[This is a guest post by Valerio Pellegrini*, about the data visualization he created for “Il Corriere della Sera – La Lettura #181″.]
The infographic shows the first 100 historical figures in order of influence according to Pantheon, a macro-connections group project of the MIT Media Lab of Boston, which took into account various parameters such as Wikipedia and the volume by Charles Murray “Human Accomplishmen. The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC”.
I chose to visualize the first 100 most influential historical figures according to this research first of all to observe freely and synoptically individual characters’ data (such as the number of visited Wikipedia pages, profession, place of birth, sex and period they lived in), but also to relate their alleged historical popularity with the current digital one at a glance. This last aspect shows sometimes interesting situations, such as Adolf Hitler is characterized by more Wikipedia visits than all other historical figures in the top 100.
As for the structure of the board, the timeline on the left shows the historical epoch of the character associated with a circle that represents the number of visits of the Wikipedia page in all languages, from January 2008 to December 2013. The characters are then grouped by color according to functional employment, by country of origin and then by gender.
*Valerio Pellegrini is a Milan-based information designer, currently working as a freelance designer for US, UK and Italian Wired, Corriere della Sera, Foreign Policy, Fast Company and Column Five, and I collaborate with DensityDesign and Accurat. His portoflio was featured here on Visualoop, and you can see more of his works on Behance: http://be.net/valeriopellegrini.