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Making the invisible visible: Early data display in the geological sciences

Howarth, RJ; (2008) Making the invisible visible: Early data display in the geological sciences. Open University Geological Society Journal , 29 (2) pp. 70-80. Green open access

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Abstract

The representation of numerical results in the form of a graph or thematic map rather than in tabular form is today commonplace, in the earth sciences as elsewhere, so it is hard to conceive that until about 1860 numerical results in geological publications were presented almost exclusively in tabular form, even by the leading scientists of the day. With the apparent exception of isoline (‘contour’) and point-symbol maps, frequency polygons, and the multivariate graphic symbols introduced by geochemists in 1897–1900, most graphical display methods now used in the earth sciences came from outside the field. Leading proponents of ‘the graphic method’ are briefly described and the origins of the stereographic projection, line graphs, time series plots, rosediagrams, the ternary diagram and multivariate symbols are discussed. Following the introduction of computers into universities (initially in the USA) after 1945, the time taken before earth scientists adopted new graphical methods was reduced abruptly

Type: Article
Title: Making the invisible visible: Early data display in the geological sciences
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://ougs.org/files/ouc/archive/journal/OUGSJ_2...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095797
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