The Minard System

The Minard System : The Graphical Works of Charles-Joseph Minard

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If you have any interest in information graphics, maps, or history, you know of the seminal flow map of Napoleon's 1812 march into Russia by Charles- Joseph Minard, made famous by Edward Tufte, and considered to be one of the most magnificent data graphics ever produced. The Minard System explores the nineteenth-century civil engineer's career and the story behind this masterpiece of multivariate data, as well as sixty of Minard's other statistical graphics reflecting social and economic changes of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and around the world. These stunning drawings are from the collection of the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees in Paris and have never before been published in their entirety.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 229 x 305 x 25.4mm | 1,270.06g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1616896337
  • 9781616896331
  • 214,522

Review quote

"A new book out this week, The Minard System by Sandra Rendgen, catalogues much of his other work and shows how many forms of infographic design he pioneered. Here's just a small sample of those of those graphs. You'll have to check out the full, beautiful book for the rest."
- Popular Science Online "Some have called Charles-Joseph Minard's map of Napoleon's disastrous Russian invasion "the best statistical graphic ever drawn"-nerdy praise, to be sure, but one that suggests fellow design geeks will revel in the antiquated-yet-beautiful designs of Minard, a 19th century French engineer..Vibrantly colorful and chocked full of data, The Minard System is sure to delight any designers willing to look to history for inspiration."
- Metropolis Magazine Online "The book showcases many of Minard's classics, famously brought to light in Edward Tufte's books, but it also uncovers many hidden gems. It is ultimately a treasure trove for anyone interested in the history of data visualization....This is a long overdue tribute to the grand master of information design."
- Manuel Lima "Today Minard is best known for a statistical graphic that details the French army's staggering losses during Napoleon's Russian campaign, a masterpiece popularized by the writings of statistician and political scientist Edward Tufte. The piece is a devastating beauty. Even so, as data visualization specialist Sandra Rendgen demonstrates in her forthcoming book, The Minard System, there's a great deal more to discover about the man and his work. Dozens of Minard's creations-all from the collection of the cole nationale des ponts et chauss es in Paris-appear in its pages, meticulously reproduced and augmented by Rendgen's thoughtful and penetrating discussion. Among the many gems included is the Russian campaign graphic's lesser-known companion, which depicts losses to Hannibal's army during its march over the Alps. Rendgen presents it alongside the more celebrated graphic, as originally intended."
- American Scientist "A forefather of modern information visualization, as writer and editor [Sandra] Rendgen calls him, Minard created more than 60 statistical graphics that capture the economic and social changes of the industrial revolution in Europe and around the globe. He meticulously interpreted the data for each topic and created a narrative intended to shine through each map. This stunning collection includes them all-from visual depictions of the transport of mineral fuels in France in 1856 to a series on the European import of cotton over eight years."
- Scientific American
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About Sandra Rendgen

Sandra Rendgen is an author and editor with a focus on information graphics, interactive media, and the history of information visualization. Based in Berlin, Germany, she studied art history and cultural theory and is the co-author of Information Graphics and Understanding the World: The Atlas of Infographics.
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