INTRODUCTION

A NEW LANGUAGE AND A NECESSARY CRAFT

“. . . for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

—Shakespeare

IN A WORLD governed by data, in knowledge economies where ideas are currency, visualization has emerged as our shared language. Charts, graphs, maps, diagrams—even animated GIFs and emojis—all transcend text, spoken languages, and cultures to help people understand one another and connect. This visual language is used everywhere in the world, every day.

Dashboard maps in cars help commuters avoid the thick red lines of heavy traffic and find the kelly green routes where traffic is light. Weather apps use iconography and rolling trend lines to make forecasts accessible at a glance. Fitness-tracking apps default ...

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