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Map and line chart showing Napoleon's retreat from Moscow

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Map and line chart showing Napoleon's retreat from Moscow
Famous visualisation showing Napoleon's advance on Moscow (in brown), and subsequent retreat (in black). The x,y co-ordinates show the armies position over time, with the width of the line representing the size of Napoleon's army. The line-chart at the bottom shows the temperature during the retreat. Note the catastrophic crossing of river Stultienska on November 28th, with the temperature at -20 'Reamur' (-16 Celsius).
Level of expertise
  • None
Source:
Tufte (2001), 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information' (Area Profile)
Interactive features
None
Benefits & pitfalls to avoid
  • Line-charts imply that data is continuously changing. If your data is discrete you might consider a bar-chart instead.
Create your own
  • Area charts can be created in a range of standard data applications such as Excel.
  • Base maps can be created in a range of desktop GIS applications such as MapInfo and ArcGIS.