Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Data visualization rules, 1915

Right now people in data visualization tend to be interested in their field’s history, and people in digital humanities tend to be fascinated by data visualization. Doing some research in the National Archives in Washington this summer, I came across an early set of rules for graphic presentation by the Bureau of the Census from February 1915. Given those interests, I thought I’d put that list online.

As you may know, the census bureau is probably the single most important organization for inculcating visual-statistical literacy in the American public, particularly through the institution of the Statistical Atlas of the United States published in various forms between 1870 and 1920.
A page from the 1890 Census Atlas: Library of Congress