Qatar National Library Launches ‘Information Is Beautiful’ Digital Exhibition

Press release
Published April 19th, 2018 - 05:36 GMT
Qatar National Library
Qatar National Library

Qatar National Library (QNL) opened its inaugural digital exhibition, ‘Information is Beautiful’, today. The exhibition uses QNL’s innovative technology to display visual data in both Arabic and English on 11 interactive digital totems.

Visitors can engage with unique visualizations and infographics, and compare and contrast interesting facts and figures on subjects such as reading in the Arabian Gulf, social media in the Middle East, Qatar, world empires, and many more.

Data journalist and information designer David McCandless curated the exhibition and delivered a lecture about using data visualization to unlock the stories behind vast amounts of data and present them in understandable ways. 

“Visualization allows us to mediate between the vast amount of data on the one hand, and daily life on the other. Visualizations can help bring data down to earth, so we aren’t overwhelmed by it,” McCandless said. “If you match data with the right questions, you can find new insights from it. Data is like fertile soil, and infographics are the beautiful flowers that come out of it.”

McCandless presented several examples of how visualization can change the way audiences understand data on topics such as military spending, media hype, and super foods.

Peter Chamberlain, Deputy Ambassador of the UK to Qatar, who introduced McCandless, said: “They say information is power, and the current era proves that it can give you what you need, but also overwhelm you. Data visualization can help you make sense of that information in ways you never thought possible.” 

Dr. Stuart Hamilton, QNL Deputy Executive Director of International Relations and Communications, said: “We are delighted to invite the public to the first digital exhibition at QNL. This is a great opportunity for visitors to understand how visualizations can tell stories about the world we live in through a medium that is easy to grasp.”

The exhibition will run until December 31.

Background Information

Qatar Foundation

Qatar Foundation (QF) is a non-profit organization made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development.

Our unique ecosystem—supported by partnerships with leading international institutions—is built on initiatives that address our most pressing challenges, create global opportunities, and empower people to shape our present and future.

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