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March 2017

Finding Minard

Writing Comments Off on Finding Minard

If you’ve been following the series on the history of data visualization you should know that this article – a personal tale of excitement and discovery – is a little bit different. You are welcome to go directly to the more standard module on Minard, otherwise I hope you join me for this short story of how the investigation of Charles Joseph Minard’s life and work lead to a shared adventure of discovery.

The Call to Adventure

The following passage from Michael Friendly’s Visions and Re-visions of Charles Joseph Minard jumped off the page when I first read it it six weeks ago:

Already primed with an enthusiasm for the broader catalog of Minard’s work, discovering that his contemporaries were also big fans spiked my curiosity gap. The thought that a  Minard map adorned a French oil painting in a gallery somewhere was just too rich. READ MORE

Seeking Minard

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After examining the history of data visualization greats I have decided to collect my learnings in the style of history’s data visualization greats. The fifth of these visual summaries is presented and discussed below. You can explore the entire series here.

Minard. Carte des quantités de viande. 1858.

The large thematic map above shows the home country of 300 years worth of European data visualization pioneers, in the style of Charles Joseph Minard’s 1858 quantités de viande examination of the supply of meat to Paris – the first work to size pie chart bubbles and place them on a map. I have so much to get to about Minard beyond this little map READ MORE