Simple is Good (Sometimes)

August 10, 2009

Sometimes, keeping things simple is just…. wrong!

findxBut then, sometimes it’s really helpful. As in the following graphic, that we used in a very short e-learning course for Nissan Japan employees. Even if you don’ t read Japanese, you can figure out the jist of the Greenhouse Effect pretty quickly.

greenhouse effect

The graphic seems to be all fun and games, with Mr. Sun being happy or really sad, but it does use some great information visualization techniques really well:

  • the relative sizes of the “energy” arrows make clear what’s escaping from the earth and what’s bouncing back
  • the relative thickness of the atmosphere, even if it’s not really representing reality, shows clearly the effect of all those human-made emissions

With so much video happening, we’ve lost some of the art and craft of scientific and technical illustration, and I really hope we get some of this back.

Jacques LeCavalier & Associates Inc.
Sustainability Learning that Sticks!
Kelowna, BC


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