John Snow’s Famous Cholera Map

Posted to Maps  |  Nathan Yau

John Snow Cholera MapIf you’ve read any books on visualization, without a doubt, you’ve seen John Snow’s now famous cholera map. In 1854, people were dying in large numbers and high frequency, but nobody knew what was going on. John Snow solved the mystery with his map.

It’s crazy to imagine a time when people didn’t think to map data, especially now as mapping data has become second nature for some. Steven Johnson, author of Ghost Map, goes into depth on the Cholera outbreak in London in his book and TED talk earlier this year.

I’d embed it, but I can’t find the link anywhere on the TED page. They probably had to make it less obvious after Hans Rosling’s talk spread at the speed of Cholera in London in 1854. London hasn’t had another outbreak since Snow’s simple (for this day and age) but effective visualization.

UPDATE: Here’s Steven Johnson’s TED talk

3 Comments

Favorites

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Most popular porn searches, by state

We’ve seen that we can learn from what people search for, through the eyes of Google suggestions: state stereotypes, national …

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.