Qatar National Library (QNL) opened its inaugural digital exhibition, ‘Information is Beautiful’, using its innovative technology to display visual data in Arabic and English on 11 interactive digital totems.

Visitors can engage with unique visualisations and infographics, and compare and contrast interesting facts and figures on subjects such as reading in the Arabian Gulf, social media in the Middle East, Qatar, world empires, and many more.

Data journalist and information designer David McCandless curated the exhibition and delivered a lecture about using data visualisation to unlock the stories behind vast amounts of information and present them in understandable ways.

Visualisation allows us to mediate between the vast amount of data on the one hand, and daily life on the other. Visualisations can help bring data down to earth, so we aren’t overwhelmed by it. If you match data with the right questions, you can find new insights from it. Data is like fertile soil, and infographics are the beautiful flowers that come out of it.’

McCandless presented several examples of how visualisation can change the way audiences understand data on topics such as military spending, media hype, and super foods.

Peter Chamberlain, Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Qatar said data visualisation can help you make sense of information in ways you never thought possible.

They say information is power, and the current era proves that it can give you what you need, but also overwhelm you.’

QNL Deputy Executive Director of International Relations and Communications, said that the digital exhibition at QNL is a great opportunity for visitors to understand how visualisations can tell stories about the world we live in through a medium that is easy to grasp. The exhibition will run until 31 December.

For more information about the digital exhibition, visit the QNL website at

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