A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Quick online guide to charts & diagrams

If you’ve ever wondered how to model something, or were looking for new ideas for segmenting and presenting complex concepts, this is an incredible online resource. A neat graphical explanation and example of each “element” (ex; a cycle diagram) appears as soon as your cursor scrolls over them. What I like most is that the categorisers have thoroughly sliced the categorising! For instance, they’ve color-coded their categories: data, metaphor, concept, strategy, information, and compound visualisation techniques. As if that were not enough to spark your brain, the creators also provide clues as to whether the model works best for convergent or divergent thinking, and whether it is more for an overview vs. detailed perspective. So far, I have used it mostly for inspiration, especially the metaphor models, but this resource has given me ideas and structure and the appropriate language for my work as a process designer and facilitator. I also passed this onto a 7th grade teacher friend of mine who is using it with his entire class!

-- Jodie Engleberg 04/24/07


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