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An infographic (information graphic) is a representation of information in a graphic format designed to make the data easily understandable at a glance. People use infographics to quickly communicate a message, to simplify the presentation of large amounts of data, to see data patterns and relationships, and to monitor changes in variables over time. 

Infographics abound in almost any public environment -- traffic signs, subway maps, tag clouds, musical scores and weather charts are just a few examples, among a huge number of possibilities. 

In the enterprise, infographics are used by all levels of management for high-level views of data. Infographics include bar graphs, pie charts, histograms, line charts, tree diagrams, mind maps, Gantt charts, and network diagrams. Such tools are often components of business intelligence software. As the amount of data being amassed in the enterprise and elsewhere increases, infographics are being used more and more frequently to help people understand the information contained in that data. 

Infographics predate writing as a means of disseminating information -- cave drawings are probably the earliest known example. People were also creating and using maps before the advent of written language. 

The process of creating infographics is sometimes referred to as data visualization.


Learn more about infographics:

 > Wikipedia covers information graphics.

 > Smashing Magazine has collected a wide variety of infographics

 > Daily Infographic delivers a new infographic every day.

This was last updated in February 2012

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