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



The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.