In his article, “Making the Case for Infographics in PR” (http://blog.journalistics.com/2011/infographics-in-pr/),
Jeremy Porter examines the power of graphs, charts and other visuals.
I definitely agree. Sometimes a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Porter’s discussion reminds me of the powerful statistical display of Napoleon’s advance into Russia, and his ignominous retreat the next year. http://bigthink.com/ideas/21281
The chart, which was drawn up by Charles Joseph Minard, unites six different sets of data.
- The army’s course
- The army’s direction
- The number of soldiers remaining
The statistics tell a tale of incredible human suffering. Napoleon entered Russia with 442,000 men. By the time he took Moscow, he only had 100,000 men left, and only about 10,000 of them made it back to France.
Fortunately, we’re usually using graphics for lighter topics. But the fact that this chart is still admired and discussed more than 100 years after its development attests to the power of an well-executed infographic.
For a discussion of the chart, see the article by Frank Jacobs, “Vital Statistics of a Deadly Campaign: the Minard Map.” http://bigthink.com/ideas/21281