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am 2. Februar 1998
This is the first of Edward Tufte's brilliant trilogy on how information should be displayed. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information is about pictures of numbers. Envisioning Information is about picturing nouns. Visual Explanations is about picturing verbs. All three are beautiful artefacts in their own right, encapsulating the author's ideas in the actual production of the book. Each is crammed with examples of good and bad practice over the past centuries.
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am 25. Mai 2000
This book will teach you some basics on how to most effectively present quantitative information using various sorts of graphs and charts. Afterwards you will know how and why you should get rid of chart junk (gridlines, tick marks, ornaments, etc.) or alternatively using some of the examples on bad design presented, you will see how to manipulate your audience using the "Lie Factor". Actually the advice given in this book could easily fit within just one piece of paper, but then: This book is simply beautiful. It is state of the art for printed books, you almost feel a passion for it. Mr. Tufte takes his own medicine: No words in this book are superfluous. Illustrations and examples are carefully selected and reprinted with the utmost care. It takes no more than some hours to read the book, but afterwards you can use more than just a few hours to study the examples of timeless graphic displays. The only reason why this book is short of five stars is the following: Mr. Tufte uses quite some space providing statistics about charts found in different publications (chart junk percentages, lie factor. Personally I find this information fairly irrelevant and would have preferred more examples of chart remakes. However this book is definately still a MUST have!
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am 8. Februar 2000
You know what's so good about this book? The research, that's what. In showing both good and bad graphic design, Tufte has examples from as far back as 1686, and many examples from the 18th,19th & 20th centuries and from many different countries.
Good graphic design, he argues, reveals the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space. Interestingly, some of the best examples of this come from the pre-computer era, when graphics had to be drawn by hand (and therefore more thought had to go into their design, rather than the author just calling up the Bar Graph template on the desktop.) For example, that picture you can see on the front cover of the book is actually a train timetable that packs a whole list of arrivals and departures at many different stations into a single little picture. A better example (and the "best statistical graphic ever drawn") shows Napoleon's route through Europe. It shows a) the map b) where he went c) how many people were in his army at each point and d) the temperature on the way back that killed off his army. At a glance you can see the factors that led to his army losing. AND it was drawn by hand in 1885 and is little more than a line drawing!
He also gives examples of really bad design, (including "the worst graphic ever to make it to print"), and shows what makes it so bad. His examples prove that information-less, counter-intuitive graphics can still look dazzlingly pretty, even though they're useless. In some examples, he shows how small changes can make the difference between an awful graphic and a really good one. My favourite example of this is how he drew the inter-quartile ranges on the x and y axes of a scatterplot, thus adding more information to the graphic without cluttering it up.
In summary, there's a lot more to good graphic design than being an Adobe guru. Reading this book made me feel like a more discerning viewer of graphics!
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am 26. September 1996
I've been working in marketing research for over 20 years and am constantly challenged to present complex information to managers -- quickly, efficiently, accurately, ...and visually.

This book completely reoriented my approach to this task, and ranks among maybe half a dozen that have had such an influence on my worldview. My graphs now communicate huge amounts of information very simply. Managers can "get it" within a few minutes at most. I write less text because I can convey so much visually. My reports are shorter, more concise, more reader friendly, and my value to clients has gone up.

Others in my company come to me to review their graphs too, and I can almost always find something to recommend, based on Tufte's principles.

This book is well written and illustrated. It seems nothing was spared to make it useful and visually appealing. It is well worth the investment.
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am 23. Oktober 1996
This book is an excellent style guide on how to present
data in graphical format. Every idea is clearly explained
and backed up with excellent visual examples. Tufte
emphasizes the use of graphics as a tool that accelerates
the flow of information to the reader instead of an
ornamental attachment. Latest advances in personal
computing and world-wide web has made this point even
more important - just think about the amount of junk we
get to see on a typical web page. Tufte criticizes the
increasingly familiar case of graphical data distortion
in publications with striking examples and offers basic
guidelines for avoiding this problem.

The book is overall very well written and designed. I
consider "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information"
required reading for anybody who needs to present or use
data in graphical form.
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am 18. September 1998
Everyone producing tons of fancy, colourful charts for management meetings (including the tons of consultans) must read this book. It helps you to impress people with graphics telling a story not by showing your deep knowledge of every goodie your tool provides. The handmade, black&white graphic of napoleon's march to moscow beats every computerwork I've seen so far. Thank God, Tufte doesn't give you tips for doing the whole thing on a computer.
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am 13. Februar 1999
This wonderful book has earned a very special space on my professional bookshelf. Tufte's work was immediately put to use in reducing "chart junk" in a very important presentation I was preparing. This book can help anyone seeking to communicate complex information to nearly any audience. The graphic of Napoleon's march to Moscow is intense and focused - and sparked several conversations around the office.
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am 20. März 1997
This book, and the two companion volumes ("Envisioning Information" and "Visual Explanations") are must-haves for anyone who is in the business or producing or interpreting
statistical information.

Tufte starts with a simple proposition: graphs and graphics
that represent statistical data should tell the truth. It's
amazing how often designers of such graphics miss this basic
point. Tufte clearly and entertainingly elucidates the most
common "graphical lies" and how to avoid them.

Read this
book and you'll never look at a newspaper or presentation
graphics the same way again -- you'll be left wondering if
the author *intended* to lie about what the data were saying, or if he/she just didn't know any better.

Another reviewer claimed that this book talks about how to make graphics accurate, not beautiful. He's right in some sense, but who cares? There are a million books on how to make "pretty" graphical displays, but precious few on how to make useful ones. These books are they.
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am 15. Dezember 1998
When it was published in 1983, it was an insightful work, that provided guidance for a limited number of designers and academics working in fields where data interpretation was critical. With the growth of the Web, this book, and it's companion "Visual Explanations" have become seminal, like McLuhan's work became.
Modern commerce and entertainment is now being forced into a matrix of 800 * 600 pixels: even more constraining than the constraints of a printed page. Tufte urges us on to get the the core of our intent, to separate the wheat from the chaff, at a time when media is reinventing itself faster than artists can keep up.
No professional or technologist can afford not to read Tufte's work. As Tufte ends the book "Design is Choice". Choices must be informed.
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am 24. September 1997
Tufte's first two books concentrated on the print medium, where he is comfortable and knowledgable. This book steps into the computer graphics domain, where his knowledge is only partially applicable.
He fully recognizes the problems related to the limited pixel resolution of the computer screen, but he doesn't know what to do about it. In his example screens for the Museum kiosk, his vision is clear but impractical. He knows what should be done if more screen resolution were available, but fails to show how his vision can be embodied in the computer screens we really have available.
I hope Tufte will rethink the subject and figure out how to properly apply the high temporal resolution of the screen to make up for its low spatial resolution.
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