For those drowning in the digital age's information glut, "Visual Miscellaneum," the new eye-popping book of infographics by London-based visual and data journalist David McCandless, makes the perfect antidote. Forget about pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs and histograms; the book showcases McCandless' dexterity when it comes to the infinite number of ways to represent data through engaging graphics these days. (Click all images below for an expanded view.)
While some books open with a dedication to a loved one, an esteemed colleague or a revered legend, the author dedicates Visual Miscellaneum "to the beautiful internet." And no wonder, the internet both inspires and confounds with its labyrinthine paths and bottomless rabbit holes—it also provides most of the source data for the visualizations in this book.
Like most books offering a potpourri of information, this one aims to please with a random order that rewards flip-throughs with compelling graphics and interesting factoids pertaining to the state of our world today.
Turn to page 156 and find a two-page spread of cappuccino mugs, each filled with bars of color representing the proportion of ingredients in 18 varieties of coffee drinks. Flip to page 74 for a rather ominous chart of rising sea levels—St. Petersburg only has a few hundred years before it's underwater, while surprisingly New Orleans will stay afloat for another millennium. Land on page 160 to discover the most editied Wikipedia pages represented by a word cloud and each page's lamest point of contention.
By turns alarming and humorous in its revelations, it's a timely, if meandering, look at the state of our world. Oddly, while U.K. readers will have to wait until next year to grab a copy, the book is available now in the U.S. through Amazon (in addition to your local bookseller).
Those interested in getting a taste of David's work can follow his blog Information is Beautiful.