Vizooalization: 5 things I have learned about visualization at the zoo

Posted on August 5th, 2008 in Charts and Graphs , ideas - 4 comments

On Saturday we went to Columbus zoo, apart from enjoying the lions, penguins, birds, I have also learned 5 simple yet effective lessons in visualization.

1. Design your charts for kids – assume your audience knew bare minimum and curious

all-relevant-info-at-one-place

Above shown is a typical Zoo-mate info dashboard that you can see next to any animal in the Zoo, All the information that a kid needs to know to enjoy the reptile is shown there, a photo, whether the snake is venomous, what it eats, how endangered it is on a gradient scale and where its found usually.

2. Highlight information that is crucial, leave the rest

highlight-what-necessary-leave-out-details

This is “How to read a Chameleon” next to Chameleon cage, quickly tells how to understand what you are seeing. But if you need to know more about the colors, the research behind it, there is a bigger section beneath this.

3. Use images, examples that your audience can relate to

use-familiar-illustrations

This is the “measure your ecological footprint” exhibit. They have actually shown various sizes of shoes to compare ecological footprint of various Nationals – India, China, World average, US (not shown) so that kids can easily understand the point.

4. Remember, your audience is there to look at you, listen to your story, the chart is just an enabler

colors-are-good

This is outside the area where tigers are kept. Obviously very few people stopped at this infographic, people are all curious to see the tigers. But this chart does tell a very good point about declining tiger habitat across the world, they have used 2 colors per each tiger to convey the point. No gradients or anything… just 2 colors, one for where tigers thrived earlier, and one for where they are today, and the point is obvious for even a kid.

5. Finally, have fun

5-have-fun

Outside the building where reptiles were kept, I found this. Having fun in what you do is as much important as telling your story, selling your ideas.

Happy charting :)

PS: excuse the poor quality of images, it was dark in most of the places.

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4 Responses to “Vizooalization: 5 things I have learned about visualization at the zoo”

  1. Jon Peltier says:

    Nice post: Simple visualizations for public use. None of these are too complicated, but all are effective.

  2. [...] Very compact and beautiful way to show zoo information. For more on zoo visualizations checkout the Vizooalization post [via Simple [...]

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