Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information. Manuel Lima. Princeton Architectural Press.

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information Book Cover Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information
Manuel Lima
Princeton Architectural Press
August 17, 2011

Our ability to generate information now far exceeds our capacity to understand it. Finding patterns and making meaningful connections inside complex data networks has emerged as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century. Designers, researchers, and scientists now employ an innovative mix of color, symbols, graphics, algorithms, and interactivity to clarify, and often beautify, what would otherwise be a clutter of data.

In Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information, Manuel Lima collects and presents almost 300 of the most compelling examples of information design – everything from representing networks of followers on Twitter and the eighty-five recorded covers of Joy Divisions “Love Will Tear Us Apart” to depicting interconnections between members of the Al Qaeda network and interactions among proteins in a human cell. Lima also looks at the long tradition of mapping complex networks, offering the first book to integrate a thorough history of network visualization with an examination of the real-life situations from which these graphics are generated.

Network visualization is the language of representation in today’s information-driven society. Visual Complexity explores and reveals the importance and impact of illustrations not only in understanding complex concepts but as the central driver for a new conception of beauty. With essays by prominent voices in the fields of network sciences and information visualization, Visual Complexity includes contributions by Christopher Kirwan, Nathan Yao, Andrew Vande Moere, and David McConville.

Manual Lima is the founder of and a Senior UX Design Lead at Microsoft Bing. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was named by Creativity magazine as “one of the 50 most creative and influential minds of 2009.”