Saturday, September 22, 2012

NatGeo infographics from 30 years ago

I was trying to keep this blog mostly about my work of my own and from our department but came across something I thought I should share. 

For my birthday last year my very thoughtful wife managed to get me this original copy of  National Geographic from the month I was born. October 1981. Like most people in my line of work, I love National Geographic for many reasons including the very high standard of information graphics and cartography. So, naturally, I got stuck in to see what their graphics were like back then. So here are some examples. I included some illustration too which all seemed to tie together with the graphics to create a uniform style.

The cover story also turned out to be very interesting. It covered STS-1, the first orbital flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program and also the future of the Space Station. That was also a coincidence and quite special to me as last year, and almost exactly 30 years later, I was working on one of my first major graphics for the SCMP. The final Space Shuttle mission drawing the entire program to a close. Shown in an earlier post.

Nice illustration

Graphic showing main parts and basic maneuvers

The planned Space station. Long before ISS

Kennedy Space Centre

The two illustrations above also serve as an infographic with numbered pointers explaining what the various parts are.

Next up, a few maps. The cartography was still of a very high standard 30 years ago. From three page fold outs to single column locator maps.

Fold out map of US and USSR naval presence in the Indian Ocean

Mono lake in California.

Single column migration route map

Everest's Northern Ridge

And finally another hand drawn graphic about restoration of a Roman facade.

That's it... Hope you enjoyed them.

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