Data Trails: “The Geological Time Spiral” (1975)

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?

Data Trails: “The Comparative Machine” (1836)

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 far…

Data Trails: “Notes on Matters Affecting the Health” (1858)

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 develop. Surprisingly, however, already the mid-19th century saw a huge upsurge…