Seeing is believing: Eight elegant ways to present data

For everyone bored of those charts autogenerated by Excel: you can do better, if you dare!

In 1861, French civil engineer Charles Minard produced what some have called "the best statistical graphic ever drawn" -- the stunning flow map above detailing the advance of Napoleon's Grande Armee into Russia and its subsequent disastrous retreat in 1812, with the narrowing lines representing the deaths along the way.

Geeks aren't always known for their visual flair, but we do like our data, and every once in a while someone manages to pull off some skillful representations of the data and information that's interesting to us in particularly lovely and evocative ways. This slideshow depicts eight intriguing stabs at representing data that might concern you in your geeky professional or personal life.

Never start a land war in Asia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

See also: Priceless! The 25 Funniest Vintage Tech Ads and Ahead of their time: Nine technologies that came early

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