
Wherever you have deep data presented in visual shorthand, you've got an infographic.
Infographics are important because they change the way people find and experience
stories -- especially now, when more and more infographics are being used to augment editorial content on the web. Infographics
create a new way of seeing the world of data, and they help communicate complex ideas in a clear and beautiful way.
As the world gets more complex and more
data emerges, information graphics are more useful than ever. Data visualization often deals with an enormous amount of data,
with the goal of discovering patterns. Huge amounts of data are very difficult to sort through, but infographics make information
presentable and digestible to a general audience. An easy-to-read illustration helps tell a story and makes data points
easier to understand.
And it doesn't hurt when infographics are not only clear
and straightforward but also beautiful and engaging. The aesthetic design draws the viewer in; the information helps the viewer
analyze and understand the data being presented.
So, taking into account all the caveats about overlap that we've outlined above, what are the elements that make
up an infographic? They are:
visualizations that present complex information quickly and clearly
visualizations that integrate words and graphics to reveal
information, patterns or trends
visualizations that are easier to understand than words alone
visualizations that are beautiful and engaging
Now that we've (sort of) defined our terms, let's get into
the nitty-gritty. In the pages that follow, we'll talk about things like the history of infographics and the different
types of infographics: from traditional static infographics to interactive data visualizations that allow users to explore
a dataset for themselves. We'll get into ways of creating an infographic, and even offer tips on how to increase the chance
your information graphic will go viral – like our "What are the odds?" infographic
that's been viewed over a million times.