Histomap : A thing of beauty

1 min readMay 8, 2022


Credits : https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~200375~3001080:The-Histomap-

Here’s the 4000 year history of the world in a single image.

Representation here is on a logarithmic scale.

Logarithmic scale enables events throughout time to be presented accurately, but enables more events to be included closer to one end.

Sparks explained this by stating:

“As we travel forward in geological time the more complex is the evolution of life forms and the more are the changes to be recorded. Further, the most recent periods of evolution hold the most interest for us. We need therefore increasingly more space for our outline the nearer we approach modern times, and the logarithmic scale fulfills just this condition without any break in the continuity.”

This graph is called a Histomap.

I came across this while scrolling through Linkedin the other day. It really amazed me that this one visualization contains so much information.

This also made me realise a few things:-

  1. The things we do, the things we contribute to are all but a mere speck in the grand scheme of things
  2. Visualization has been, is and will be one of the differentiators in the world of science, history and even culture. Something along the lines of a picture is worth 1000 words.