December 18, 2016
9 Infographic Tools For Creative Data Visualization
Creating great infographics need not be a chore, no matter if you're a teacher or a student. Taking information and presenting it in an artful and visually appealing way has never been easier, thanks to the infographic tools you can use today.
Before you dive in, here are some quick tips:
- Collect your data. If you have been collecting data, compile it all in a spreadsheet.
- Decide the best way to present your data (flyer-style, bar charts, line charts, Venn diagrams, histogram, scatter plot charts, flow charts, timelines, etc.).
- Design a rough sketch so you don’t end up flying blind.
- Pick your app and get to work!
Now that you've got basic tips on how to get started, it's time to get creative. Here are 9 great infographic tools to help you get started creating great infographics.
Hohli is a bare-bones online chart builder. This is for the novice user who doesn’t need a whole lot of graphics. It could possibly be a great primer moving up to more robust Web 2.0 tools for infographics. If you want some data crunched quickly without venturing into design and fancy art, this is one way to go.
Let’s not forget this old faithful as a great place to start. Hubspot has put together 10 great templates and their own handy blog on how to use them, including embedding them into your blog site. If you’re using a Hubspot blogsite already, why not use this?
Like Hohli, this is another possible avenue for introducing infographics into your class. Most schools will have this already, so why not take advantage of it? If you know PowerPoint already, this should be old hat for you. After you’ve taken a look, know that design software using Web 2.0 tools has taken off recently, and there are a lot of them.
This approaches the infographic with data being the most important. Their chart section is impressive with many options to choose from, including a U.S. map to chart statistics. LIke other infographic tools, it allows you to embellish your chart with impressive graphics, but it’s the chart tools that stand out here.
This site makes great signs, flyers, banners, and Facebook cover pages. You can sign up for free for 30 days, and it's worth checking out. It’s really useful for non-data-heavy presentations.
Unfortunately, Youzign doesn’t have the capability to take spreadsheet data and automatically create charts. Nevertheless, it's really useful for creative types who just want to get information out there.
Cool bonus feature: As a template or one of your saved projects loads, its creation is replayed for you in fast forward so you can see the objects being drawn.
This app allows for the creation of the most basic charts. The clean and simple interface is a plus. Select your “Vheme” (visual theme or fancy way of saying template), and then start sculpting your masterpiece by adding and subtracting objects.
Although the images included in the free version are less varied than other apps, you can still create great signs with what is offered. Easel.ly offers 5 different charts. What's appealing is the ability to quickly clear your canvas and start over, and the interface is, once again, clean and straightforward.
One of the mainstays in online infographic tools, and with good reason. Infogr.am offers up many useful templates, so there's no need to start from a blank canvas. It connects to data sources and updates your project in real time. Infogr.am also allows for collaboration among team members. Maps from around the world are accessible with the pro version. Their charts section is also impressive.
Piktochart is very easy to use and is a whole lot of fun. This one really does it all. You have all the charts you need as well as great quality graphics. Piktochart uses blocks—dividing up the page into sections that you can build your infographics with by cloning, moving ,or deleting what sections you wish.
This is the best place to go for creating quick and simple timelines. Input your data in the form of individual events one by one. When you’re ready, choose a template and then tweak it.
The "Locations" portion of the Event form allows you to link to a selection of websites that track your history. It then generates a timeline using picture information and the picture itself. You will also get a little “flipbook” in the style of a photo album as well as a list of your events.
Here’s another app that uses Google Sheets as the back end, and is super-easy to use. You create your timeline in Sheets, then link it to Timeline JS. As you update your spreadsheet with new events, Timeline JS will also update it in real time. Use the embed code link to share or post on your own website. Timeline JS accepts all kinds of multimedia files including photos, audio, video, and URLs to other multimedia files.
When it comes to the Creativity Fluency, infographics are a great way for your students to show their understanding of material. Whether it be a simple informative flyer or data-driven charts, or a real-time self updating timeline, Online infographic tools have really blossomed as an avenue for presenting solutions in creative, artfully presented, and easily understood ways.
We’re including a couple of useful links to help you get your thoughts moving:
- What is an infographic anyway?—Snapshots: USA Today, The Way Things Work, Metro Rail Maps.
- Kinds of infographics—Great examples and a flowchart on which type to use. By Danny Ashton from NeoMam Studios.
- Useful blog on chart types—Bar charts, pie charts, line charts, histograms, timelines, area charts, tree maps. The works.
- More Types of Charts—from Market Research Methods.