The visual display of quantitative information is essential to scholarly publishing. Data is collected, but must be presented in a meaningful and understandable manner. Unique and interesting ways to offer a sense of scale have long been a fascination at this blog, going back to the Eames’ groundbreaking Powers of Ten. Today though we look at a different type of scale, not of size, but of time.

In the video below, the folks from To Scale map out both the timeline of human existence and the entire timeline of the universe itself. To do so, they needed a lot of space, so they spent a day in the Mojave Desert plotting out time to distance. Most remarkable here is seeing human existence put into context, occupying the last few feet of a 4.3 mile plot.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


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