This is Edward Tufte’s passionate manifesto for intelligent information design. He is concerned with the need for scale, accuracy, and truthful proportion in the visualisation of data. The book derives much of its charm from the beautiful reproduction of its illustrative materials. He includes engravings, photographs, maps, computer-generated images, and even built-in flaps showing motion and before-after effects.
The diversity of his examples is just as impressive. The book ranges through a variety of topics, including the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger (which could have been prevented, Tufte argues, by better information display on the part of the rocket's engineers), magic tricks, a cholera epidemic in 19th-century London, and the principle of using "the smallest effective difference" to display distinctions in data. Throughout, Tufte presents ideas with crystalline clarity and illustrates them in exquisitely rendered samples.