Brief history of data visualization

Posted to Visualization  |  Nathan Yau

Shawn Allen of Stamen Design provides a brief history of data visualization, starting with William Playfair’s charts in the late 1700s and William Smith’s map sketch of Britain, up to the more recent works from The New York Times, Martin Wattenberg, and Ben Fry.

This leads into a description of what data is, from a practical point of view, as the writeup is actually an introduction for Allen’s visualisation course at the School of Visual Arts. Totally looks like a course I wish I could’ve taken in grad school.

9 Comments

Favorites

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Marrying Age

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. What do these trends look like?

This is an American Workday, By Occupation

I simulated a day for employed Americans to see when and where they work.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.