E.J. Marey’s Train Schedule
A very remarkable representation of time-oriented information was created by Etienne-Jules Marey in the 1880s. It shows the train schedule for the track Paris to Lyon graphically. Basically, a 2D diagram is used placing the individual train stops according to their distance in a list on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis. Thus, horizontal lines are used to identify the individual stops and a vertical raster is used for timing information. The individual trains are represented by diagonal lines running from top left to bottom right (Paris – Lyon) and bottom left to top right (Lyon – Paris) respectively. The slope of the line gives information about the speed of the train – the steeper the line, the faster the respective train is travelling. Moreover, horizontal sections of the trains’ lines indicate if the train stops at the respective station at all and how long the train stops. On top of that, the density of the lines provides information about the frequency of trains over time. This leads to a clear and powerful representation showing complex information at a glance while allowing for in-depth analysis of the data. Similar representations have also been used for the Japanese Shinkansen train and in Java (Soeraba ja-Djokjakarta train line) where the track’s terrain profile is additionally shown.
taken from this site