Today anyone with a small amount of motivation and Adobe Illustrator can learn to create a ridiculously gaudy information graphic. That’s why it’s nice to see someone create an elegant, informative visualization that lets the story lead the design instead of the other way around. My favorite site for these designs is HistoryShots, which continues to churn out the most beautiful data I’ve seen. However, I have to give credit to xkcd.com, who created this graphic to put ocean and lake depths into perspective. The simple design and carefully selected reference points (such as the drift between bow and stern of the Titanic as it sank) make this one of the most compelling and engaging displays of information I’ve come across in a long time. Nice to see that someone out there still has some restraint.
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