visual data
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learning, conceptualizing + communicating data with infographics, visualizations, etc...
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Mapping The San Francisco of Yesteryear

Mapping The San Francisco of Yesteryear | visual data | Scoop.it

Built with almost no regard for the hills that dominate its landscape, San Francisco’s grid like street layout and near vertical roads are unique in the world of cities. The “City by the Bay” really started growing after the California gold rush started booming in the late 1840’s, so by the time the gorgeous map featured here was made in 1912, the city looked remarkably like it does today. What was missing were many of the attractions the city is now best known for: noticeably absent is Pier 39 and the very crooked section of Lombard Street. Also yet to be built: the Golden Gate Bridge...

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Historical Data Visualization: Minard’s map vectorized and revisited

Historical Data Visualization: Minard’s map vectorized and revisited | visual data | Scoop.it

Generally considered as the first data visualization, the figurative map of Charles Joseph Minard (1869) shows the path of Napoleon’s troops across the Russian Empire of Alexander I. Using amazingly simple and modern graphical codes, this map displays the progress of the troops in the form of a stream whose width indicates the size of the “Great Army”, which will dramatically decrease throughout the campaign.

Although it is reasonable to ask whether this Figurative Map of the successive losses in men of the French Army in the Russian campaign 1812-1813 is indeed a “data visualization” (in itself, it is a drawing that summarizes information), this map is the central piece of an impressive number of articles, analyses and talks. This post is a contribution to the study of historical data visualization. In addition to a faithful vectorized version of the original map, it offers a “geographical” and a “historical” map based on the model of Minard.

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Fascinating Old Chart Maps World's Tallest Mountains, Forgets Mt. Everest

Fascinating Old Chart Maps World's Tallest Mountains, Forgets Mt. Everest | visual data | Scoop.it

This chart from the 1800s puts the world's biggest mountains and rivers in order. 

This beautifully illustrated chart: the Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains And Lengths of The Principal Rivers in The World organizes the inherently unorganized, First published in 1823 by William Darton, this chart by W.R. Gardner rips the mountains from the skin of the Earth and re-arranges them in ascending height, while simultaneously doing the same for the globe's biggest rivers, ironing their kinks and curls in order to compare for length. This is Victorian data viz at its finest.

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500 Year Old Map of America Found Hidden in Book

500 Year Old Map of America Found Hidden in Book | visual data | Scoop.it

One of the first European maps to recognize the continental mass known today as North and South America was discovered tucked between the pages of an old geometry book in the Munich University Library. The map, which is over 500 years old, was created by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller using data from Amerigo Vespucci’s voyages to “The New World” from 1501-1502, hence the designation “America”.

Until now, the map had been lost sometime in the 19th century after being misfiled in the university library. Including this one, there are only 5 versions of the map that are known to exist and one of them sold for $1 million at an auction in 2005...

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Before and After: Mapping LA 100 Years Ago and Today

Before and After: Mapping LA 100 Years Ago and Today | visual data | Scoop.it

'Any map-lovers looking to lose track of time for a few hours should say hello to the newly-arrived USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer, which allows users access to a treasure trove of maps of cities across the nation and lets users load multiple maps and toggle the transparency of each, so you can see the old map overlaid on the map of today. Go back to the turn-of-the-century maps of Los Angeles to find the old ranchos, or to the '40s and '50s to see old Pacific Electric lines. Compare pre- and post-Dodger Stadium maps of Elysian Park; see cartographic evidence of the lake at Westlake Park before it was split in half by Wilshire Boulevard, or of Los Feliz spelled Los Felis. It's all here, for the casual, time-sucking perusal of the public. We've collected a few of our favorite greater Los Angeles details into a handful of colorful before-and-afters below. We'll look closer at specific neighborhoods in the coming days...'

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Phrenology and 'Brain Mapping' as Historical References

Phrenology and 'Brain Mapping' as Historical References | visual data | Scoop.it

How the archaic study of brain shape and head reading — the origin of terms like “highbrow” and “lowbrow,” “well rounded,” and “shrink” — shaped the modern obsession with the mind.


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History’s 100 Geniuses of Language and Literature, Visualized

History’s 100 Geniuses of Language and Literature, Visualized | visual data | Scoop.it

What, exactly, is genius? In their latest project, Italian visualization wizard Giorgia Lupi and her team at Accurat — who have previously given us a timeline of the future based on famous fiction, a visual history of the Nobel Prize, and a visualization of global brain drain inspired by Mondrian — explore the anatomy of genius, based on Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds by literary titan Harold Bloom.


From Shakespeare to Stendhal to Lewis Carroll to Ralph Ellison, the visualization depicts the geographic origin, time period, and field of each “genius,” correlated with visits to the respective Wikipedia page and connection to related historical figures.

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RainboWillis's curator insight, June 4, 2013 8:54 PM

Condensed, and a little bit of a rabbit hole. 

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12 Great Visualizations That Made History

12 Great Visualizations That Made History | visual data | Scoop.it
A look at some of the visualizations that broke new ground and played significant roles in changing history.

Most visualizations end up as passing follies that are significant in the short-term, but in the long-run they fade to the background with the rest of the noise. Occasionally, though, some visualizations end up in a perfect position to play a significant role in culture and history. Here are a few that have been fortunate enough to become significant.

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