"Information visualisation is hot!" say the team at Information is Beautiful and I'd have to agree with them. Creator David McCandless has long been championing the use of data visualisation and infographics to make sense of the vast amounts of information we're bombarded with on a daily basis and now Information is Beautiful has launched its own annual Awards.

Anyone can submit their own information art and be recognised for its combination of utility and beauty. It's $10 to enter and there's a total of $30,000 in prize money to be awarded, across varying categories. As you would expect, there's an infographic to explain it all.

The closing date is 30th April, 2012 and the shortlist will be announced around 4th June but running alongside are monthly challenges, with more cash prizes and winners automatically shortlisted for the annual awards. There's also a "napkin challenge" for those with great ideas but no design skills.

If you're looking for inspiration, my personal favourites include Snake Oil, an interactive tool that charts which health supplements are proven to actually work, the Billion Dollar Gram, that puts the huge amounts of money reported in the news into perspective and, from last month's challenge based around Hollywood budgets, FilmStrips.