It’s Florence Nightingale’s 201st birthday tomorrow! Since I missed her 200th, I figured I’d make a video about her famous chart. What made it tick? What was it about? Who was Nightingale, anyway?
This is one of the most famous charts in data visualization, and like Minard’s it’s a complicated one. It’s not a generally usable chart type, but the chart itself was important to make very significant change happen and save and many lives. Nightingale used it to effect changes that meant wounded soldiers would no longer die like flies from infectious disease. And not just soldiers, her pioneering of nursing saved countless lives and greatly reduced unnecessary suffering.
Here is the video teaser, go watch the full video on YouTube! There’s a little surprise at the very end if you watch the whole thing…
If this interests you, check out RJ Andrews’s Information Graphic Visionaries book series on Kickstarter! It’s a set of three books on Nightingale, Emma Willard, and Etienne-Jules Marey. RJ has done a lot of good work on the history of data visualization and information graphics (and I also drew from his work and chatted with him for this video), so this is going to be great.
Some further links to interesting ressoures:
- RJ Andrews, Florence Nightingale is a Design Hero
- RJ Andrews’ talk at Outlier Conference
- Where was Florence Nightingale’s Hospital?
- Paul Lewi, Speaking of Graphics
- Jeffrey Shaffer, A Redesign of Florence Nightingale’s Rose Chart
- Tim Harford, Florence Nightingale and her Geeks Declare War on Death (podcast)
And as always, let me know what you think! Best to comment on the video directly on YouTube, but I’m also happy to chat in the comments here.