Point it: Traveller’s Language Kit is a book by Dieter M. Gräf. This book is a great example, which shows that visualization is much more universal and powerful when there is a language barrier.
I was first introduced to this book from Korean website, which described this book as a perfect solution when you do not know the language of the foreign country you are visiting. This can be quicker than using Google Translate or other translation application. Just point what you need along with the body language. This book acts as a visual dictionary. Instead of forming a sentence using words, you can just point to the object or other representation of place, food and etc to communicate.
visualization > words
Similar concept of using visualization rather than words was used in ICONSPEAK
Between, Point it and ICONSPEAK, I personally think using Point it is more effective and more accurate since it is consist of the actual photographs of objects rather than icons. Due to the simplicity of the icons, sometimes meaning can be interpreted differently. Plus, Point it includes more items, which acts as more options. Items are grouped with other items often associated together by different situtaitons. This adds context to the items, which encourages more comprehensive communication.
Even before Point it and ICONSPEAK, we used pictograms to communicate universal meaning. These pictograms can be found at the airports, restrooms, Olympic or other global events and etc.
History of pictograms?
- visual dictionary
- body language