Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday John Snow

Today marks the 200th year of the birth of British physician John Snow.

Snow is most famous for his dot map of cholera cases in London's Soho. In 1854 Snow plotted the deaths caused by cholera in the area and the location of eleven water pumps used by the locals. The distribution of the dots helped Snow discover that cholera occurred most frequently among those who drank from the Broad Street water pump.

Snow's map helped to disprove the then popular theory that diseases such as cholera and bubonic plague were air borne and spread by 'bad air'.

CartoDB has used Google Maps to create a modern take on Snow's 1854 dot map. CartoDB's map uses larger sized dots to indicate the number of deaths at each location rather than individuals dots for each death.

If you want to create your own map from John Snow's data then have a look at Robin's Blog. Robin Wilson has mapped John Snow's data onto an Ordnance Survey map and also made the data available via Google Fusion Tables.

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