There are few features on this site that have garnered as many positive responses as the works of Charles Joseph Minard, the 19th Century French economic geographer, cartographer, and civil engineer. Minard produced dozens of fascinating maps of economic, military, and social trends. Two of his maps–a chart of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia, and a map of international immigration in 1858–have previously been featured on this site. Now, I am introducing a weekly feature where, each Monday, I will present another of Minard’s excellent maps.
Toward the end of his life, Minard donated a complete set of his maps to the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, the French national academy of bridges and roads, where he had served as the superintendent. As far as I know, this is the only complete collection of Minard’s maps; but several others are held in collections around the world. One relatively small but high-quality collection is held by the Library of Congress, here in Washington, DC. Others have been reproduced in English- and French-language books on thematic mapping. I’ve done my best to draw on as many sources of Minard maps as possible to present them here.
Many of the maps that will appear over the next several weeks are not available elsewhere on the Internet. All of them are unequivocably in the public domain, however, so feel free to reproduce and circulate them, though we here at Cartographia would appreciate attribution.
The first post of the series begins below…