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.



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