Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Napoleon Mapping


History Today has used Knight Lab's StoryMap JS narrative mapping platform to plot the rise of Napoleon from his seizure of power, through the Napoleonic Wars, to his defeat and exile at Elba.

You can progress through the story of Napoleon's reign by using the forward and back arrows. You can also mouse-over the map to view all the mapped locations and select a marker to jump to that part of the history.

The Napoleonic Era map also includes links from many of the mapped stages in Napoleon's history to relevant articles in History Today (subscription only).


Napoleon's March is a good attempt at reproducing Charles Minard's famous flow map of Napoleon's Russian campaign using a modern interactive mapping platform. Charles Minard was a pioneer of the use of graphics in engineering and statistics. Probably his most famous creation was his flow map showing Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign of 1812. His map displayed:

  • the army's location and direction, showing where units split off and rejoined
  • the declining size of the army
  • the freezing temperatures (by date) during the retreat
Napoleon's March is a good attempt at a slippy map visualization of the Napoleonic army's movements and dwindling size. The only thing missing from the map is Minard's temperature chart that visualized the freezing temperatures faced by Napoleon's army as they pushed eastwards.
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