- Data Points
'Steampunk' Infographics Beautifully Combine Past and Present
When information graphics designers look to the past for inspiration, the results say a lot about information visualization today.
Data Points is a new series where we explore the world of data visualization, information graphics, and cartography.
When industrial designers connect iPhones to Victrola horns and turn manual typewriters into bluetooth keyboards, we call it “steampunk,” a genre that combines modern technology with a sputtery, hissy analog past. When information graphics designers also look to the past for inspiration, the result—something I’ll call “steampunk infographics”—tells us a lot about the state of information visualization today.
Aghast that the Census Bureau had decided to stop publishing its decennial statistical atlas, Nathan Yau decided to make one of his own. After all, the Bureau offers loads of data online for anyone to use. And who better than Yau, a stats PhD who blogs at FlowingData.com, has interned at The New York Times' graphics desk and has written