A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I start off this post with the common proverb: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I won’t be writing a thousand words here to describe the picture, but feel free to add your own imagination to it.

For this project, we had to choose a visual aid that would best explain “renewable energy implementations on a farm.” Hence, we chose a site map because not only could we indicate what we implement, but where we do it. Visual aids are effective in delivering presentations because it can tell a lot more than text. See for yourself. Read the following excerpt and consider timing yourself to see how long it takes you to synthesize all the information.

To supplement our presentation, we will be providing a site plan of an imaginary chicken farm. The purpose of the map is to show areas where renewable energy sources can be placed and implemented. Situated in the center of the map is a rectangle. That rectangle represents an aerial view of the main facility where all the chickens live. On that rectangle, we show the integration of photo voltaic panels that will be placed on the roof of the coop. Beginning from the southwest corner of the building is a chain link fence that goes to the leftmost edge of the rectangular property. To the south of the fence is parking for delivery trucks, employees and visitors. Near the northwest of the property is a small hill, where our team suggested placing wind turbines. Directly east of the main building is a smaller rectangular-shaped facility used to convert biomass into electricity. That facility is nested among a forest of trees to make the area more pleasing to the eyes and the nose.

Now, try reading through the excerpt once more and try sketching it out. After doing so, click *here* to see the actual picture and we can prove two theories.

1. Did it take you longer to synthesize the paragraph than the photo?
2. Was your sketch different from the actual picture?

If you answered both YES, that shows the effectiveness of the visual aid. Two main advantages are: visuals can be interpreted more efficiently than text explanations and are more accurate and to the point. Although, visuals can also be interpreted, unlike text, what you see is what you get. Also, it is important to note that although the text tried to be clear, there are a lot of things that are left out: dimensions: width, length, thickness of the lines; size of the trees; size of the hill, quantity of trees and exact location of each tree, etc.

So just for fun, feel free to send in your sketch to adrian (at) adrian chu (dot) com and we can compare and contrast it with the original sketch. Thanks and have a great day!

One Reply to “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

  1. It’s amazing how people can interpret words differently. I think it’s just like Harry Potter and other books that have been turned into movies. Sometimes I like how it is. Sometimes it screws with my imagination..

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