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Near & Far

This presentation technique balances the macro view with a close-up of individual data points, for instance combining individual profiles, photos, or testimonies with a statistical view of broader systemic patterns.

Studies have shown that it is difficult for readers to grasp very large numbers outside of their experience, or to empathize with large numbers of victims. The effect, known as “psychic numbing,” describes how empathy and willingness to act decreases as the number of victims increases.

The “near and far” approach combines the empathy and personal, human interest angle as context for and of the larger, numeric trends.

This article on the micro-macro view of data visualization goes into more detail.