Creating fancy 'infographics' with SAS

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I haven't seen an official definition of 'infographic' that I really like ... but in my mind it's something 1/2 way between data visualization & artwork.  It borrows elements from graphs & dashboards, and combines that with an artistic poster.

If you perform a Google image search on infographic you'll see a variety of examples.

You might ask - "Can SAS create infographics?"  I will answer that question with the following examples I created using SAS (some of these are a bit large/wall-size, so you'll probably want to click on them to see them full size) ... Any more questions?!? :)

Generic infographic 'template'

Earthquake infographic

World taxes infographic

Rush hour infographic

 World resources infographic

 Asia pacific infographic

 

Note: All of these infographics are modeled after ones I found on the Web, via a Google image search (like the one above).  Here are links to the originals: graph1, graph2, graph3, graph4, graph5, graph6, graph7.

 

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April 16, 2013 Update:

As promised, here are the details you requested ...

There are several ways to create nice graphical layouts in SAS (many of them mentioned in the comments), and as several of you guessed I used the SAS/Graph product.  You will be well on your way to creating similar infographics with the "tricks" you will learn in the SAS/Graph Essentials class, and my book SAS/Graph: Beyond the Basics !

Here are links to info & SAS code for the infographic examples shown in the blog above:

http://robslink.com/SAS/democd64/infographic_template_info.htm

http://robslink.com/SAS/democd52/plates_collide_info.htm

http://robslink.com/SAS/democd57/better_america_info.htm

http://robslink.com/SAS/democd52/world_taxes_info.htm

http://robslink.com/SAS/democd58/rush_hour_info.htm

http://robslink.com/SAS/democd52/world_resources_info.htm

http://robslink.com/SAS/democd64/apac_dashboard_info.htm

 

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About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over 20 years, and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book (SAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics).

31 Comments

  1. Robert Allison
    Robert Allison on

    I'll post the answer in a few days ... in the meantime, everyone feel free to post your guess as to what SAS product(s) I used to create these infographics!

  2. Thanks for sharing the code and revealing the mystery of how they were done. :)

    This must be some of the best looking SAS/Graph output I've ever seen. I'm always impressed with what can be done with SAS/Graph and extra power of annotate (and it's so much fun too). [ Reading your post reminded me of some annotate work I did in the mid 90's on a non-graphics mainframe terminal where I had to wait for batch queues, print queues and then printouts to be delivered before I could see my results :) ]

    Thanks for pointing out your book. It looks very interesting. I'll look out for it at the SAS Global Forum.

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      We should have an "I learned SAS/Graph so long ago..." blog, eh?!? ;)

      Running SAS jobs "old school" that way (at least for a while) makes you a better SAS programmer, I think! :)

  3. Rob, I'm going to buy your book and completly agree with Jaime: you're Les Paul of SAS/Graph.

    I finished my first "corporate" infographic based on your examples. Really Really amazing, and Marketing people Loves that much more than other analytics jobs hahaha.

  4. Luciana Padua

    We have a client that's using your code to publish Churn Rates in a very fancy way! quite nice to see this kind of aestethic at SAS.

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  6. Hello - your work is AMAZING! I'm hopefully going to get your book ... just seeing if work will pay for it :)

    I want to do something like this ...
    http://cdn.pamorama.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/If-_the_Twitter_Community_were_100_People1.jpg

    How would I go about doing it? (I'll have four categories - male / female / Aboriginal male / Aboriginal female). For the Aboriginal elements, I wanted to use the Aboriginal flag as a 'fill' - is this possible?

    Also, another thing I wanted to do is:
    http://flowingdata.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Speedometer.png

    (But I need two needles - to show a comparison).

    If you could give me broad instructions I should hopefully be able to figure it out.

    Thanks heaps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I'm finally done with my infographic. Just a few things that came up that I'm hoping you can shed some light on please, Robert.

    1. The resolution seems to be quite low, particularly with GPKI - but all the text around the charts etc look a little 'blocky'. Is there a way to improve this?

    2. With GCHART, is there a way to space out the columns / bars more? I found some of my text was bumping into each other. I used 'split' and 'stagger', but they were compromises.

    TIA

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      If you're seeing blocky text, that probably means you're using the old SAS fonts (such as swissb) - make sure you're using an anti-aliased font (such as 'albany amt') and using SAS 9.2.x or higher.

      Per GKPI looking low-resolution, make sure you're generating the gkpi's image file in the same size & proportions you're going to later consume it via annotate/greplay/etc.

      In Gchart, you can control the width & spacing of the bars, by using the width= and space= option (within certain limits). The axis offsets, gspace, and sometimes the font used can also have an impact.

      And, as always, feel free to contact SAS Tech Support about issues that come up!

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