14 March 2012
Visual.ly releases infographic creation tool Visual.ly Create
Infographics and data visualizations have been with us from many-a-year, but something quite interesting happened when Visual.ly hit the scene with social media acting as a catalyst. Visual.ly, a data visualization and infographic directory launched in July 2011 (with $4.4 million funds under its belt so far) has stolen thunder from many similar other resources and blogs.
Infographics and the data they can communicate suddenly became a little bit cooler. Other infographic blogs, sites and resources have been around for quite some time celebrating the use and presentation of data and information in more digestible visual formats, but the ante was raised as Visual.ly became more popular. There are great examples of visualisations out there, including many suspect ones that purists would frown upon, but it’s undeniable how infographics have breathed life into how marketing messages, products and/or services may be communicated for many brands. Bloggers and media have embraced them with open arms and it hard to remember what it was like without them to brighten up content.
Many will be looking to find out how the tool uses data and matches it to themes, indeed, how flexible it will be. Infographics share research and analysis, but given how the raw data can vary and how complex that can become, it will be interesting to see how different infographics made with Create will look. Will the tool produce template designs, or offer enough differentiators so infographics don’t look like a factory line output? Visual.ly states that its tool will allow for users to create infographics people will want to share digitally and hang on walls, but will automatically generated infographics lack the flair and personality that specifically created designs offer and need?
Visual.ly hopes to include additional data feeds, designs, stories and themes in other verticals e.g. sports, politics, economics, food and more. Claiming this will be opened up to its community, enabling users to create their own designs and themes more easily.
Visual.ly aren’t strangers to automated infographics with its very fun and popular Twitterize Yourself going down a storm with global users allowing them to face-off other Twitter friends, or anyone they wish.
Automation is useful when applied correctly and in the right circumstances. Is this where designers and infographics creators can set themselves apart by offering what automation cannot?
A version of this article by Elemental first appeared on Technorati.
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