Expressing data visually makes it much easier to understand, and in our data-saturated world, data visualization has become a necessity.
This infographic from Invest in Tech shows how the evolution of data visualization starting with one of the earliest maps of the world.
"A single data visualization graphic can be priceless. It can save you hours of research," according to Invest in Tech. "They're easy to read, interpret, and, if based on the right sources, accurate, as well. And with the highly social nature of the web, the data can be lighthearted, fun and presented in so many different ways."
Check out these cool visualizations, including the first world map created by Anaximander, the "Catalan atlas commissioned by King Charles V of France, Dr. John Snow's map of cholera deaths in London that helped in combating the disease in the second half of the 19th century," and more.
According to Wikipedia, Anaximander most likely drew this map for three reasons. "First, it could be used to improve navigation and trade between Miletus's colonies and other colonies around the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea," says a Wikipedia entry about Anaximander. "Second, Thales would probably have found it easier to convince the Ionian city-states to join in a federation in order to push theMedian threat away if he possessed such a tool. Finally, the philosophical idea of a global representation of the world simply for the sake of knowledge was reason enough to design one."
Charles Joseph Minard, who created the visualization of Napoleon's march on Moscow, was a French civil engineer recognized for his significant contribution in the field of information graphics.
Modern information scientists say his illustration may be the best statistical graphic ever drawn. According to Wikipedia, "French scientist, physiologist and chronophotographer Étienne-Jules Marey first called notice to Minard's dramatic depiction of the fate of Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign, saying it 'defies the pen of the historian in its brutal eloquence.'"
My favorite is the 1879 3D graph showing the population growth of Sweden.