Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2016 Winners Announced

Spies in the Skies by Peter Aldous and Charles Seife for Buzzfeed

Spies in the Skies by Peter Aldous and Charles Seife for Buzzfeed


The winners of the fifth annual Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards were announced at a ceremony held in London’s Ham Yard Hotel on Wednesday 2 November 2016. Founded as a collaboration between Kantar and data journalist David McCandless, author of Information is Beautiful, the awards celebrate global excellence in data visualization, infographics and information design. 

This year’s winning entries touch on and visualize some of the most pertinent subjects of 2016, offering a fresh perspective on global issues including government surveillance, missing migrants, gun deaths in America, climate change, space exploration and the gender pay gap. Others explore lighter topics such as Star Wars, the evolution of pop music taste and painters’ lives.

Shipmap.org by Duncan Clark and Robin Houston at Kiln Digital

Shipmap.org by Duncan Clark and Robin Houston at Kiln Digital

In an era of “big data”, the art and science of data visualization plays a vital role, helping us navigate, understand and find meaning in an increasingly complex, data-driven world. 

Following a judging process led by 30 dataviz experts and a public vote, a total of $30,000 (£24,000 approx.) was awarded in prizes across 15 categories, representing the broad spectrum of data visualization creativity around the world.

“Data visualization is a rising trend across every domain and discipline, from science & media to marketing & politics. Done well, it’s a very quick, powerful, and memorable way to tell stories and engage audience with complex topics. Whether it’s hand-drawn graphics from comics writer Randall Munroe of XKCD or deep & intense & important data-journalism from BuzzFeed - the variety and creativity of the work is eye-popping. As a creator myself, I find the entries exciting and inspiring - and, frankly, a little envy-provoking. I wish I could do work this good.”
— David McCandless, co-founder of the Information is Beautiful Awards

Snapping up the gold for ‘Data Journalism’ and overall ‘Most Beautiful’ award was Buzzfeed’s Spies in the Skies, exploring airborne government surveillance in the U.S., an issue that had previously received little public scrutiny.  German data visualizer Moritz Stefaner won the ‘Outstanding Individual’ category for highly innovative work including Data Cuisine, where data is represented with gourmet cuisine. It picked up the gold for ‘Dataviz Project.’

There was a strong female presence in the ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Student Awards’ categories, which recognised Dutch astronomer turned data scientist Nadieh Bremer for Olympic Feathers, Chinese student Janet Chan for The Printing Press & Type Foundries  and Cordelia Morales Trevino and Gabriela Gonzalez-Rubio Gutierrez for Atlas de Mexico, a project exploring the country’s history, geography, key dates and other important information. 

Winners were drawn from a global pool of talent, with gold awards going to candidates from the USA, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy. The Awards also recognised entries from Mexico, China and Switzerland. 

Further highlights:

•    An 123 metre long infographic about Star Wars
•    A 35 second interactive busting myths around gun deaths in America
•    A visual study exploring whether all roads do indeed lead to Rome
•    An examination of 2,000 screenplays breaking out film dialogue by gender
•    Diagrams showing income inequality in Los Angeles and Chicago 
•    A 3D videogame-styled graphic of garbage sorting and recycling
•    The BMJ’s ongoing project to explain complex medical concepts with infographics

The Missing Migrants Map by Valerio Pellegrini and Michele Mauri

The Missing Migrants Map by Valerio Pellegrini and Michele Mauri

Information about the Award categories and prizes

•    Public categories – Gold ($1,000), Silver ($500) and Bronze ($250) in each: Data Visualization, Infographic, Interactive Visualization, Data Journalism, Dataviz Website, and Dataviz Project

•    Special categories (at judges' discretion) - $1,000 in each: Outstanding Team, Outstanding Individual, Student Award, Community Award, Commercial Project, Studio of the Year, Best Non-English Language Viz, and Rising Star

•    Ultimate prize – $5,000: Most Beautiful