# 1800-1849: Beginnings of modern data graphics

With the fertilization provided by the previous innovations of design and technique, the first half of the 19th century witnessed explosive growth in statistical graphics and thematic mapping, at a rate which would not be equalled until modern times.

In statistical graphics, all of the modern forms of data display were invented: bar and pie charts, histograms, line graphs and time-series plots, contour plots, and so forth. In thematic cartography, mapping progressed from single maps to comprehensive atlases, depicting data on a wide variety of topics (economic, social, moral, medical, physical, etc.), and introduced a wide range of novel forms of symbolism.

Use of coordinate paper in published research (graph of barometric variations)

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Howard:1800Idea for continuous log of automatically recorded time series graphs (of temperature and barometric pressure), also recording the maximum and minimum

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Keith:1800Invention of the pie chart, and circle graph, used to show part-whole relations

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Playfair:1801 Playfair:1805 Spence:2005The first large-scale geological map of England and Wales, setting the pattern for geological cartography, and founding stratigraphic geology. Recently called (hyperbolically) "the map that changed the world'' cite{Winchester:2001}. (Smith's map was first drawn in 1801, but the final version was not published until 1815.)

The first known geological map was produced by Christopher Packe in 1743, and depicts South England. Smith's map is impressivefor its size (about 6 x 9 feet--- printed as 15 separate copperplate engravings for a 5x3 grid), scope (all of England, Wales, and part of Scotland), beauty (elaborately hand-colored)and detail. More importantly, he was the first to discover that the strata of England were in a definite order and the first to show that their fossil contents were in the same order.

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Smith:1815 Morton:1992Methods of determining an orbit from at least three observations; presentation of the least squares method

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Gauss:1809The central limit theorem explains why many distributions tend to be close to the normal distribution. The key ingredient is that the random variable being observed should be the sum or mean of many independent identically distributed random variables.

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Laplace:1812Charts using subdivided bar graphs, and superimposed squares, showing the relative size of Mexican territories and populations in the colonies

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Humboldt:1811The first weather map was invented by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Brandes in 1816, based on data collected over several decades.

published

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Brandes:1819First graph of isotherms, showing mean temperature around the world by latitude and longitude. Recognizing that temperature depends more on latitude and altitude, a subscripted graph shows the direct relation of temperature on these two variables

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Humboldt:1817Choropleth map with shadings from black to white (distribution and intensity of illiteracy in France), the first (unclassed) choropleth map, and perhaps the first modern statistical map. (This map dates from 1826 cite[Plate 1, vol. 2]{Dupin:1827} according to Robinson cite[p. 232]{Robinson:1982}, rather than 1819 according to Funkhouser cite{Funkhouser:1937})

This entry is now deprecated.

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Dupin:1826An increasing number of scientific publications begin to contain graphs and diagrams which describe, but do not analyze, natural phenomena (magnetic variation, weather, tides, etc.)

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noneOgive or cumulative frequency curve, inhabitants of Paris by age groupings (shows the number of inhabitants of Paris per 10,000 in 1817 who were of a given age or over. The name "ogive'' is due to Galton.)

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Fourier:1821Mechanical device for calculating mathematical tables (the Difference Engine) [The beginnings of computing as we know it today. The Difference Engine was steam-powered, and the size of a locomotive.]

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noneGompertz curve, derived to describe expected mortality statistics for a population of organisms whose probability of death increases as a function of time

Gompertz showed that the mortality rate increases in a geometric progression. Hence, when death rates are plotted on a logarithmic scale, a straight line known as the Gompertz function is obtained. The slope of the Gompertz function line indicates the rate of actuarial ageing. The differences in longevity between species are the result primarily of differences in the rate of ageing and are therefore expressed in differences in slope of the Gompertz function.

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Gompertz:1832Choropleth map with shadings from black to white (distribution and intensity of illiteracy in France), the first (unclassed) choropleth map, and perhaps the first modern statistical map

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Dupin:1826First successful photograph produced (an 8-hour exposure). [A type of asphalt (bitumen of Judea) was coated on metal plates. After exposure it was washed in solvents, the light areas were shown by the bitumen, dark areas by bare metal. Exposed to iodine, the plate darkened in the shadowed areas.]

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nonePolar-area charts (predating those by Florence Nightingale cite{Nightingale:1857}), showing frequency of events for cyclic phenomena

The plate shows six polar diagrams for daily phenomena: direction of the wind in 8 sectors, births and deaths by hour of theday.

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Guerry:1829The first comparative choropleth thematic maps, showing crimes against persons and crimes against property in relation to level of instruction by departments in France

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BalbiGuerry:1829 Guerry:1832Graphical analysis of natural phenomena begins to appear on a regular basis in scientific publications, particularly in England. For example, in 1832, Faraday proposes pictorial representation of electric and magnetic lines of force.

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noneFitting a smoothed curve to a scatterplot, advocacy of graph paper and graphical methods as standard tools of science. ["The process by which I propose to accomplish this is one essentially graphical; by which term I understand not a mere substitution of geometrical construction and measurement for numerical calculation, but one which has for its object to perform that which no system of calculation can possibly do, by bringing in the aid of the eye and hand to guide the judgment, in a case where judgment only, and not calculation, can be of any avail.'' (p. 178)]

See for some history of "squared paper.''

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Herschel:1833 Hankins:2006 BrockPrice:1980The first comprehensive analysis of data on "moral statistics'' (crimes, suicide, literacy, etc.) shown on thematic unclassed choropleth maps; bar charts (of crime, by age groupings and months)

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Guerry:1833Graphical rank lists, with lines showing shifts in rank order between categories (rank of types of crime from one age group to the next)

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Guerry:1833First classed depiction of population density on a world map (using three broad classes in a dasymetric map)

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Scrope:1833Invention of the stereoscope, revealing the dependence of visual depth perception upon binocular vision, and allowing production of stereoscopic images

In 1857, Wheatstone also introduced the first application of paper tapes as a medium for the preparation, storage, and transmission of data.

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noneFirst broad and general application of principles of graphic representation to national industrial and population data

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Angeville:1836 Dainville:1970Extensive data tabulation, time series, and mapping of prostitutes in Paris

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Parent-Duchatelet:1836First published flow maps, showing transportation by means of shaded lines, widths proportional to amount (passengers)

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Harness:1837 Robinson:1955Physical atlas of the distribution of plants, animals, climate, etc., one of the most extensive and detailed thematic atlases; most of the maps contained tables, graphs, pictorial profiles of distributions over altitude, and other visual accompanyments

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Berghaus:1838Development of the logistic curve, $ y = k / (1 + C e^)$, to describe the growth of human populations

Verhulst showed that forces which tend to prevent a population growth grow in proportion to the ratio of the excess population to the total population. (reference from Funkhouser:1937, p.363 fn(46)

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Quetelet:1838Invention of the first practical photographic process, using coated plates of metal and glass

The first daguerrotype of the disk of the Sun was obtained by two physicists in Paris in 1845 seeand subsequent improvements in emulsion speeds had enormous repercussions for astronomy.

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GribbinGribbin:2000Ethnographic maps showing distribution of ethnic groups throughout the world

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Prichard:1843 Johnston:1843Ada Lovelace was known as the first programmer for her work in 1843 with Charles Babbage. She wrote a series of instructions for his proposed machanical computer.

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none"Tableau-graphique'' showing transportation of commercial traffic by variable-width (distance), divided bars (height $sim$ amount), area $sim$ cost of transport [An early form of the mosaic plot.]

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Minard:1844 Dainville:1970 Robinson:1967Logarithmic grid (the first log-log plot, as a nomogram for showing products from the factors)

See also: Lalanne's ambitious Universal Calculatorcombining logarithmic and trigonometric calculations (described by Tourn{è

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Lalanne:1846 Lalanne:1844 Tournes:2000Results of sampling from urns shown as symmetrical histograms, with limiting "curve of possibility'' (later called the normal curve)