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Étienne-Jules Marey, Graphic of the progress of trains upon a railway, after Ibry’s method.

Global Information Design: A New Framework for Understanding Data Visualization

Part 1 in a multi-part series exploring Global Information Design

Paul Kahn
Paul Kahn
Sep 3, 2019 · 19 min read

Patterns of Lines

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Marey’s diagram as it appeared on the cover of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
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Harry Beck, London Underground Map
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Marshall Islands stick chart, Rebbelib type, Library of Congress

Three Ways of Seeing Time and Space

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Marey’s odograph for recording motion
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Traces of the odograph illustrating how different kinds of motion influence the shape of the trace. The four lines represent: A=rapid coach with stoppage, B=slow coach, C=gas meter, frequency of turns of the wheel, D=Curve of the turns of a clock wheel-work with fly
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A rebblib from the video “SmartHistory, a conversation with Dr. Jenny Newell and Dr. Steven Zucker”, American Museum of Natural History.
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Marey (left), Beck (center), Marshallese Rebblib (right)

The Three Frames We Use Today

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La Méthode Graphique by E. J. Marey
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Charles Joseph Minard’s Carte Figurative of the French army’s successive losses during the Russian campaign of 1812–1813 as reproduced by Marey in La Méthode Graphique.
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Factors affecting the cost of producing steam from Graphic Methods by Willard C. Brinton
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Florence Nightingale's “Diagram of the Causes of Mortality in the Army of the East” as it appeared in Funkhouser’s Historical Development of the Graphical Representation of Statistical Data
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Information Design from Fortune Magazine by Ladislav Sutnar, art direction by Will Burton, from Sutnar’s Visual Design in Action: Principles, Purposes (1961)
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Walk! Philadelphia signage, design by Joel Katz, photo by Andreas Olsson

A Fourth Frame

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Next: The Nine Themes for Frame Four

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Global Information Design: an overview of the series

Part 8: On The Road, from the Postal Web to Lincoln Highway

Part 7: Visualizing Overland Travel, When All Roads Led To Rome

Part 6: City Maps: Ways to View the Polis

Part 5: Kingdom Maps: Drawing the Boundary Between Us and Them

Part 4: Maps = Eyes + Imagination, Envisioning the Known World

Part 3: From Creation to Migration: Cosmology in the Small

Part 2: Diving into Global Information Design: Cosmology in the Large

Part 1: Global Information Design: A New Framework for Understanding Data Visualization (this article)

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Bibliography

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Thanks to Jason Forrest

Paul Kahn

Written by

Paul Kahn

Lecturer Northeastern Univ, IA and UX at Kahn+Assoc, Dynamic Diagrams & Mad*Pow. Hypertext research & information design, books: Mapping Websites, UnderStAnding

Nightingale

The Journal of the Data Visualization Society

Paul Kahn

Written by

Paul Kahn

Lecturer Northeastern Univ, IA and UX at Kahn+Assoc, Dynamic Diagrams & Mad*Pow. Hypertext research & information design, books: Mapping Websites, UnderStAnding

Nightingale

The Journal of the Data Visualization Society

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