First, I question most of the data sources. Some were stated clearly enough that I understood what biases might be inherent in them, but others I woul...moreFirst, I question most of the data sources. Some were stated clearly enough that I understood what biases might be inherent in them, but others I would have to look up online, and I'm too lazy when I have the book right here.
Second, it's nice to see information visualization from a different viewpoint than I normally approach it. My job is to display unknown data as accurately as possible, without guessing the user's purpose or pushing an agenda. This book approaches visualization as an art. The data are known, there is often an agenda/story in mind, and aesthetics are more important than efficient discovery of the information or story therein. Thus color is a bit overused, and some inefficient layouts and labeling mechanisms are used to emphasize the story or change the overall look. Sometimes this works out fine, and other times it really doesn't work for me. There were several graphics where I simply gave up trying to read the data, let alone figure out a pattern of interest. Most of them are good enough, though, and nearly all of them are quite pleasant for a casual glance. Some even provoked a chuckle.
Good coffee table book. Could spark some interesting discussions.(less)