Caroline Bryan, January 28, 2014 (view all comments by Caroline Bryan)
I came across this book many years ago completely by accident, and it was very helpful in graphing data in the course of my job. Now I use techniques from it to track my investments, and very handy those techniques are, too, to impress the *#* out of my financial advisor. Clear explanations and examples make this an excellent book to add to any course in statistics or accounting. I expect Powell's to run out of it really fast as it's mentioned in Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore!
Ian Craig, November 24, 2006 (view all comments by Ian Craig)
This book is indispensable for anyone who has to present numerical information to other people (scientists, business people, journalists, etc.) Tufte beautifully lays out how to (and how not to) communicate numbers through graphs, charts, maps, tables, etc. for maximum visual impact, understandability, and information density.
He does this in a way that turns what might be a textbook or how-to manual into a coffee table art book. Two of my favorites are the chart depicting a 24 hour train schedule (which appears on the cover) and a map showing Napoleon's drive to Moscow, with the line width proportional to the number of troops left. Both simply and effectively convey a maximum amount of information with a minimum amount of ink in a visually appealing way.
His other two books, Envisioning Information (which, as Tufte describes it, deals with visualizing nouns) and Visual Explanations (visualization of verbs) are similarly beautiful and highly recommended.
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"One of the best books you will ever see."
by John Tukey, Bell Laboratories and Princeton University,
"A tour de force."
by Computing Reviews,
"The century's best book on statistical graphics."
by Frederick Mosteller, Harvard University,
"A landmark book, a wonderful book."
by Scientific American,
"Original, beautifully presented, sharp and learned, this book is a work of art. The art here is cognitive art, the graphic display of relations and empirical data, now an indispensable tool of science and engineering."
by PC Magazine,
"This beautifully typeset, illustrated, and printed large-format volume is an accurate, funny, and downright rude short course in the history and practice of statistical graphics. A touchstone of style."
by Optical Engineering,
"A classic reference. The overall intention and power of the book is stunning."
by The New York Times,
"The da Vinci of data."
by The Boston Globe,
"A visual Strunk and White."
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information contains 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical charts, graphics, and tables, with a detailed analysis of how to display quantitative data for precise, quick, effective analysis. Highest quality book design and production throughout.
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