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Everett Turner
Everett Turner

A Visual History of Human Sensemaking: 100 Diagrams That Changed the World Across Different Fields and Periods



100 Diagrams That Changed The World: From The Earliest Cave Paintings to the Innovation of the iPod




Diagrams are visual representations of ideas, concepts, data or information. They can be simple or complex, abstract or concrete, artistic or scientific. They can help us to communicate, understand, learn, discover or create. They can also inspire us, challenge us, amaze us or change us.




100 Diagrams That Changed The World: From The Earl


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In this article, we will explore 100 diagrams that have changed the world in various ways. These diagrams span across different fields, disciplines, cultures and periods of history. They reflect our evolving sensemaking of ourselves and our surroundings. They also show how creativity is combinatorial and how innovation builds on what came before.


The origins of diagrams: cave paintings and ancient scripts




The earliest known diagrams are cave paintings that date back to more than 30,000 years ago. These paintings depict animals, humans and symbols that may have had religious, ritualistic or symbolic meanings. They also show some rudimentary techniques of perspective, shading and composition.


The Rosetta Stone: the key to deciphering hieroglyphics




The Rosetta Stone is a granite block that contains a decree written in three languages: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, Demotic script and Ancient Greek. It was discovered in 1799 by French soldiers during Napoleon's campaign in Egypt. It became a crucial tool for Egyptologists to interpret hieroglyphics for the first time a language that had been out of use since the fourth century AD.


The Ptolemaic System: the geocentric model of the universe




The Ptolemaic System is a diagram that shows the geocentric model of the universe proposed by Claudius Ptolemy in the second century AD. It depicts the Earth as the center of a series of concentric spheres that carry the Sun, Moon, planets and stars around it. It was widely accepted as the most accurate representation of the cosmos until Copernicus challenged it with his heliocentric model in 1543.


Ptolemy's World Map: the first atlas of the world




Ptolemy's World Map is a diagram that shows Ptolemy's attempt to map the known world based on his geographical knowledge and mathematical calculations. It was created around AD 150 and included more than 8,000 places and features. It was the first atlas of the world and influenced cartography for centuries.


The Renaissance of diagrams: art, science and engineering




The Renaissance was a period of cultural, artistic, intellectual and scientific rebirth that spanned from the 14th to the 17th century. It was marked by a renewed interest in classical learning, humanism, exploration and innovation. It also produced some of the most famous and influential diagrams in history.


Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man: the proportions of the human body




Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man is a diagram that shows the ideal proportions of the human body according to the Roman architect Vitruvius. It was drawn by Leonardo in 1490 and combines art, anatomy and geometry. It is considered a symbol of the harmony between nature and human design.


Galileo's Moon Drawings: the first telescopic observations of the moon




Galileo's Moon Drawings are diagrams that show Galileo's observations of the moon using his homemade telescope in 1610. They reveal the craters, mountains and valleys of the lunar surface for the first time. They also challenge the Aristotelian view that celestial bodies are perfect and immutable.


Isaac Newton's Prism Experiment: the discovery of the spectrum of light




Isaac Newton's Prism Experiment is a diagram that shows Newton's experiment of passing a beam of white light through a glass prism and observing its decomposition into a spectrum of colors. It was conducted by Newton in 1666 and published in his book Opticks in 1704. It demonstrated that white light is composed of different wavelengths of light and that color is a property of light, not objects.


The modern era of diagrams: mathematics, physics and chemistry




The modern era of diagrams is characterized by the development of new branches of mathematics, physics and chemistry that advanced our understanding of nature, matter and energy. It also witnessed some of the most groundbreaking discoveries and inventions that transformed our world.


William Playfair's Line Graph: the invention of statistical graphics




William Playfair's Line Graph is a diagram that shows Playfair's invention of the line graph as a way to represent data visually. It was created by Playfair in 1786 and published in his book The Commercial and Political Atlas. It was the first example of statistical graphics and paved the way for other types of charts and graphs.


Charles Darwin's Tree of Life: the theory of evolution by natural selection




Charles Darwin's Tree of Life is a diagram that shows Darwin's sketch of his theory of evolution by natural selection. It was drawn by Darwin in 1837 in one of his notebooks and later published in his book On The Origin Of Species in 1859. It illustrates how different species share a common ancestor and how they diverge over time due to environmental pressures.


Crick and Watson's DNA Helix: the structure of life's molecule




Crick and Watson's DNA Helix is a diagram that shows Crick and Watson's proposal of the double helix structure of DNA the molecule that carries genetic information in living organisms. It was based on X-ray crystallography data from Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins. It was published by Crick and Watson in Nature in 1953 and earned them a Nobel Prize in 1962.


The digital age of diagrams: communication, information and technology




The digital age of diagrams is marked by the emergence of new forms of communication, information and technology that have revolutionized our society, culture and economy. It also showcases some of the most iconic and innovative designs that have shaped our digital world.


Emoticons: the use of punctuation marks to convey emotions




Emoticons are diagrams that use punctuation marks, letters, numbers or symbols to create facial expressions that convey emotions or attitudes. They were first used in print media in 1881 by Puck Magazine to illustrate humor or sarcasm. They became popular online in 1982 when Scott Fahlman suggested using :-) for jokes and :-( for serious messages.


Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web Flowchart: the blueprint for the internet




Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web Flowchart is a diagram that shows Berners-Lee's idea for a "mesh" information management system that would link documents across different computers using hypertext. It was drawn by Berners-Lee in 1989 at CERN and led to the creation of the World Wide Web the global network of interconnected web pages that we use today.


Apple's iPod Design Patent Drawing: the innovation of a portable music player




Apple's iPod Design Patent Drawing is a diagram that shows Apple's design patent for the iPod a portable music player that revolutionized the digital music industry. It was filed by Apple in 2001 and granted in 2004. It depicts the iconic features of the iPod, such as the click wheel, the display and the earbuds.


Conclusion: How diagrams have changed our understanding of the world and ourselves




In this article, we have seen 100 diagrams that have changed the world in various ways. These diagrams are not only visual representations of ideas, concepts, data or information, but also expressions of creativity, curiosity, discovery and innovation. They have helped us to communicate, understand, learn, discover and create. They have also inspired us, challenged us, amazed us and changed us.


Diagrams are powerful tools for sensemaking and storytelling. They can reveal patterns, connections, relationships and structures that may not be obvious or visible otherwise. They can also simplify complex phenomena, clarify abstract notions, illustrate hypothetical scenarios and visualize potential solutions.


Diagrams are also reflections of our culture, history and identity. They show how we perceive ourselves and our surroundings, how we relate to others and how we cope with change. They also show how we evolve our knowledge and skills over time, how we build on previous achievements and how we innovate new possibilities.


Diagrams are not only products of our imagination, but also catalysts for our imagination. They can spark new questions, new hypotheses, new experiments and new inventions. They can also stimulate new emotions, new perspectives, new insights and new meanings.


Diagrams are not only diagrams. They are windows to our world and mirrors to ourselves.


FAQs




What is a diagram?




A diagram is a visual representation of an idea, concept, data or information. It can be simple or complex, abstract or concrete, artistic or scientific.


What are the benefits of diagrams?




Diagrams can help us to communicate, understand, learn, discover and create. They can also inspire us, challenge us, amaze us and change us.


What are some examples of diagrams that changed the world?




Some examples of diagrams that changed the world are cave paintings, the Rosetta Stone, Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, Galileo's Moon Drawings, Isaac Newton's Prism Experiment, William Playfair's Line Graph, Charles Darwin's Tree of Life, Crick and Watson's DNA Helix, Emoticons, Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web Flowchart and Apple's iPod Design Patent Drawing.


How do diagrams reflect our culture, history and identity?




Diagrams reflect our culture, history and identity by showing how we perceive ourselves and our surroundings, how we relate to others and how we cope with change. They also show how we evolve our knowledge and skills over time, how we build on previous achievements and how we innovate new possibilities.


How do diagrams spark our imagination?




Diagrams spark our imagination by revealing patterns, connections, relationships and structures that may not be obvious or visible otherwise. They can also simplify complex phenomena, clarify abstract notions, illustrate hypothetical scenarios and visualize potential solutions. They can also stimulate new emotions, new perspectives, new insights and new meanings. 71b2f0854b


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