The Histography project charts the history of everything, ever.

The Histography project—created by Matan Stauber at Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design—imagines what Wikipedia entries would look like on a single, constantly unfurling timeline. So far, the pointillist-inspired data viz barrels through 14 billion years.

Each dot corresponds to an event. Contemporaneous ones are stacked on top of one another. The chart is arranged like a sound wave: amplitude indicates that a year was loud, in terms of notable events around the globe. At first, circa the Big Bang, it’s a murmur. Around the time of the evolution of Neanderthals, the events are just blips, few and far between.

In contrast, the years around the 1920s were boisterous. They included Russia’s October Revolution, Boston’s police strike, the premiere of motion pictures with sound, and the development of insulin. The dots are piled high; it was a roaring, high-decibel era.

You can also view the events as a spiral. The wider, outer rings are full of chronicles. If you drill down to the bottom, the narrowest openings nod to the limits of recorded history. Still, the dates aren’t perfectly precise. For instance, the development of the telephone was one of many decades of trial and error, from concept to viable commercial product.

A spiral visualization nodding to Galileo’s observations around 1610.

Toggle between thematic categories such as literature, construction, inventions, and wars to see how events in one region of the world coincided with developments elsewhere. Since Wikipedia is constantly updated, so is Histography. The events grabbing headlines today will pile on top of one another in an ever-growing tower.

H/t: Fast Co. Design

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  2. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  3. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  4. Life

    The Town Where Retirees Can’t Retire

    In fast-aging pockets of rural America, older residents are going back to work. But not always because they need the money.

  5. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.