Data visualisation Poster design

This data visualisation was chosen as one of nine Visualizing.org highlights of November 2013. (Visualizing.org website is no longer active)

The first draft of a huge infographic, taking 500 major events from throughout history and displaying them on concurrent timelines, so that their connections and position in relation to other events, discoveries and inventions can be put into context.

The full infographic can be seen here.

This diagram ended up far larger and more complex than intended; a simplified and more focused version is planned.

Events are listed in nine categories: Prehistory; History; Building; Entertainment; Invention; Science; Space; Sport and Transport. Reigns of monarchs and dynasties are shown, as well as major conflicts.

A main timeline is shown on the left, with a combination of the categories’ most major events, then four category-specific timelines are shown for further detail to the right. By tracing across the diagram horizontally, it is possible to see which events took place around the same time.

Related events are connected by dotted white lines, allowing the roots of major discoveries and events to be traced back to their roots.

What I’d do differently

This infographic is too subjective, and I’d like to bring an element of data visualisation into the structure. This would mean finding a metric upon which to vase the inclusion of events on the timeline. The connection between events, and indeed, which events are included, were down to my own perception of an “important” event.

I also don’t think that the purpose of the extra columns on the right of the design is clear. I think it may be beneficial to remove the main column on the left, and show all categories of events separately, though still on the same timeline.

Interesting findings:

The compass was developed before the Earth’s magnetic fields were identified

The hairdryer and the submachine gun were invented in the same year

At the same time as the first Olympic Games in 776BC, Chinese astronomers were producing the first recording of a solar eclipse and Halley’s Comet

Stonehenge is older than the Bible, and was built while woolly mammoths were still alive

The world’s population has risen from 1bn to over 7bn in just over 200 years

Other data visualisation projects.

Visualising the London Underground

Visualising 10 years of entry/exit data about the London Underground.

World Ultimate Championships Data Visualisation

Communicating data to the ultimate-playing world that was previously impossible to see.

Jurassic 5 Discography

Analysing the four sample-heavy albums of one of my favourite bands to see what’s going on.

Back to the Future Timeline

What happened when? Who changed what? Where did everybody go? I decided to find out.

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