The 1931 Histomap: The entire history of the world distilled into a single map/chart.

The 1931 Histomap: The entire history of the world distilled into a single map/chart..

And, while we are on maps today, how about this “Histomap” – a mapped timeline of all of human history. This is actually an old map (first published by Rand-McNally in 1931), but Slate has brought it back to life via the Internet. Have fun with this one! Here’s the introduction to it; the link above will take you to the site where you can view this unique map.

This “Histomap,” created by John B. Sparks, was first printed by Rand McNally in 1931. (The David Rumsey Map Collection hosts a fully zoomable version here.) (Update: Click on the image below to arrive at a bigger version.)

This giant, ambitious chart fit neatly with a trend in nonfiction book publishing of the 1920s and 1930s: the “outline,” in which large subjects (the history of the world! every school of philosophy! all of modern physics!) were distilled into a form comprehensible to the most uneducated layman.

The 5-foot-long Histomap was sold for $1 and folded into a green cover, which featured endorsements from historians and reviewers. The chart was advertised as “clear, vivid, and shorn of elaboration,” while at the same time capable of “holding you enthralled” by presenting:

the actual picture of the march of civilization, from the mud huts of the ancients thru the monarchistic glamour of the middle ages to the living panorama of life in present day America.

The chart emphasizes domination, using color to show how the power of various “peoples” (a quasi-racial understanding of the nature of human groups, quite popular at the time) evolved throughout history.

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World «TwistedSifter.

usa-map-02Just yesterday I was given notice of this interesting map collecting blog post, and it contains quite a diverse group of facts and figures for those who want to be in the know. There are some maps here that you should ignore (be advised), but most of these contain useful information. Others are just plain fun, so we include this in our first “Friday Fun” post today. Enjoy!

Here is the author’s brief introduction:

If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that.

Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 6:17 AM  Leave a Comment