Michael Friendly's

A Brief History of Data Visualization

  • Michael Friendly.
  • A Brief History of Data Visualization.
  • In Handbook of Computational Statistics: Data Visualization, C. Chen, W. Härdle, A Unwin (Ed.), Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, Ch. 1, pp. 1–34, 2007.

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It is common to think of statistical graphics and data visual ization as relatively modern developments in statistics. In fact, the graphic represent ation of quantitative information has deep roots. These roots reach into the histories of the earliest map-making and visual depiction, and later into thematic cartography, statistic s and statistical graphics, medicine, and other fields. Along the way, developments in technologie s (printing, reproduction) mathematical theory and practice, and empirical observati on and recording, enabled the wider use of graphics and new advances in form and content. This chapter provides an overview of the intellectual history of data visualization from medieval to modern times, describing and illustrating some significant advances along the way. It is based on a project, called the Milestones Project, to collect, catalog and document in one place the important developments in a wide range of are as and fields that led to modern data visualization. This effort has suggested some questions of the use of present-day methods to analyze and understand this history, that I discuss under the rubric of ``statistical historiography''

  author = {Michael Friendly},
  title = {A Brief History of Data Visualization},
  year = {2007},
  publisher = {Springer-Verlag},
  address = {Heidelberg},
  booktitle = {Handbook of Computational Statistics: Data Visualization},
  volume = {III},
  editor = {C. Chen and W. H{\"a}rdle and A Unwin},
  pages = {1–34},
  chapter = {1},
  url = {http://datavis.ca/papers/hbook.pdf},
  isbn = {978-3-540-32825-4},