Milestones in the History of
Thematic Cartography, Statistical Graphics, and Data Visualization |
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1950-1974 | Boxplot | Andrews function plot | Hanging rootogram |

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Still under the influence of the formal and numerical zeitgeist from the mid-1930s on, data visualization began to rise
from dormancy in the mid 1960s, spurred largely by three significant developments:

- In the USA, John W. Tukey, in a landmark paper, ``The Future of Data Analysis'' [294], issued a call for the recognition of data analysis as a legitimate branch of statistics distinct from mathematical statistics; shortly, he began the invention of a wide variety of new, simple, and effective graphic displays, under the rubric of ``Exploratory Data Analysis'' (EDA). Tukey's stature as a statistician and the scope of his informal, robust, and graphical approach to data analysis were as influential as his graphical innovations. Although not published until 1977, chapters from Tukey's EDA book [297] were widely circulated as they began to appear in 1970-1972, and began to make graphical data analysis both interesting and respectable again.
- In France, Jacques Bertin published the monumental
*Semiologie Graphique*[26]. To some, this appeared to do for graphics what Mendeleev had done for the organization of the chemical elements, that is, to organize the visual and perceptual elements of graphics according to the features and relations in data. - But the skills of hand-drawn maps and graphics had withered during the dormant ``modern dark ages'' of graphics (though every figure in Tukey's EDA [297] was, by intention, hand-drawn). Computer processing of data had begun, and offered the possibility to construct old and new graphic forms by computer programs. True high-resolution graphics were developed, but would take a while to enter common use.

By the end of this period significant intersections and collaborations would begin: (a) computer science research (software tools, C language, UNIX, etc.) at Bell Laboratories [16] and elsewhere would combine forces with (b) developments in data analysis (EDA, psychometrics, etc.) and (c) display and input technology (pen plotters, graphic terminals, digitizer tablets, the mouse, etc.). These developments would provide new paradigms, languages and software packages for expressing and implementing statistical and data graphics. In turn, they would lead to an explosive growth in new visualization methods and techniques.

Other themes begin to emerge, mostly as initial suggestions: (a) various visual representations of multivariate data; (b) animations of a statistical process; (c) perceptually-based theory (or just informed ideas) related to how graphic attributes and relations might be rendered to better convey the data to the eyes.

**1957**-
Circular glyphs, with rays to represent multivariate data- Edgar Anderson , USA [4].

FIG: Use of metroglyphs in a graph (672 x 532; 48K)

FIG: Diagramming variables in more than 3 dimensions (571 x 275; 39K) **1957**-
Creation of Fortran, the Formula Translation language for the IBM 704 computer. This was the first high-level language for computing.- John Backus (1924-1998), USA.

TXT: FORTRAN background

TXT: Backus biography and bibliography (with links and images) **1958**-
The ``Phillips Curve,'' a scatterplot of inflation vs. unemployment over time shows a strong inverse relation, leading to
important developments in macroeconomic theory- Alban William Housego Phillips (1914-1975), NZ [234].

FIG: The Phillips Curve (307 x 246; 4K)

FIG: The Phillips Curve (452 x 437; 19K)

TXT: Phillips biography **1962**-
Beginnings of modern dynamic statistical graphics (a 1 minute movie of the iterative process of finding a multidimensional scaling solution)- Joseph B. Kruskal (1929-), Bell Labs, USA.

PIC: Photo of Joseph Kruskal (197 x 248; 45K)

TXT: ASA Video Library blurb for video ``Multidimensional Scaling'', with sample frames **1965**-
Beginnings of EDA: improvements on histogram in analysis of counts, tail values (hanging rootogram)- John W. Tukey (1915-2000), USA [295].

PIC: Photo of John W. Tukey (151 x 219; 4K)

TXT: Biography, tributes, images, bibliography of JWT

TXT: Tukey biography

IMG: Hanging rootogram for the fit of a Poisson distribution (427 x 319; 3K) **1966**- Triangular glyphs to represent simultaneously four variables, using sides and orientation- R. Pickett and B. W. White , USA [235]
**mid 1960s**-
Initial development of geographic information systems, combining spatially-referenced data, spatial models and map-based visualization. Example: Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics (and Spatial Analysis) develops SYMAP, producing isoline, choropleth and proximal maps on a line printer- Howard Fisher , USA [46,287].

FIG: Early SYMAP image of Connecticut (763 x 768; 15K)

TXT: The GIS History Project

TXT: GIS Milestones **1967**-
Comprehensive theory of graphical symbols and modes of graphics representation- Jacques Bertin (1918-), France [26,27]

PIC: Bertin portrait (156 x 240; 43K)

PIC: Bertin color portrait (180 x 223; 13K)

IMG: Bertin's seven visual variables (314 x 281; 9K)

IMG: The reorderable matrix (300 x 142; 2K)

TXT: 30 ans de semiologique graphique

TXT: Jacques Bertin, Semiologie Graphique web site

TXT: InfoVis interview with J. BertinAmong other things, Bertin introduced the idea of reordering qualitative variables in graphical displays to make relations more apparent--- the reorderable matrix. **1968**-
Systematic ``graphical rational patterns'' for statistical presentation- Roberto Bachi (1909-1995), Israel [11].

IMG: Bachi number patterns (371 x 253; 27K)

PIC: Bachi portrait (149 x 224; 251k) **1969**-
Graphical innovations for exploratory data analysis (stem-and-leaf, graphical lists, box-and-whisker plots, two-way and extended-fit plots, hanging and suspended rootograms)- John W. Tukey (1915-2000), USA [296].

IMG: Boxplot of leading digits of lottery numbers (640 x 495; 6K) **1969**- Suggestion for displaying five variables by means of movements on a CRT- George Barnard , England [14]
**1969**-
The first well-known
*direct manipulation*interactive system in statistics: allowed users to interactively control a power transformation in realtime for probability plotting- E. B. Fowlkes , USA [78]. **1971**-
Irregular polygon (``star plot'') to represent multivariate data (with vertices at equally spaced intervals, distance from center proportional to the value of a variable) [but see Georg von Mayr in
1877 [192,S. 78] for first use]- J. H. Siegel , R. M. Goldwyn and Herman P. Friedman , USA [266]

FIG: Star plot of crime rates in US cities (504 x 505; 8K)

TXT: Star plot, description and example **1971**- Proposal to use statistical graphics in social indicator reporting, particularly on television- Albert D. Biderman (1922-), USA [28].
**1971**-
Development of the biplot, a method for visualizing both the observations and variables in a multivariate data set in a single display. Observations are typically represented by points, variables by vectors, such that the position of a point along a vector represents the data value- Ruben Gabriel (1929-2003), USA [94].

FIG: Biplot representation of blood chemistry data (511 x 483; 17K)

FIG: Biplot representation of ratings of automobiles (489 x 397; 5.8K)

TXT: Description of PCA and biplot **1972**-
Form of Fourier series to generate plots of multivariate data- David F. Andrews , Canada [5].

IMG: Fourier function plot image (217 x 222; 3K) **1973**-
Cartoons of human face to represent multivariate data- Herman Chernoff (1923-), USA [42].

PIC: Chernoff portrait (159 x 230; 24K)

IMG: Faces plot of automobile data, by origin (428 x 114; 3K)

TXT: Chernoff faces Java applet

TXT: Chernoff CV and portrait **1973**- USA Government chartbook devoted exclusively to reporting social indicator statistics- Office of Management and Budget , USA [68].
**1973-1976**- Revival of statistical graphics innovation, use by U.S. Bureau of the Census- Vincent P. Barabba (1934-) (Director), USA.
**1974**-
Color-coded bivariate matrix to represent two intervally measured variables in a single map (Urban Atlas series)[but see Georg von Mayr in 1874 [191,Fig.
XIX] for first use]- U.S. Bureau of the Census , USA
[301].

IMG: CDC map of incidence of stomach cancer (406 x 261; 60K) **1974**- Comparative experimental test of histogram, hanging histogram and hanging rootogram- Howard Wainer , USA [310].
**1974**-
Start of true interactive graphics in statistics; PRIM-9, the first system in statistics with 3-D data rotations
provided dynamic tools for projecting, rotating, isolating and masking
multidimensional data in up to nine dimensions- M. A. Fishkeller , Jerome H. Friedman and John W. Tukey (1915-2000), USA [74,75]

PIC: Jerome Friedman portrait (935 x 965; 348K)

Up: Milestones | Introduction | Related | References | Term Index | Images: 1950+ | ||

Pre-1600 | 1600s | 1700s | 1800+ | 1850+ | 1900+ | 1950+ | 1975+ |