Classic 1939 book on graphs in its entirety

Willard Cope Brinton is credited as one of the pioneers of information visualization, and I just found out his 1939 book Graphic Presentation is available in its entirety at the Internet Archive. You can download it in various formats. The book was an update to his previous book from 25 years prior, Graphic Methods for Presenting Facts. It’s also at the Archive.

It’s always fun to read through these older publications. Naturally, there’s the historical significance and pretty graphs, along with tidbits on printing processes and paper (whatever those are).

But they talk about a lot of the same stuff that we do now—perception, narratives, attention, and all that—which always catches me off guard because we tend to think of visualization as this relatively new thing. Then it’s like oh wait, someone did this more than a century ago.

Favorites

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.

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.

Marrying Age

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

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.