Travel Infographics and Data Visualization Best Practices

 

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October 13, 2014

Travel Dataviz Infographics
Some examples of visual travel storytelling and information sharing

 

Dataviz for Travel Brands: What You Need to Know

Data visualization (or "dataviz") – representing data visually – can be used as an effective way not only to analyze, explain, or explore data in an easy-to-digest manner, but also to present and share data as a way to tell a story - for example, to share information about your project, to present your company's achievements, or to showcase facts about your destination.

Dataviz is not just about visualizing data. Just because you make something that looks like an infographic, doesn’t mean you are producing a useful piece of visualized data that will successfully engage your audience. There’s much more to dataviz than meets the eye, and learning about and effectively using dataviz can help boost your multimedia content marketing and promotion efforts.

 

Infographics: Visualizing Data to Tell a Story

datavizInfographics are popular ways of communicating ideas and sharing stories, as we can see on a variety of social networks from Twitter to Pinterest to SlideShare. Infographics can take many different forms, with elements such as diagrams, maps, graphs or charts to display information (when done well) effectively.

As infographics have gained popularity and access to online design tools have become easier, the Internet has also become home to a wide range of unsuccessful attempts at visualizing data resulting in confusing and misleading representation of information (Case in point: “Mistaken Data” by FlowingData).

The best kind of infographics, it seems, are those that actually help illustrate a story and communicate a point, rather than simply illustrating a story that you want to tell and adding data as an afterthought. 

"It's easy to begin a project with an idea of the story that you are looking to tell, but it’s better to begin a project by being open to the story that the data tells." - Steph Guinan (Source: visual.ly)

So what are some good practices in using infographics and vizualized data for travel marketing and communications?

 

Types of Infographics: From Numbers to Tips

There are many different ways of categorizing various types and styles of infographics (as seen, for example, in these: "The 8 Types of Infographics" by NeoMam Studios, "Types of Infographics" by Visual.ly, and "25 Ideas to Transform Ho-Hum Infographics into Something Extraordinary" by CopyBlogger).  

Here are some infographic design styles and approaches (and real-life infographic examples) that are likely useful for travel businesses and destinations.

1. Visualized Articles: Sharing an informative story, interesting facts, etc, in an engaging way through visual representation of your narrative.

travel infographic australia
"50 Insane Facts about Australia" by NeoMam Studios

travel infographic untranslatable words
"11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures" by Ella Frances Sanders

 

2. Research-Based: Presenting numbers and data in a viasual way in order to clearly communicate your point and to support your message.

travel infographic sustainable tourism
"Sustainable Travel: Why Should You Travel Green?" by Four Pillars

travel infographic solo traveler trends
"Solo Travel Today" by G Adventures

 

3. Timeline: Taking the viewer on a journey along the chronological timeline representing the development or progress of something.

travel infographic online booking
"The Evolution of Online Travel" by Mashable

travel infographic happiness
"Guide to Happy Travel" by Spot Cool Stuff Travel

 

4. Tips: Offering advice and guidance, do’s & don’ts, recommendations, etc. in an easy-to-remember format.

travel infographic cycling
"Cyclist's Guide to Travel" by Cheapflights.co.uk

travel infographic snow hike
"Snow Hike: What To Bring" by Jason Oh

 

5. Maps: Using maps creatively to showcase local highlights, activities, travel ideas and inspirations.

travel infographic ireland literary map
"Ireland A Literary Atlas" by NeoMam Studios

travel infographic cyclades greece map
"Cyclades isl in Aegean sea of Greece" by Eleni Tsakmaki

What are some of the dataviz best practices seen in these examples? How would you visualize these data, and would you utilize similar or different approaches to communicating information about travel experiences in your destination? Finally, what other fun examples of dataviz ideas and inspirations are out there?

Also see our infograhic on Online Booking Trends and Web Analytics.

TrainingAid is an international tourism e-learning company offering online training courses and skills development opportunities for tourism professionals.

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