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…

Data Trails: “81 Years of Graphical Excellence” (1874)

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. Today, experts from the field like to joke that data visualisation serves as a gateway drug to statistics…