Photo of a page in Edward Tufte's Envisioning Information

It was interesting coming across this page in the "Narratives of space and time" chapter as I recognised, with 90% confidence, this as being a diagram of railway connections. Despite not understanding the language of the text I recognise the language of the pattern used to display the data held within it.

This got me to thinking - does this instant recognition mean I take in more information or less? If I was to display other connected data in a similar way would I understand it easier because I recognise the pattern or find it more difficult to comprehend because I expect it to be a different type of data?