The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge

Book review by Deane Barker
tags: design, information-architecture
2014
Manuel Lima
208
8/10

This book was not what I expected. I thought I was getting a book on information organization and architecture…but that’s not what this is.

This is an art book. It’s a collection of the ways people have tried to express hierarchical information in tree forms for thousands of years. It’s a picture book, more than anything – the pictures of these diagrams are ordered by tree type (vertical, horizontal, pie, sunburst, icicle, etc.) and each has a caption with some background.

I’m giving it four stars because it was legitimately what it claimed to be (I did not pay enough attention to the title, it turns out).

If you’re a designer, this book is for you. If you work with data, not so much.

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