The difference between a Data Visualization and an Infographic

A very interesting and informative article about the difference between the two mentioned in the title of this post. There are opinions from people working in this field and what they think about it.


photo by GDS Infographics

Benjamin Wiederkehr of

While I agree with Paul Marcum that Information Graphics often display non-quantifiable information, I would not make the distinction there. Maps for example are often part of data visualization, too.
Here’s how I see the distinction:

Information graphics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge often used to support information, strengthen it and present it within a sensitive context.
They are specific, context-sensitive and often times hand-crafted.

Data visualizations are visual displays of measured quantities by means of the combined use of a coordination system, points, lines, shapes, digits, letters quantified by visual attributes.
They are general, context-free and often times created automatically.

Both can be static, animated or interactive.

So, I think the difference is more about the objective. Information graphics are used to tell a story or answer a question. Data visualizations are used to let the user find his own story or answer.

You can read the whole article here.

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