A Little Infographics History Lesson

While we think about infographics as trendy in media right now, the concept of creating beautiful representations of meaningful data is nothing new. Observe the work of John Philipps Emslie, an illustrator and cartographer who created truly beautiful data-rich images, all by hand.

If Only Modern Infographs Were As Stunning As These 19th-Century Ones

Modern infographs can be fun and fascinating, but when it comes to pure aesthetics, they've got nothing on the works of John Philipps Emslie, who mapped the Earth and the sky with an illustrator's flair.

In fact, Emslie was an illustrator in addition to being a topographer. He wrote and illustrated New Canterbury Tales, and also collected tales of folklore while making topographical maps of England. But his scientific illustrations are particularly stunning, lending his own style to the majesty of the natural world.

[Lost Type via It's Okay to be Smart]