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Looking for online tools for making nice data visualizations.
November 8, 2011 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Are there online resources that will let an amateur make slick, professional infographics, graphs, charts or images+text? Or communities of designers that do quick, topical visualization challenges? Further details inside.

For infographics, there is Visual.ly, but they haven't released tools to actually create infographics yet. Vizualize.me takes a LinkedIn resume and turns it into a visual representation - that's more along the lines of what I'm looking for. (without it being resume-focused)

For charts and graphs there is Google's Public Data Explorer and IBM's Many Eyes. There's also Hohli. Are any of these good for the non-specialist? Are there any services, on this list or not, that are particularly good?

For image+text, I'm looking for something sort of like a meme generator, but with more variability in terms of where the text is placed and the font. I want users to be able to upload a picture of, say, Andrew Jackson, and then add a quote of his in a font other than Impact. Hosting and sharing capabilities for the resultant images would be a nice bonus.

I know that not paying designers to design is bad form, but are there any sites where designers take on challenges for making infographics, etc.? It would be something like the Photoshop competitions on Fark, or even the more kindhearted ones on Reddit, but with a more serious or political tone.

Thanks, hive mind!
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why in the world would a designer do that?
It's completely and absolutely not in their interest. It's more work with no benefit.

Photoshopping contests work because they're fun.
infographics is work.

Here's better options:
1) Take a design class to learn how to do it yourself. It's surprisingly easy.
2) Hire a college student. You can pay them dirt if you give them a little extra freedom (cuz they'll be interested in developing their portfolios). Just go to your local art dept/art school and put up some flyers.
3) Hire a pro. They'll take minimal time and give you exactly what you want. But you pay for it.
posted by Murray M at 8:08 PM on November 8, 2011


For image+text, I'm looking for something sort of like a meme generator, but with more variability in terms of where the text is placed and the font. I want users to be able to upload a picture of, say, Andrew Jackson, and then add a quote of his in a font other than Impact. Hosting and sharing capabilities for the resultant images would be a nice bonus.

This is a programming problem. You just need someone to hack an open-source meme generator to tailor it to what you want. There are a huge variety of open-source fonts now that you can use for this project.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:41 AM on November 9, 2011


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