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 mapHalley isogonic map

Contour maps showing curves of equal value (an isogonic map, lines of equal magnetic declination for the world, possibly the first contour map of a data-based variable)

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
1710
Three-color printing
Added: 2008-07-17

Invention of three-color printing


References:
none
1711
Statistical significance
Added: 2008-07-17

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

Arbuthnot portraitArbuthnot portrait

First test of statistical significance based on deviation between observed data and a null hypothesis (used to show that the guiding hand of a devine being could be discerned in the nearly constant ratio of male to female births in London over 1629--1710)


References:
Arbuthnot:1710 Bellhouse:1989
1712
Literal line graph
Added: 2008-07-17

Literal line graph, inspired by observation of nature (section of hyperbola, formed by capillary action of colored water between two glass plates)


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

Abstract line graph (of barometric observations), not analyzed


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

Schultze portraitSchultze portrait

Experiments paving the way to the development of photography: Images obtained by action of light on a mixture of chalk, nitric acid, and silver salts


References:
none
1733
Normal distribution
Added: 2007-02-01

The normal distribution, derived as the limit of the binomial distribution


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

Development of the use of polar coordinates for the representation of functions. Newton's Method of Fluxions was written about 1671, but not published until 1736. Jacob Bernoulli published a derivation of the idea in 1691 attributes the development of polar coordinates to Fontana, with no date.


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 portraitSussmilch portrait

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

Beginnings of the study of population statistics (demography)


References:
Hecht:1987 Sussmilch:1741
1748
Statistics
Added: 2007-02-01

First use of the term "statistik.'' The word "statistics'' was first used by Zimmerman in 1787. (For the earlier use of "statist'', "statista'' and other terms, see cite{John:1883}.)


References:
Achenwall:1748 Zimmerman:1787 Walker:1929
1750 to 1755
Empirical estimation
Added: 2008-05-02

Boscovich portraitBoscovich portrait
on the Croatian dinar

Beginnings of the estimation of $m$ unknown quantities from $n$ emipirical equations (where $n > m$), taking account of the possibility of errors in the observations (later supplanted by the method of least squares)


References:
Farebrother:1999 MarieBoscovich:1755 Mayer:1750
1752
Notation for 3D space
Added: 2007-02-01

Introduction of a notation which gives a name and address to every possible point in 3D space, $(x,y,z)$.


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

Buache contour map iconBuache contour map icon

Contour map


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

Dubourg scroll, closedDubourg scroll, closed

Dubourg scroll, opened (Dubourg scroll, opened (

"Carte chronologique'': An annotated timeline of history (from Creation) on a 54-foot scroll, including names and descriptive events, grouped thematically, with symbols denoting character (martyr, tyrant, heretic, noble, upright, etc.) and profession (painter, theologian, musician, monk, etc.)


References:
Ferguson:1991 Wainer:1998
1758 to 1772
Diagrams of color systems
Added: 2007-02-01

Diagrams developed to represent color systems. In 1758, Mayer developed a system of constructing and naming many of the possible colours. Lambert extended this with a 3D pyramid indicating "depth'' (saturation).


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 portraitLambert portrait

Curve-fitting and interpolation from empirical data points


References:
Lambert:1760
1763
Beta density graph
Added: 2008-07-17

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

Bayes portraitBayes portrait

1765
Measurement error
Added: 2008-07-17

Theory of measurement error as deviations from regular graphed line. (Lambert made the observation that "a diagram does incomparably better service here than a table.''cite[p. 204]{Tilling:1975}


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

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

Priestley portraitPriestley portrait

Historical timeline (life spans of 2,000 famous people, 1200 B.C. to 1750 A.D.), quantitative comparison by means of bars


References:
Priestley:1765
1767 to 1796
Graphical analysis
Added: 2008-07-17

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

Repeated systematic application of graphical analysis (line graphs applied to empirical measurements)


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:
none
1776
Descriptive geometry
Added: 2007-02-01

Monge portraitMonge portrait

Development of descriptive geometry, that leads to engineering drawing


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
1778
Geological map
Added: 2008-07-17

Geological map (distribution of soils, minerals)


References:
Charpentier:1778
1779
1st semi-graphic display
Added: 2008-07-17

Lambert graphical table of temperaturesLambert graphical table of temperatures

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

Graphical analysis of periodic variation (in soil temperature), and the first semi-graphic display combining tabular and graphical formats


References:
Lambert:1779 Hankins:1999
1782
1st thematic map?
Added: 2008-07-17

Crome portraitCrome portrait

Statistical map of production in Europe, possibly the first economic and thematic map (shows geographic distribution of 56 commodities produced in Europe)


References:
Crome:1782
1782
First topographical map
Added: 2008-07-17

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

First topographical map


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

de Fourcroy's proportional squaresde Fourcroy's proportional squares

de Fourcroy's proportional squaresde Fourcroy's proportional squares

Use of geometric, proportional figures (squares) to compare demographic quantities by superposition, an early "tableau graphique''


References:
Fourcroy:1782 Palsky:1996
1785
Superimposed squares
Added: 2008-07-17

Crome's 1820 Verhaeltness KarteCrome's 1820 Verhaeltness Karte

Superimposed squares to compare areas (of European states)


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

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

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

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

Bar chart, line graphs of economic data


References:
Playfair:1786
1787
Vibration pattern
Added: 2007-02-01

Chladni portraitChladni portrait

Visualization of vibration patterns (by spreading a uniform layer of sand on a disk, and observing displacement when vibration is applied)


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

Patenting and sale of printed graph paper, printed with a rectangular coordinate grid, attests to the growing use of Cartesian coordinates


References:
none
1795
Proto-nomogram
Added: 2008-07-17

Pouchet chart iconPouchet chart icon

Multi-number graphical calculation (proto-nomogram: contours applied to multiplication table, later rectified by Lalanne cite{Lalanne:1846})


References:
Pouchet:1795
1796
Automatic data recording
Added: 2008-07-17

Watt Indicator detailWatt Indicator detail

Watt Indicator iconWatt Indicator icon

Watt portraitWatt portrait

Automatic recording of bivariate data (pressure vs. volume in steam engine) "Watt Indicator,'' (invention kept secret until 1822)


References:
none
1798
Lithography invented
Added: 2007-02-01

Senefelder portraitSenefelder portrait

Invention of lithographic technique for printing of maps and diagrams ("At the time the effect of lithography ... was as great as has been the introduction [of the Xerox machine]'' cite[p. 57]{Robinson:1982}) (published in several translations, 1818--19)


References:
Abbott:1884
1798
1st disease maps
Added: 2007-02-01

First maps of the incidence of disease (yellow fever), using dots and circles to show individual occurrences in waterfront areas of New York


References:
WallisRobinson:1987