Randy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

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Client Infographic: The Hotel Price Index

Hotels.com The Hotel Price Index infographic

Twice-a-year, Hotels.com updates their Hotel Price Index, and this year I was contacted to design some new infographics to go along with the report.  InfoNewt worked with designer Jeremy Yingling to create two infographics for the current set of data from the first half of 2011.  Since the research is global, we created one infographic based on American travelers and one based on Canadian travellers.

The hotels.com® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) is a regular survey of hotel prices in major city destinations across the world. The HPI is based on bookings made on hotels.com and prices shown are those actually paid by customers (rather than advertised rates) for the first half of 2011. The report largely compares prices paid in 2010 with prices paid in 2011.

The research is extensive, so we had to keep the information shared in the infographics fairly focused on only a few categories.  This keeps the design clean and easy to read, but also whets the reader’s appetite for more.

We varied the visual designs for each category.  The monument silhouettes attached to locations on the globe was a unique way to show map data and not look like a standard map.  The silhouettes also help the reader recognize the cities faster than reading the text.  It’s subtle, but the lines are color-coded by continent as well.

The Canadian data was a little bit different, so the design had to adapt:

Hotels.com The Hotel Price Index Canadian infographic

You can see the complete report data on The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index page.

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Reader Comments (5)

These are both really sharp looking graphics, but I think there's a problem with the "Travel Destinations in the U.S." portion, though it's possible I'm misunderstanding it.

It seems to me the problem centers on the label "not in U.S. foreign top ten." I'm guessing that label could refer to a list of the top ten foreign cities for U.S. travelers. If that's correct then all the paths should lead to that label as it is, by definition, referring to foreign cities and not U.S. cities. No U.S. city would make a list of the most popular foreign destinations for American travelers.

On the other hand, the label could be interpreted as referring to the top 10 U.S. destinations for foreign travelers in which case the graphic is still incorrect because all the cities that point to that label are in the top 10 U.S. destinations for foreign travelers.

The third option is that since the orange paths are trying to compare the three columns (most expensive hotel prices, top U.S. destinations for foreign travelers and top U.S. destinations for U.S. travelers) the label should actually refer to the fact that the cities pointing to it are not in the list of cities with the most expensive hotel rates which is what I think the graphic is trying to say.

Please explain what point that portion of the graphic is trying to make.
September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJT
I like the icons representing cities and the lines connecting to the globes. I wonder if using a flat map of the globe helps ease the crossing of lines or makes it worse. Why did you eventually decide on the 3 globes?

Some thoughts I had looking at the other parts:

I agree with the other reviewer about the 3X list of top-10's for the US. I actually didn't read the language too carefully, but visually it was clearly the 3rd interpretation (a way of saying that a said item is missing from the left or right list). My problem is that the bands curving down symmetrically on both sides seem to imply a relationship, as if there is a U cutting across the other bands connecting the two items below. I think if you left the bands cut off, it would flow better horizontally and the fact that an item in one list is not in the other would still be clear. Or did you try this and it didn't work? I guess I also don't like how this "spells it out" for the viewer.

For the map, I found myself wanting the state/province to be coloured in and/or maybe some kind of annotation. Not sure. Many people's geography is terrible. Even for my country, Canada, the blank map with circles is hard to read at a glance, and I started to doubt my sense of which province is which. For instance, within Quebec, there is a cluster of circles with different colours, but I can't tell which cities these are. I think I have to refer to the table below it and interpret based on the size of the circles, but I'm not sure what "top ten for each category shown" refers to. Which categories? Shown where?

Would love to hear your thoughts.
September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVlad Malik
The vision of Web evolution is important not only for technology researchers but also for business people. As the Web evolves, business on the Web evolves. Think of the business models at the early stages of the Web compared with standard business models as they exist today. In order to survive, no Web business can simply hold on to one strategy for years when the Web itself evolves rapidly.
Business and internet, they always work together. Internet or Online society evolves almost every minute, so do businesses. A Business can never be called business without a system.
October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTutoring Services
The line directing Bangkok on the map is mis placed, Bangkok ain't there.
November 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWaldo
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