Using Sage to design graphics:  Minard's Napoleon graphic

Sage's Alternative Napoleon Graphic

(Figure generated by SAGE.)

This picture, generated with the SAGE system, depicts most of the information in Minard's original picture. The same data set was mapped to different graphical techniques. The temporal characteristics of the march were weakly conveyed in the original because they were expressed as text labels. Here the relation between date, troop location (longitude only), and temperature is more strongly conveyed because they are all expressed as properties of the rectangles. Battle sites are indicated in text.

Notice the clear gaps which indicate lengthy stays at particular locations as well as the battle sites indicated as yellow diamonds. In the original picture it was not clear what happened along the northern flank of the army. Here it is clear: it branched off from the main force, captured Polock in August and remained there until after a second battle in October. Later in November, they rejoined the main retreat as the temperature dropped dramatically.

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