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Our regular trip into data visualization and cartography history

August 29, 2016

Eleven years ago, in this day, the inhabitants of New Orleans were heavily struck by their worst natural disaster ever, hurricane Katrina, leaving behind billions of dollars in damage – Katrina still stands out as the costliest natural disaster in US recorded history -, and a death toll of almost two thousand.

Every year, ahead of and during the season, several national meteorological services and scientific agencies forecast how many named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes will form during a season and/or how many tropical cyclones will affect a particular country. And most of these forecasting groups have expected this season to be an above average season, due to a combination of factors – which means more damage and property loss at a huge scale. So far this year, six of the eight developed storms have impacted land, and 5 of those storms caused loss of life, directly or indirectly.

Despite the fact that this column usually handles topics a bit further deep in time, we managed to find some late-19th century maps tackling precisely the formation of hurricanes, as well as the example below. We’ll start our first round up of the week with those, followed by the usual bundle of vintage maps, diagrams and graphics:

Hurricane month (1945) | Edwin L. Sundberg

(image: Edwin L. Sundberg)

(Via David Rumsey Map Collection)

Winds and the Regions visited by Storms & Hurricanes (1852) | Alexander Keith Johnston

(image: Alexander Keith Johnston)

(Via David Rumsey Map Collection)

Currents of air (1854) | Alexander Keith Johnston

(image: Alexander Keith Johnston)

(Via David Rumsey Map Collection)

Isochronic Passage Charts (1882) | Francis Galton

(image: Francis Galton)

(Via JF Ptak Science Books)

L’Etat De Venise et Le Duche De Mantoue (1766) | Louis Brion de la Tour

(image: Louis Brion de la Tour)

(Via Rare Maps)

USA, A&P, Product network (1947) | Fortune magazine

(image: Fortune magazine)

(Via Fulltable)

Jefferson Davis National Highway (1935) | Karl Smith

(image: Karl Smith)

(Via David Rumsey Map Collection)

Degenerative diseases in the US (1913) | Scientific American

(image: Scientific American)


Britain As It Was Devided in the tyme of the Englishe-Saxons (1676) | John Speed

(image: John Speed)

(Via Rare Maps)

One Week Over Germany (1945) | U.S.A.A.F.

(image: U.S.A.A.F.)

(Via JF Ptak Science Books)

Timing work (1949) | Fortune magazine

(image: Fortune magazine)

(Via Fulltable)

The City of New York and its arteries of commerce (1860) | The New York Times

(image: The New York Times)

(Via Above Chart)

Aspects of the Course of China’s Trade for Half a Century (1917) | John Edwin Dingle

(image: John Edwin Dingle)


Europe as a Queen (1570) | Sebastian Munster

(image: Sebastian Munster)

(Via Rare Maps)


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.