John Snow’s Cholera Map

John SnowToday’s map comes from the UK, where Simon Rogers at the Guardian has recreated the influential cholera map by John Snow using a web map. The map uses graduated circles to show the number of deaths in the area, combined with a display of the locations of wells and the street network.

What is interesting about this post is the Comments section (find it here). Lots of interesting comments speak to the delicate balance of information communication and design. For example, one critique of the map was whether it should even be a web map – why be able to zoom out if you are only interested in a neighbourhood of London? Another critique is the importance of the street network – if the roads could be made lighter (perhaps a dark or mid grey), there would be better emphasis on both the well locations and the circles. A final critique of web maps is their lack of legend. Without that information, though it may clutter the display, a viewer will forget what they are looking at or be confused when viewing the map.

That being said, it is easy to be a critic!



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