Each day, the graphics submitted to Visually are examined by our staff for shining examples of good work. The best are given the badge of Staff Pick. The actual requirements for staff pick are flexible, but there is one hardline requirement: staff picks must be exceptional in some way. Being staff picked is an honor for everyone involved in a project, from the publisher, to the writer, to the designer, to the developer. It means that Visually recognizes the project as a shining example of work in the domain of information design and visual presentation. The process of Fracking is fairly complicated, and it has complex side effects. Those can be hard to explain with a standard static infographic, but luckily, other mediums that can do a much better job at that. One great tool for explaining complex processes is animation. Philipp Dettmer has mastered the art of using beautiful animations to explain complex processes, clearly showing a high-level summary of what happens.
In the case of Fracking Explained, Philipp has animated both the process of fracking itself, and the side effects that it produces. On their own, his illustrations show the basic concepts, but when animated, they become delightful reports of the fracking system. These quality animated illustrations, along with great narration in English and German, is what earned Fracking Explained its Visually Staff Pick badge. Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visual.ly and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on twitter @SeeingStructure