Top 5 Examples of Storytelling with Graphs

As part of writing my new book “Storytelling with Graphs” I’ve studied 50 examples of graphs that tell stories. Some of them are publicly visible, such as TED talks, newspaper infographics and YouTube videos. Some are not, such as business reports and presentations that contain confidential information.

Below, I list the top 5 examples of storytelling with graphs and below it a full list of the examples that are publicly visible. Which ones would you add? Leave a comment in the comments section. If you want to be alerted when my book “Storytelling with Graphs” is published, subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group.


#1. Wealth Inequality in America
This video, showing how wealth distribution is even worse than people imagine, does a great job of capturing our attention and then using animation and suspense to reveal the truth.



#2. Barack Obama’s Recovery Act
This has a simple and clear story structure: conflict, character, resolution.



#3. The National Debt Road Trip
Great use of metaphor to turn an abstract idea into something easier to imagine, and so talk about.



#4. What are the Wall Street Protestors Angry About?
Henry Blodget does a great job of bringing four characters to life: corporate owners, the top 1%, bankers and laborers and shows how corporate profits are sucking the life out of America. See the slide show on


#5. Hans Rosling Ikea Boxes
Rosling is most famous for his animated bubble charts. But the Ikea boxes work even better at introducing us to the world’s inhabitants and showing how the world is changing, and will change in the future.


 The Full List
And here’s the full list of publicly-available examples of storytelling with graphs I reviewed for my new book, which should be available in October 2013. Enjoy!


Live/Animated Presentation
A Song of Our Warming Planet >>
An Inconvenient Truth  Video >>  | Transcript >>  | TED talk >>
Are The Poor Getting Poorer?  >>
Barack Obama’s Recovery Act >>
Do Women Earn Less than Men? >>
Economist (many videos to choose from) >>
Fiscal Cliff >>
Hans Rosling Ikea Boxes >>
Hans Rosling’s New Insights on Poverty >>
Hans Rosling Spread of AIDS >>
Hans Rosling Washing Machine >>
How Fast is Usain Bolt? >>
How Mariano Rivera Dominates Hitters >>
Income Mobility in America  >>
Inside Job  >> Videos (many to choose from) >>
National Debt Road Trip  (Matthias Shapiro) >>
Obama Budget Cuts, In Pennies  (Matthias Shapiro) >>
U.S.A. Inc.  >>
Visualizing How A Population Grows to 7 Billion >>
Wealth Inequality in America >>
What if 4 asteroids were heading toward U.S. in 50 years? >>


Slide Show
Carbon Emissions >>
Our College Crisis (Bill Gates) >>
What the Wall Street Protesters are Angry About  >>


Interactive Graph
Job Report, Diverging Perspectives >>
Obesity Epidemic >>


Static Graph
Napoleon’s March on Russia  >>
The Rich Get Richer Through the Recovery >>
Titanic Survivors  >>
Traffic Fatalities >>