See The Most Beautiful Data Visualizations Of 2014

An infographic showcasing rappers’ relative vocabularies took first prize at the Information Is Beautiful Awards. See all the top winners here.

An eye-catching infographic which maps rappers according to the depth of their vocabulary won Gold for Data Visualization at the annual Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2014 which were announced in London on November 12.


“Rappers, Sorted by Size of Vocabulary” by Matthew Daniels, a digital strategist at marketing firm Undercurrent, was created using language processing software and data from RapGenius. Daniels then cross-referenced his findings with analysis of Shakespeare’s vocabulary–reputedly the largest, ever. (In case you’re wondering, ranked in first place is . . . Aesop Rock).

Launched three years ago by data visualizer David McCandless, author of Information is Beautiful, and Kantar creative director Aziz Cami, the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards were conceived to be a platform to promote global best practice for a nascent design form. Now big business, this year’s awards scheme attracted entries from just shy of 30 countries.

This year’s other Gold Winners include:

Creative Routines by RJ Andrews in the Infographic Design category, which uses Mason Currey’s book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, to chart the habits of some of the world’s most famous creative people, from Maya Angelou to Tchaikovsky via Jane Austen, Charles Darwin, and Thomas Mann.

The Refugee Project by Hyperakt and Ekene Ijeoma for Interactive Visualization, detailing UNHCR refugee data and UN population data to chart refugee movements since 1975.

NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life by Chris Wong for Motion Infographic, “visualizing all the routes and earnings a taxi cab will make through a single day in New York. (Initial data used included around 170m trips).”


Raw by DensityDesign Research Lab in the Tool category (also, winner of the Most Beautiful Award)–the missing link between spreadsheets and vector graphics, originally conceived as a tool to create vector-based visualization based on data.

Selfiecity by Moritz Stefaner in the Website category, which explores selfie culture through analysis of a sample of 3,200 selfies taken in New York, Moscow, Berlin, Bangkok, and Sao Paulo.

The Corporate Award went to Schwandy Infographics for Biobased Economy, which provides insight into the different biomass chains that are part of the bio-based economy plus products and processes and how they interrelate.

Winner of the Community Award was The Rite of Spring by pianist and software engineer Stephen Malinowski, a visualization of what’s going on in a piece of music: Stravinsky’s ballet, “The Rite of Spring.”

See the winners and more info in the gallery above.


About the author

Meg Carter is a UK-based freelance journalist who has written widely on all aspects of branding, media, marketing & creativity for a wide range of outlets including The Independent, Financial Times and Guardian newspapers, New Media Age and Wired.