A Subway Map for the History of Science Infographic


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Many infographics have used the concept of a subway to illustrate their data, and this new entry from Crispian Jago is a very complex subway style infographic. The thing that makes most infographics useful, is that they cleanly and concisely layout the data in a way that is easy to digest. This infographic (London Underground map) above details the history of science, and starts in the center during the 16th century, with pre-modern science figures like Tycho Brahe, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Galileo Galilei. Then the subway tracks go into the 17th century and call out scientists like Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, and Daniel Fahrenheit. The 18th century has famous scientists such as Anders Celsius, Benjamin Franklin, and Michael Faraday. In the 19th century things really seem to pick up, as a number of great scientists are listed like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Charles Darwin, and Gregor Mendel. Moving into the 20th century, you find a number of notable scientists like Carl Sagan, Tim Berners Lee (see the History of E-Commerce), Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer, and Jonas Salk.

While this infographic can be educational, it is very difficult to take in, without seeing it blown up and printed out as a poster. The massive size forces you to zoom in and look at the subway map for the history of science, in bits and pieces. The flow of the data goes in a big spiral, so it is tough to go around in circles to try and soak in all of the data and see the relationships between scientists.

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