The Earth is roughly four and a half billion years old. During most of
that time—i.e. over the course of some four billion years—the
geological and biological development on our planet happened unbelievably
slow. How can we possibly form even a faint idea of this unimaginable
process that is the history of the Earth?
There is a very basic joy in roaming through atlases and in looking at
maps. Atlases are rich collections of places, and if there is one thing
they can do it is making you travel around the world, to places near and
Visualising data on health and mortality has a most up-to-date ring to
it, as if it had required the rise of big data and computational tools for
something as intricate as visual health statistics to
Once we have grown used to a new technology, it is hard to turn back and
imagine what it was like when it was all new and unheard of. We do not even
have an idea of what it was like before the internet anymore.
More and more companies, governmental institutions and researchers
employ data-centric methods to derive insights from data. Visualizing
complex patterns in a simplistic yet intuitively comprehensible way is more
important than ever.
81 years of budget data and various categories in three diagrams – the
United States Fiscal Chart from the 1870 US census atlas is a real
blockbuster in the history of data visualisation. The atlas as a whole is
full of interesting graphics and has a widespread reputation as an early
gem of data visualisation.