National Geographic is one of the oldest magazines still in print in the U.S., and its archives are a deep well of great illustrations. When the magazine was founded in 1888, there were no photos to accompany its articles or explain the concepts inside. Instead, there were charts and graphs.
“The magazine is the ultimate reference for maps, charts, and diagrams that explain everything about Earth and space. (And much more besides),” information designer Nigel Holmes writes in a new book called National Geographic Infographics ($70 from TASCHEN). The hefty book collects some of the best of the magazine’s 128 years of infographics. Here are just a few of the best ones.
Not all cancers are alike. Some, like colorectal or breast cancer, are now easier to detect and treat thanks to better screening, while others, like liver cancer, are still fatally hard to catch early. This 2011 infographic shows how different death rates for different cancers are in the U.S.
National Geographic was writing about skiing before it even became an Olympic event, documenting the sport as early as 1920. In December 2013, it traced the history of the humble ski in its pages.