History lesson on data visualization

Posted to Infographics  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

Clive Thompson for Smithsonian Magazine gives a quick history lesson on infographics.

[D]ata visualization was rare because data was rare. That began to change rapidly in the early 19th century, because countries began to collect—and publish—reams of information about their weather, economic activity and population. “For the first time, you could deal with important social issues with hard facts, if you could find a way to analyze it,” says Michael Friendly, a professor of psychology at York University who studies the history of data visualization. “The age of data really began.”

Thompson uses “infographic” but really means “data visualization” most of the time, but still a good overview.

And while we’re on the topic of old visualization stuff, you should also check out Scott Klein’s newsletter, Above Chart. The history provides fine context for where visualization is at now.

Favorites

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …