John Snow’s maps of the Broad Street cholera outbreak exemplifies data visualization’s power. In September 1854, central London experienced an outbreak of cholera. To stop the outbreak, Dr. Snow made a map. By visually seeing where the cholera deaths were clustered on his map, Snow showed that the water from a pump on Broad Street was to blame. This was widely regarded as one of the most important early examples of epidemiology as he clearly linked the cholera’s spread to water. It is also one of the most important early examples of data visualization’s power.
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Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern