Infographics have been around for many years and recently the increase of a number of easy-to-use, free tools have made the creation of infographics available to a large segment of the population. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have also allowed for individual infographics to be spread among many people around the world. In newspapers, infographics are commonly used to show the semiology of graphics diagrams networks maps pdf, as well as maps, site plans, and graphs for summaries of data. Some books are almost entirely made up of information graphics, such as David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work.
Modern maps, especially route maps for transit systems, use infographic techniques to integrate a variety of information, such as the conceptual layout of the transit network, transfer points, and local landmarks. Public transportation maps, such as those for the Washington Metro and the London Underground, are well-known infographics. Indeed graphics can be more precise and revealing than conventional statistical computations. While contemporary infographics often deal with “qualitative” or soft subjects, generally speaking Tufte’s 1983 definition still speaks, in a broad sense, to what infographics are, and what they do—which is to condense large amounts of information into a form where it will be more easily absorbed by the reader.
In 1626, Christoph Scheiner published the Rosa Ursina sive Sol, a book that revealed his research about the rotation of the sun. Infographics appeared in the form of illustrations demonstrating the Sun’s rotation patterns. In 1786, William Playfair, an engineer and political economist, published the first data graphs in his book The Commercial and Political Atlas. Around 1820, modern geography was established by Carl Ritter. His maps included shared frames, agreed map legends, scales, repeatability, and fidelity.
In 1857, English nurse Florence Nightingale used information graphics to persuade Queen Victoria to improve conditions in military hospitals. The principal one she used was the Coxcomb chart, a combination of stacked bar and pie charts, depicting the number and causes of deaths during each month of the Crimean War. Charles Minard’s information graphic of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. 1861 saw the release of an influential information graphic on the subject of Napoleon’s disastrous march on Moscow. James Joseph Sylvester introduced the term “graph” in 1878 in the scientific magazine Nature and published a set of diagrams showing the relationship between chemical bonds and mathematical properties.