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Data Visualization refers to the practice of using images, diagrams and schematics to represent data and information. Its application in the branch of descriptive statistics dates back to the 17th century. On the Internet, data visualization is most prominently featured in infographics and flowcharts.
According to Milestones in the History of Data Visualization: A Case Study in Statistical Historiography:
In 1644, Michael Florent Van Langren, a Flemmish astronomer, is believed to have provided the first visual representation of statistical data. The one dimensional line graph below shows the twelve known estimates at the time of the difference in longitude between Toledo and Rome as well as the name of each astronomer who provided the estimate. What is notable here is that while Van Langren could have provided this information in a table, it is the use of the graph that really visually displays the wide variations in estimates.
On March 25th, 2008, the subreddit /r/visualization was created for discussions related to information visualization and datasets. On January 5th, 2009, the /r/dataviz subreddit was launched for “beautiful & informative representations of the abstract.” That month, the data visualization news blog Datavisualization.ch was created. In July 2010, data journalist David McCandless gave a TED Talk titled “the beauty of data visualization” (shown below).
In April 2011, the dataviz community platform Visual.ly was launched, which allows users to create various types of data visualizations and infographics.
On February 14th, 2012, the /r/dataisbeautiful subreddit was created for data visualization submissions and discussions. In 2014, statistician Tyler Vigen launched a blog highlighting graphs showing high correlations between random, unrelated statistics (shown below).
The webcomic Xkcd often incorporates various data visualizations in comics. On September 27th, 2010, the site published a dot plot depicting the “frequency with which various adjectives are intensified with obscenities” (shown below).
On November 21st, 2011, a data visualization featuring currency in dollars, thousands, millions and billions was posted on the site (shown below).
Information Is Beautiful – "":http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/
Flowing Data – "":http://flowingdata.com/
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