[Image source: Montage from the Flickr group Hello Little Fella.]
It turns out we’re really good at seeing faces. Like, really really good at it! Even when we don’t want to. That’s just something there is about being human.
So what Chernoff faces do is translate something which was just data, and depict it in some way which isn’t legible here, in the head, but legible here, in the heart. They make data really human.
Okay, you do lose something, the ability to read the actual numbers, but that can come later, with closer inspection. What we have now is the ability to immediately see, with the eye in your chest, the eye in your heart, you know, to see the big picture. To see St. Louis. It’s brought something to human understanding that was previously too diffuse to see.