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20+ animated GIF visualizations

The use of this popular animated format in graphics, charts and maps

June 2, 2015

One of this year’s Malofiej talks that received the most number of compliments was the one in which Eleanor Lutz explained the use she makes of GIFs to create her wonderful visualizations. We wrote about the keynote back then, and even had the chance to record a short video interview with her at the event – in case you want to check out our special coverage of Malofiej 23, just follow this link.

The use of GIFs in visualization is far from being something new. You have several examples available, for instances, at VisGif’s gallery – an experiment that “investigates the use of animated GIF to better communicate Information Visualization techniques, insights or projects.”. And you don’t really need a lot of research to find other animated GIFs that explain scientific and mathematical concepts.

In this post, you’ll find a first set that we managed to pull together, starting with Eleanor’s amazing visuals, all available on her website, Tabletop Whale – and by the way, don’t miss this tutorial she produced on how to make these animated infographics.

Planet Earth Control Deck | Eleanur Lutz

Planet Earth Control Deck

(Via)

Flight videos deconstructed | Eleanur Lutz

Flight videos deconstructed

(Via)

How to build a human | Eleanur Lutz

How to build a human

(Via)

 

One of the references mentioned by Eleanor at Malofiej 23 was the work of Jacob O’Neal, and in particular his showcase of “animagraphs”. Here are some of our favorites:

Tarantula: Giant of the Spider World | Jacob O’Neal for BBC Earth

Tarantula

(Via)

Inside a Jet Engine | Jacob O’Neal

Inside a Jet Engine

(Via)

How a Car Engine Works | Jacob O’Neal

How a Car Engine Works

(Via)

Cheetah: Nature’s Speed Machine | Jacob O’Neal

Cheetah Nature’s Speed Machine

(Via)

 

More recently, we opened an edition of Vintage InfoDesign with an animated GIF of a “tour” through the skull and brain, using the wood cuts German physician Georg Bartisch published in 1583. This was not the first time, however, we featured GIF animations of vintage medical illustrations. In 2013, we shared these vintage anatomical charts of the male and female body as animated GIFs, originally seen over at Maria Popova‘s Brain Pickings. In case you missed those, here they are:

Brain and Skull (1583) | George Bartisch

Brain surgery

(Via)

Male and female bodies (1942) | Myron D. Jacoby

Female body

Male body

(Via)

Human head | E. J. Stanley

Human head 1

Human head 2

(Via)

And to close, a bunch of other animated graphics we thought appropriate to include in this article, even if some are just video excerpts transformed into GIFs:

Golf Swing Anatomy | Lumen Interactive

Golf Swing Anatomy

(Via)

How mudslides form after a fire | Los Angeles Times

How mudslides form after a fire 1

How mudslides form after a fire 2

How mudslides form after a fire 3

(Via)

Graphics from “Mission Blue” | Netflix

Gif 4

Gif 3

Gif 2

Gif 1

(Via)

Earth’s ice and vegetation cycle over a year

Earth’s ice and vegetation cycle over a year

(Via)

The mighty five | Chris George

The mighty five

(Via)

Everything about Instagram | OnlineMBA

Everything about Instagram

(Via)

Native american land | Sam B. Hillard

Native american land

(Via)

US Slave Free 1789-1861 | Golbez

US Slave Free 1789-1861

(Via)

Internet use

Internet use

(Via)

Pythagorean Theorem

Pythagorean Theorem

(Via)

 

Surely there are many more animations that would fit in such a post. Let us know on Twitter if you have any other interesting GIF to add, and we’ll make sure to include it in a follow-up post.

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.

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