blogging, Print graphics

The Acorn Woodpecker design

Some time ago while living there in Costa Rica, near my house were these tireless birds pecking lampposts, I always asked myself how could be that these birds will support all that stress on their heads without any problems.
Drill on wood with the peak would be like ourselves we were to take a door and hitting her with the nose to open a hole in it, not to mention the pain it can cause, the head injury is a real factor, but for some reason these bird is not. So I put myself behind the track that make me understand that about the woodpeckers and the reason of because they can do that, and actually there are several studies explained it, there is even information from other peculiarities of this bird that I found wonderful, so, I decided start this infographic with this information.

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First draft of the woodpecker infographic 

My initial idea was to talk about those particular things in the bird head, starting with the hyoid bone which happens to be one of those secrets of the Woodpeckers, and provide information of the population and its evolution time, but as sought was more particular details that could become new parts.

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Process of the main illustration.

I usually work with data and abstractions, but in this case the information is also deserved a more visual and descriptive than quantitative contribution. I start the main illustration  at 400% of the size that eventually would use to gain a little more detail in the finish, it was a good idea I thought the beginning…  but ended up making the process very slow production, added to this, while in Costa Rica worked full time for La Nación news, also had my students and projects with the university there, and some other professional responsibilities drowned me the time to complete this work.

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Up in the picture the original assets from photoshop, down in the picture the final presentation in illustrator.

All that changed suddenly when I left three days journey to a new life in Hong Kong, as it would have very long flights to get here, I found a space to work on this and to conclude what had begun months ago.

I love to do this kind of stuff because there are not tied to the daily work, I do it for the passion about infographics, because data and visual stories fascinate me and because I like to share that wonder that I feel to find complex information and hidden and to bring it to others in a  effective visual way  of consumption,  and also feel that awe for the information that was there before.

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Final infographic about the Acorn Woodpecker.

This probably is not the best way to deploy this chart because the difficult to read it, but if you want to see in detail, maybe just click this link to my drive and read it in detail.

I hope the information here is as interesting to you as it was for me, and enjoy the piece as I enjoyed building it for you.

Además hay una versión de este gráfico y post en español en este link.

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Academics

A cycle that concludes

Back in 2013, I start as a lecturer of information design at the Science and Arts University from Costa Rica. Many students come to my class, more than a hundred of them went their way after receiving an initiation into the world of infographics and data visualization.

I enjoyed a lot the experience to share knowledge, but the time to move on has come. I will be focus in the finish of other personal projects as a collection of infographics from places and native things in my town, and also the finishing and publishing of my book about infographics.

As a closure of this period, I want to make a tour for the results of work of my students, starting in 2013, the results of the fist class:

 

In 2013, I try to make some conclusions about my class to improve it, with all the data collected I made this pieces:

 

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Students attendance individually records

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Homework records

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This was the final report about their performance in my class

Here is the full story at visual744 (use chrome for translation)
http://visual744.blogspot.com/2013/04/xx-vs-xy.html

Late in 2013, I published some highlighted works of students, many of them find a new passion in infographics design, they enjoy all the process from the research, write, sketch, design, and publish. Here is some works, and also the full story of the projects (also in spanish) http://visual744.blogspot.com/2013/12/una-nueva-camada-de-visualizadores.html

 

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The color palette poster artist, infographic by Esteban Espinoza.

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Voodoo Child, infographic by Esteban Espinoza.

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Ray Charles influences, infographic by Rosa Alvarado.

The 2013 was ended, and the new year comes with new ideas, I made always different topics to investigate and develop projects at the University, and thats why in the early 2014 my students was started to collect data on field, to visualice it, beyond just make a research. The first class of 2014 worked with data tracking and field research.

This is the full story abuot: http://visual744.blogspot.com/2014/04/visualizacion-indoor.html

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Also in 2014, but in the next cycle of my class, the topics change again, this time the main focus was isometric structures of historic buildings from Costa Rica, and a little complement in data-viz about the posters artist.

The full story about this period: http://visual744.blogspot.com/2014/08/ciclo-ii-2014-en-la-universidad-de-las.html

And some works also:

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The church of Coronado, infographic Alexander Soto.

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Detail: Analysis of the work of Cheret. Infographic: Daniela Rojas.

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Displaying the work of Victor Moscoso. Nohelia Mora infographic.

For the 2015, the first class start with a dataviz project about the things in the moon, tons of data about spacecrafts, natural features and some other stuff related.

Every cycle of my class contains at less 3 projects, but many time the students have nice results on one o two of these, not because a skill thing I suppose, it is more a issue related in time to dedicate between my class and the other things that they are doing.

Here is some works and the link in visual744 with all details http://visual744.blogspot.com/2015/04/un-ciclo-mas-de-dataviz.html

 

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The chocolate factory. Infographic by Danny Granados. Universidad de las Ciencias y el Arte, Abril 2015.

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The moon in the 20th century, infographic by Andrey Castro, information design student. University of Science and Arts, in April 2015.

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Detail of the Andrey Castro daily work, for his project “The Moon in the 20th century” University of Science and Arts, in April 2015.

The next cycle of my class was dedicated to visualice classic books and the process of some systems inside the human body, in 2015 the students show some nice graphics also, take a look in to the full story here: http://visual744.blogspot.com/2015/08/ds4-agosto.html

And off course, here is some of they spotted works:

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The digestive system. Project 1. infographic by Juan Angulo.

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Homer’s Odyssey, Project 2. infographic by Inger Araya

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The Invisible Man, Project 2. Infographic by Indira Cascante

The 2015 was concluded with an new project of extra points, the last class of the year  have the chance to make analogous weekly vizualizations in a half letter cardboard, they also made the classic 3 projects, and also gives nice results, here is the story http://visual744.blogspot.com/2015/12/introduccion-al-diseno-de-informacion.html and some projects:

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The response of an strange to a smile of me on a week. Social project for extra points by Kristel Mora.

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The Megasoma Elephas. infographic by Pablo Soto.

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where the lightning comes from? infographic by Kevin Salazar

Finally, the last week my students present the results of the first cycle of the 2016, the first for the year and last for me. I hope these years in the classrooms of the University have been of benefit to all who crossed their training with my participation period of this wonderful experience of my life. I hope that at some point after finishing my projects I can share again with future professionals in this or another university and follow them sharing the passion for infographics.

 

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The Baula turtle. Infographic by Ginger Chinchilla

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Awards, Digital works

SND Digital Awards

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Two of our digital works published at nacion.com wins an Award Of Excellence in the 2015 edition of the contest. The first one is the project in celebration of the “75th anniversary of the National Symphonic Orchestra” the design and development of this projects set a starting point to the trends of our unit.

The second project awarded this February in Washington D.C. was the “Birth of a Century“, I was invited to work in this project for the unit of Data from La Nación, and I have the fortune of the collaboration of the development unit as the artist Augusto Ramírez.

I have to say that I’m very very happy to get this awards of the Society for News Design in his digital contest, but this is a team work, and I must say thanks to my partners in the infographics unit, the Data Team of LN, the Development area, my Editors, and many many people who supports me last year.

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Digital works

2016: Mayor elections

The end of the 2015, and the beginning of 2016 becomes a hard work time here at La Nación, for this special event was required a full time dedication for about 3 months, but I enjoyed a lot.

With the Data Team, we create a tool for citizens that will gives them a chance to know more about the 605 candidates for mayors in all the Costa Rican territory. Segmented by province, the citizens can easily find their candidates, which in many cases , are completely unknown by his own voters, also this tool has the candidates complaints, money penalties or debts to social security, if there is some. http://goo.gl/6ZNVdp

But, there it was just a part of the planed work, all this data has tons of interesting points, ways to be visualized, and those were the deliveries of parallel information, every day… Here some of these pieces:

 

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All the pieces goes to different publications, embedded in the reportage of the day, a few days after the elections day we released this special site [ http://bit.ly/1PMvuGG ] to join all this small pieces of the elections data.

When the elections day finally arrives, we change the attention to this other special production of live data visualization [ http://bit.ly/1Xg6A1A ] all the regional divisions was have the results just an hour after the voting centers closed his doors, updated in realtime.

 

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Digital works, Motion graphics

Quick graphics for social networks

Last year (2015) I start many new projects, some of them are still progress, but one of these are the quick graphics for social media.

At the unit of infographics and datavisualization, we spend many time in daily production and in special huge projects, I believe that we have enough time and muscle to produce frequently these small graphics,  every single infographic must have a print version, desktop digital versión, mobile version but also, i like to choose some of these to develop a social media version, sometimes a gif, or an image or even a short video with a compact version of the main graphic.

So, here is some of my favorites picks:

The spooky asteroid:

In october 31, an asteroid pass near the earth (near in space terms), this asteroid was renamed “the spooky asteroid” and take the attention of the world by the time of his visit, so it was a nice opportunity for a quick graphic for social media:


Compact version for social media. Motion-Infographic by Marco Hernández.

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Gif version for social media. Infographic by Marco Hernández.

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Desktop digital version for article. Infographic by Marco Hernández.

The MAVEN findings:

The NASA made the announcement of the Maven mission findings about what happened with the atmosphere and magnetic fields of the red planet. We are awaiting the press release with a stock of pieces to develop soon as we can a simply animation for social media:

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Illustrations by Dominick Baltodano and Marco Hernández.


Compact version for social media. Motion-infographic by Marco Hernández.

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Desktop version, infographic by Edgar Jiménez, Carlos Fonseca and Marco Hernández.

Hope in this 2016 have many more of these chances to create more quick graphics for social media, these are a great way to engage readers with content made exclusively for consumption on social networks.

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Digital works

The birth of a century visualized: Backstage

Illustrations by Augusto Ramírez

Illustrations by Augusto Ramírez

A few days ago We published at nacion.com this special feature analyzing the data of 115 years of births in Costa Rica. We decide to take this special as an opportunity to explore the deep exploration of data visualizations with the efficiency and impact of illustrations. But besides the style and interface, the production process its the most interesting story.

One of the most complicated pieces of the special its the section of conceptions, we have all this data about the births, and the necessary references to relate it with the conception, so, We wanted to create a customized visualization to navigate through a 115 years of the country history and relating how the people gets pregnant.

We begin with a model of variation per decade, where we can see the balance in favor or against each decade in births. We use this chart as a navigator to show in the bottom detail of those ten years. By this time we have the idea of linking these points with major events taking place in the country and the region to relate the behavior of people with some important facts in time.

first version of the visualization of conceptions

First version of the visualization of conceptions. Note the dummy text 🙂

This special was an conjunction exercise with the Data Team of La Nación, I made my part in visualization and other support, but it because the skillfully profesional of they, it’s that the final product becomes properly. In spite of I have a small part of the special, the versions of the charts, the motion graphics and some other assets take about 1.1 GB of space. This is it because I made so many versions and testing design to find the better way to present the findings in the data.

I start with this horizon chart to visualize the concentration of conceptions, it was fun because i start thinking that i’m seeing in the moment in which the persons did their things in their beds conceiving new compatriots. So I could be seeing as in some parts of the graphics I surprised myself with what they meant those lines.

Full visualization by decade of conceptions in Costa Rica

Full visualization by decade of conceptions in Costa Rica

Obviously we not publish comments like the next ones that I’ll score when analyzing the chart in search of curiosities, but between the equipment if the process is to make more fun, I must say that is a personal process and does not refer to style publication of our environment here at La Nación.

in the top graphic I wrote "The begin of the Century, our grandparents also was having fun" the data reflects that they in the early century don't discriminate the time to get pregned

in the top graphic I wrote “The begin of the Century, our grandparents also was having fun” the data reflects that they in the early century don’t have prefers or discrimination of the time to get pregnant

Findings

in the top graphic I wrote “five months giving it!!!” the data show periods or season of conceptions, the behaviour changes through the time, the late conceptions prefers the 3 or 4 last months of the year to get pregnant. At the bottom I wrote “the early ones” for 2011

Also i add some drafted emoticons, at the top a sad face because the high season is only of 2 months, but for 2006-2007 the high season extended for 6 months OMG a lot of time enjoying the bed time!

Also i add some emotions, at the top a sad face because the high season is only of 2 months, but for 2006-2007 the high season has a prolongation of 6 months OMG a lot of time enjoying the bed time!

This if the full visualization if the 115 years of data of baby conceptions in Costa Rica, then i split it by decade.

This if the full visualization if the 115 years of data of baby conceptions in Costa Rica, then i split it by decade.

 

The final version have the instructions to read the horizon graphic and the indications of each space that will change when the reader click the upper menu by decade, then, the dashboard change the data according the user interest.

The main graphic is the conception concentration, at the bottom the decade resume, and the percent variation between decades

The main graphic is the conception concentration, at the bottom the decade resume, and the percent variation between decades

How to read the graphic, the title show a legend "before you start, you must know"

How to read the graphic, the title show a legend “before you start, you must know”

PLUS EXPERIENCE

We add some hide effects to give different experiences of navigation to the readers, if you use the side menu to navigate each section is preceded by an animation like the next one, if you want a see more of this project please visit it here http://bit.ly/1kpN45p  hope you enjoy the data experience.

 

Illustration by Augusto Ramírez.

Illustration by Augusto Ramírez, Motion by Marco Hernández.

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