This link does double-duty. If you are interested in learning more about information graphics, information architecture, data displays, etc., you will need to read the work of Edward Tufte. He has long been a champion of Charles Joseph Minard’s work, and calls it “the best statistical graphic ever drawn.” Analyzed through McCloud’s language, Minard’s graphic is brilliant because it shows us something close to moment to moment progression towards and back from Moscow, but it also gives us aspect to aspect information: size of the army, temperature, date–all things happening at the same time.
What could be better for this class and the first assignment than a timeline of timelines? Although this web page isn’t highly visual, be sure to check out the poster version of the information to see the power of communicating the same information more visually. Notice that Minard’s infographic about Napoleon’s march to Moscow is here, as are other items we have seen. The 1950 timeline of an atomic bomb explosion is an excellent example of a really small scale timeline: millisecond changes.