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Information is Beautiful: the most stunning data visualisations of 2019

  • Written by  Geographical
  • Published in Mapping
Information is Beautiful: the most stunning data visualisations of 2019
28 Nov
From Leonardo da Vinci’s genius and the history of Starbucks, to failing dams and global light pollution, the winners of the 2019 Information Is Beautiful awards have been announced

We live in the age of the infographic. With infinite ways now available to visualise information and bring data to life, cold statistics and hard numbers have a new lease of life. First set up in 2012, the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards celebrates excellence and beauty in data visualisation across a range of topics including science and technology; arts, entertainment and culture and politics.

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The Awards are judged by an eclectic panel of experts, comprised of Hollywood producers, puppeteers, renowned data designers, journalists and artists. A public vote also allows enthusiasts to choose the infographics that best combine information, function, story and visual beauty.

‘Every year we celebrate the role that creative visualizations play in helping to address a range of challenges, bringing data to life, while increasing awareness, demystifying research, and illustrating the gravity of global issues like gender inequality,’ said David McCandless, founder of Information is Beautiful. ‘This year we received some incredible nominations spanning topics from space exploration to the health of our oceans.’

Find out more about this year’s winners below.

Codex Atlanticus 
by The Visual Agency

4312 copy

The Codex Atlanticus is the largest existing collection of original drawings and text by Leonardo da Vinci, preserved at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. For the first time, this interactive project provides viewers with a complete look at the pages, shedding a new light upon the evolution of the great man’s thoughts. Visitors can filter the database according to subject matter and theme and can even reorganise the Codex’s pages according to their chronological order of creation.

How Kerala’s Dams Failed To Prevent Catastrophe

by Reuters

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More than five million people in Kerala were affected and over 200 were killed amid torrential rain and floods in August 2018. The flooding, dubbed the worst to hit the southern state in nearly a century, caused billions of dollars of damage to fields, homes and infrastructure.

This series of data visualisations explains the impact of water released by dams in the area and provides an insight into how poor management exacerbated the damage. 

Live BMX Data Visualization  


CLEVER°FRANKE created the first ever live data visualization of the Dutch National BMX Championships by tracking each rider throughout their performance using sensors. Designed on behalf of the Royal Dutch Cycling Federation in order to attract more people to the sport, the platform traces rider data on the screen using a tire track print as a metaphor that has closer or wider dash patterns depending on the speed.

Earth At Night, Mountains Of Light
by Jacob Wasilkowski


St. Louis-based geospatial web developer, Jacob Wasilkowski, created this 3D map in order to resculpt the planet’s surface according to light. Wasilkowski took the brightest spots on the planet at night, according to NASA satellite imagery, and transformed them into luminous mountains which rise up alongside correspondingly dark valleys.

A View On Despair
by Sonja Kuijpers at Studio Terp


Feeding off her personal struggle with depression, Sonja Kuijpers decided to create this unusual portrayal of suicide numbers. Using data on 2017 suicide numbers in the Netherlands, she used elements like trees, waves and clouds to represent different categories of suicide methods.

10 Years On
by Weiyi Cai & team at Reuters

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Five Reuters reporters who covered the 2008 economic collapse demonstrate what has changed – or not – in the crash aftermath. Covering five topics – markets, politics, financial services, macroeconomy and wealth distribution – they share information via a series of graphs, graphics and audio. 

Explore the Ocean – Interactive Scientific Poster
by Science Communication Lab


Scientists of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research have been accompanying the expedition ships of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises for years to conduct their research in remote areas but also to inform passengers about the ocean as an ecosystem of global importance. This interactive scientific poster ‘Explore The Ocean’ explains complex marine science with a multi-touch display on board the ships. 3D animations and data visualisations are used to cover topics such as atmospheric and ocean currents, marine resources, plate boundaries and tsunami events, fish catches and movements.

Starbucks Data Wall Experience
by Accurat


To celebrate Starbuck’s first ever store in Italy, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Milan in Piazza Cordusio, Accurat designed a massive, augmented-reality-enabled brass wall depicting Starbucks’ history and coffee-making process.

The Invisible Crime: Are We Failing Victims Of Sexual Violence?
by Nicole Precel & team for The Sydney Morning Herald


According to Nicole Precel and her team, awareness of sexual assault is on the rise in Australia, but the vast majority of cases still go unreported because victims are reluctant to contact police. In this investigation, they looked at what happens when victims do take action, using black and white graphics to the highlight the stark numbers. 

Market Cafe Magazine - A Zine About Data Visualization
by Market Café Mag


Market Cafe Magazine is the world’s first magazine about data visualization founded in 2017 by information designers Tiziana Alocci and Piero Zagami. Each edition centres on one topic, from truthfulness in data/fake news to urban mapping and temporariness in data visualisation.

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