by Infogr.am

Vintage Infodesign [70]

Diagrams, charts and graphics from before the digital age

May 19, 2014

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If there’s a publication that has been using data visualization since its first issue, and over a century later still manages to be an indisputable reference in the information graphic field, it’s The National Geographic magazine.

Today, the graphics coming out NG’s graphic desk “dream team” are regularly featured in our This is Visual Journalism section, but we decided to revisit Juan Velasco‘s amazing post he wrote back in 2012, with early examples of the use of graphics and charts in the magazine – going back to the first issue, in 1888.

And besides sharing those precious images, Velasco also leaves a somewhat everlasting reminder:

Clarity in the transmission of information, which is the essential mandate in journalism, is not a priority for so many of today’s data visualization designers. A simple bar chart is just not cool enough. But if you think of it, since William Playfair first plotted values on two axis with ink and paper there is really not a lot that has been invented in terms of accurately displaying numerical information with precision, clarity and familiarity (which breeds understanding) for readers.

‘Nuff said. Enjoy this week’s picks:

Barometer Diagram (1888) | National Geographic magazine

(image: National Geographic magazine)

(Via)

Immigration into the United States (1905) | National Geographic magazine

(image: National Geographic magazine)

(Via)

Colored and white people in the US (1893) | National Geographic magazine

(image: National Geographic magazine)

(Via)

The Cyanometer (1789) | Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, Alexander von Humboldt

(image: Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, Alexander von Humboldt)

(Via)

Lynchings By States And Counties in the United States 1900-1931 (c1935) | Ida B. Wells

(image: Ida B. Wells)

(Via)

Helgoland (c1900)

(image: Helgoland (c1900))

(Via)

Diagrams showing wonderful advancement in athletics since 1896 (1913) | The Evening World

(image: The Evening World)

(Via)

Map of the pilgrim’s paths in Tai Shan mountain (1945) | The Illustrated London News

(image: The Illustrated London News)

(Via)

Palestine Land ownership by sub-district (1945) | United Nations

(image: United Nations)

(Via)

Palomar Observatory Cutaway (1947) | Popular Mechanics

(image: Popular Mechanics)

(Via)

Chiang’s War (1940) | Fortune Magazine

(image: Fortune Magazine)

(Via)

Area and population of the world (1897) | Rand McNally and Company

(image: Rand McNally and Company)

(Via)

North America (1851) | John Tallis

(image: John Tallis)

(Via)

Half a century of world sugar (1946) | ISOTYPE Institute

(image: ISOTYPE Institute)

(Via)

War Map (1914) | Daily Mail

(image: Daily Mail)

(Via)

 

That’s it for today’s round up! We’ll be back next week with another selection, but until then, enjoy our Pinterest board, just with old maps and infographics.

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.

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