Easy Infographics with Infogr.am
Infographics are currently very popular to the point that some might even say they are overdone. But, for certain audiences infographics can be a very engaging way of showcasing data. Typically, however, creating them is a very time consuming and labor-intensive process, which might not always be worthwhile. Infogr.am is a service that automates much of the process making it much faster and easier to create simple, interactive infographics (and charts) to display data online. Currently in beta, Infogr.am offers three infographic themes and five different types of charts (only four of which can be used on infographics). Once you have selected a theme, you can add charts as well as images, titles, quotations and other text. Each individual item you add to the infographic can be dragged and dropped to change the order that it appears in, though currently items can only be arranged vertically with no ability to show two items side by side. Charts can be created by importing data from Excel files (note that .xls files will work, but .xlsx files will not) or by typing in the data by hand. Generally, the Excel files must be simple, one-page files. Some interactivity and additional complexity is possible by adding additional data in separate columns. Charts structured this way will have radio buttons at the top allowing viewers to select separate charts each showing the resulting graph for one column of data. Infographics are private while you are working on them but can be published publicly once they are completed. After an infographic is published, Infogr.am offers a permanent link to the infographic online and also facilitates embedding the infographic on another website or sharing it on Twitter.
Overall, I think that Infogr.am is worth checking out if you are looking for a tool that will help you generate a quick infographic, but I hope that it will develop additional functionality during its beta period. While I was able to create an infographic with the service, I found that it still has occasional glitches and I wished that there was a tutorial available since not all of the functionality is completely self-explanatory. Having said that, if the examples from Infogr.am of the new features that will be available soon are accurate, this promises to be a powerful tool for quickly generating interesting infographics.