1700-1799: New graphic forms

The 18th century witnessed, and participated in, the initial germination of the seeds of visualization which had been planted earlier. Map-makers began to try to show more than just geographical position on a map. As a results, new graphic forms (isolines and contours) were invented, and thematic mapping of physical quantities took root. Towards the end of this century, we see the first attempts at the thematic mapping of geologic, economic, and medical data.

Abstract graphs, and graphs of functions were introduced, along with the early beginnings of statistical theory (measurement error) and systematic collection of empirical data. As other (economic and political) data began to be collected, some novel visual forms were invented to portray them, so the data could "speak to the eyes".

As well, several technological innovations provided necessary nutrients. These facilitated the reproduction of data images (color printing, lithography), and other developments eased the task of creating them. Yet, most of these new graphic forms appeared in publications with limited circulation, unlikely to attract wide attention.

1701
1st contour map?
Added: 2008-07-17

Halley isogonic map Halley isogonic map

Geomagnetism: early concept of the North Magnetic Pole The concept of the North Magnetic Pole arose from the desire of early European navigators to explain the directional properties of the compass. Chines used compass at least as early as the 1st century and it was imported to Europe in the 12th century.

References:
Halley:1701 Abbott:1884
1711
Statistical significance
Added: 2008-07-17

Graph of the sex ratio from 1620--1710 Graph of the sex ratio from 1620--1710

Arbuthnot portrait Arbuthnot portrait

1712
Literal line graph
Added: 2008-07-17

References:
Hauksbee:1712
1724
Abstract line graph
Added: 2008-07-17

References:
Cruquius:1724
1727
Photography
Added: 2008-07-17

Schultze portrait Schultze portrait

1733
Normal distribution
Added: 2007-02-01

The normal distribution was first introduced by de Moivre in an article in 1733 (reprinted in the second edition of his The Doctrine of Chances, 1738). Laplacelater extended this in his book Analytical Theory of Probabilities.A further generalization, to the central limit theorem occurred later.
References:
deMoivre:1733 deMoivre:1738 Laplace:1812
1736 to 1755
Polar coordinates
Added: 2006-10-05

1671 is probably too early; 1736--1755 would probably be more appropriate. There are earlier references to Hipparchus (190-120BC) regarding the use of polar coordinates in establishing stellar positions, and Abu Arrayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni (1021) regarding the use of three rectangular coordinates to establish a point in space.
References:
Smith:1925
1741
Population statistics
Added: 2008-07-17

Sussmilch portrait Sussmilch portrait

Image of a page from Sussmilch's book Image of a page from Sussmilch's book

1750 to 1755
Empirical estimation
Added: 2008-05-02

Boscovich portrait Boscovich portrait

1752
Notation for 3D space
Added: 2007-02-01

To find the true place of the body at each instant, one only needs to locate it at the same time in respect to the three fixed planes, each perpendicular to the others[p. 89].
References:
Euler:1752
1752
Contour map
Added: 2007-02-01

Buache's 1770 Carte physique ou Geographie naturelle de la France Buache's 1770 Carte physique ou Geographie naturelle de la France

Buache contour map icon Buache contour map icon


References:
Buache:1752
1753
Annotated timeline
Added: 2007-02-01

Dubourg scroll, closed Dubourg scroll, closed

Dubourg scroll, opened ( Dubourg scroll, opened (

1758 to 1772
Diagrams of color systems
Added: 2007-02-01

Lambert wanted to extend the coverage of the system to include the concept of depth. He believed that the colour pyramid would be useful to textile merchants to decide if they stocked all the colours, and to dyers and printers as a source of inspiration.
References:
Lambert:1772 Mayer:1758 Harris:1766
1760
Empirical interpolation
Added: 2008-07-17

Lambert portrait Lambert portrait

1763
Beta density graph
Added: 2008-07-17

Bayes' Graph of the beta density Bayes' Graph of the beta density

Bayes portrait Bayes portrait

1765
Measurement error
Added: 2008-07-17

References:
Lambert:1765
1765
Historical timeline
Added: 2008-07-17

Priestley's specimen chart of biography Priestley's specimen chart of biography

Priestley portrait Priestley portrait

1767 to 1796
Graphical analysis
Added: 2008-07-17

Graph of evaporation of water vs. time Graph of evaporation of water vs. time


Lambert was one of the first to use graphs to analyze experimental data, and to use graphical calculation, e.g., computing the slopes of curves to estimate rates of change.
References:
1776
Descriptive geometry
Added: 2007-02-01

Monge portrait Monge portrait


Monge's work, Descriptive geometry, was the first consciously formulated exposition of the science of orthographic projection and descriptive geometry. Sylvestre Lacriux discovered the principles of projection independently about the same time as Monge. Jean Pierre Hackette added new material to Monge's descriptive geometry and published a book on this subject in 1822.
References:
Taton:1950 Taton:1951
1779
1st semi-graphic display
Added: 2008-07-17

Lambert graphical table of temperatures Lambert graphical table of temperatures

Lambert graph of solar warming vs. lattitude Lambert graph of solar warming vs. lattitude

1782
1st thematic map?
Added: 2008-07-17

Crome portrait Crome portrait

1782
First topographical map
Added: 2008-07-17

du Carla-Boniface topographical map icon du Carla-Boniface topographical map icon


References:
Marcellin:1782
1782
Geometric proportional figures
Added: 2008-07-17

de Fourcroy's proportional squares de Fourcroy's proportional squares

de Fourcroy's proportional squares de Fourcroy's proportional squares

1785
Superimposed squares
Added: 2008-07-17

Crome's 1820 Verhaeltness Karte Crome's 1820 Verhaeltness Karte


References:
Crome:1785 Nikolow:2001
1786
Bar chart, line graph invented
Added: 2008-07-17

Playfair bar/line chart: price of wheat and wages Playfair bar/line chart: price of wheat and wages

Playfair line graph: chart of national debt Playfair line graph: chart of national debt

Playfair bar/line chart: price of wheat and wages Playfair bar/line chart: price of wheat and wages

1787
Vibration pattern
Added: 2007-02-01

Chladni portrait Chladni portrait


Chladni is known as the father of acoustics; he also invented the euphonium.
References:
Chladni:1787
1794
Graph paper
Added: 2008-07-17

References:
1795
Proto-nomogram
Added: 2008-07-17

Pouchet chart icon Pouchet chart icon

1796
Automatic data recording
Added: 2008-07-17

Watt Indicator detail Watt Indicator detail

Watt Indicator icon Watt Indicator icon

Watt portrait Watt portrait

1798
Lithography invented
Added: 2007-02-01

Senefelder portrait Senefelder portrait