Florence Nightingale: The Radial Plotter!

Florence Nightingale famously used a form of radial plot – she called them coxcomb charts – to draw attention to the fact that during the war in Crimea, deaths from disease among British soldiers far outnumbered deaths from wounds sustained in battle. Nightingale called them coxcomb charts, but they are also known as Polar-Area Diagrams and Polar Area Charts.

A similar chart of the weekly deaths in England and Wales is equally striking. It shows the stark impact of covid-19 on deaths in April and May 2020 compared with deaths in the same period in previous years.


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