Monday, December 19, 2016

Using infographics and history


An infographic is information that is portrayed visually.  They allow complex information to be easily understood, eye-catching and easily shareable.  As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words.

While infographics are not new, we are seeing them more and more.  They are predominately used by marketing.   Local government love them to portray how ratepayers money is spent.  Books are even being produced, such as the History of WWI in infographics.

Why use infographics?
They can be a powerful tool to help your content be seen amongst the vast electronic world. People naturally love facts, figures, stats and other graphical elements.  We are visual creatures and because of this people are easily attracted to images that attract their attention.  They are much easier to process and 30 times more likely to be read that a text article.

Infographics are great for imbedding in websites, can be easily shared as images online.
They are designed to include short, easily understandable text just to emphasize an important piece of information.  This simplicity makes Infographics more easily understood by non-English global users, people with low literacy skills.

Infographics and history

Infographics are great to convey a history of something, your town, a business, a product.  You can produce infographics on people, produce timelines and highlight a particular story or time of history (floods, WWI, depression, building history), do then and nows.

How to make one?
Infographics make use of tables, graphs, charts, images and symbols. To produce these you need to compile the data and information.    If you can gleam numbers from your research that can easily be turned into images.  

When doing research now, I often have a notebook with me, that I will write any stats down in, or if I am trying to work out name changes of schools, clubs, churches etc I draw it.  If working on a particular project, I may compile a spreadsheet and insert any data.

I have produced infographics just using Publisher, but you can also use free apps (or apps that offer free versions)  to create them.  Once completed you can download them as a graphic or PDF. I have used https://piktochart.com   You can add your own images or use their symbols.  Graphs and tables are easily produced using their setup. 
Others include:
https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/ http://vizualize.me

Once you have your infographic you can use it to make postcards, exhibition panels, maybe even the history of your town as infographics.

If you need inspiration try looking on Pinterest.

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