Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Amazing Minard Map

I stumbled across this amazing map created in 1869 by the groundbreaking cartographer Charles Joseph Minard - Wikipedia (EN). The map displays in graphic form the decimation of Napoleons's Grande Armee during Napoleon's Invasion of Russia - Wikipedia (EN). The army starts out with over 400,000 soldiers and return with just 10,000 men by the time they return to the River Niemen.

According to Wikipedia: "Charles Minard's 1869 chart showing the losses in men, their movements, and the temperature of Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign."

The map is called Carte figurative des pertes successives en hommes de l'Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813.

The map is perhaps the most effective graphic display of information I've ever encountered.

This link takes you to animated display of the map.


This link takes you to a clickable version.



  1. "You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia..."


  2. I do believe he or she has been watching the princess diaries or whatever that movie was with Andre the Giant.

    Henny Penny

  3. NO, NO. Isn't from that movie with Andre the Giant directed by meathead.

  4. I do believe it is a quote from the princess bride.

  5. You can hear the clip here:


  6. The first comment was The Princess Bride. The chart is referenced in Edward Tufte's Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Not as much fun as How to Lie with Statistics, but worth reading.

  7. *sigh*


    [bangs head into wall]