Probably the best infographic in history – Sparks’ Histomap

In 1931, John D Sparks produced a truly inspirational infographic – a huge chart showing the rise and fall of different civilisations over the past 4000 years. I came across it again the other day and was awestruck by how cleverly it contextualises different historical events – not to mention realising how limited my knowledge is.  I sure wish I’d been given a copy when I was wading through Bismarck etc in A-level History back in the ’80s.

JohnDSparks Histomap

Whilst looking for an updated version (i.e. up to the end of the twentieth century), I found this engaging animation of the original histomap    Turns out the updated version by Rand Mcnally is available (at a price) but inevitably there’s more noise and less historical perspective on more recent events – so I will stick with the 1931 original!

Found at, and copyright John D Sparks

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