Not So Pretty Pictures
Digital networks facilitate the dissemination of more traditional visual information such as the statistics represented in the pages of the recently released UN Iraq Human Rights Report or the long-running Brookings Institution Iraq Index. At the same time network theory is also transforming those modes of displaying quantitative information, so we see graphs like the Network Graph of News Stories or this distributed depiction of Internet Black Holes. Informational and real spaces often overlap, as they do in the Downtown Los Angeles Homeless Map. There are also some more light-hearted depictions of alternatives to chartjunk such as the Periodic Table of Visualization (see above), Feltron 2006, and my current personal favorite the Indexed Blog, which inspired this video about "Le Grand Content" below.
Strangely, the federal government still seems to be locked into weak graphic representations that don't even rise to the level of allegory, as can be seen by the much-maligned recent transformation of Woodsy Owl at www.symbols.gov.