Drawing Infographics

cycling health infographic
cycling health infographic

Believe it or not, I love data and statistics, I love to know how the distance I’ve travelled and what the temperature is when I ride. I like to know the calorie consumption for particular exercises and I’m interested in human population growth, rates of diseases and all manner of things that are most accurately expressed by statistics.

For example, did you know:

  • the typical person breathes 370,000 cubic metres of air in their lifetime
  • over 88% of the world’s population lives north of the Equator
  • India has more honours graduates than America has young adults
  • there are 31 billion searches on Google every month
  • it is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century
  • another prediction states that by 2049 a £1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species

However, as fun as numbers can be, I find looking at sets of plain figures very boring and relative values become difficult to grasp when confronted with a sheet of values and that’s why I love infographics. Which are really just a fancy graphs and ways of visualising numbers. Infogrpahics display statistics in a meaningful, intuitive and human way and since I know a little Photoshop I decided I would try making one of my own. With all of these amazing statistics you might have expected me to produce some revolutionary infographic that put the whole world into perspective but alas I was just practising and as you can see I went for something more modest for my first attempt. The data shows the summary impact on all-cause mortality for subjects shifting from car to bicycle and, if you’re interested, more details can be found at the source:
de Hartog JJ, Boogaard H, Nijland H, Hoek G 2010. Do the Health Benefits of Cycling Outweigh the Risks? Environ Health Perspect 118:1109-1116.

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