My sabbatical project is writing a book on mapping time. Working title is 'Mapping Time, illustrated by Minnardʼs map of Napoleonʼs Russian Campaign'. It will by published in the mid 2013 by ESRI Press. It tries to answer the question of how to design maps that tell about change. It does so by combining this cartographic story with the narrative of an epic and dramatic moment in European history so well expressed in Minard’s map [Library Lasage - Collection Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées /Minard - tableaux graphique et cartes figuratives].
Below different views on the data behind Minard's map.
Alternative views on the relation between timelines and maps: a) time and geography; b) from time to geography: adapt the map to the timeline - non movement stretches the map; c) from geography to time: adapt the time line to the geography - non movement compresses the timeline.
The movement of Napoleon’s armies. The paths of the individual armies are represented by different colors, and have been moved slightly to avoid overlap. Like in Minard’s original map the direction of the movement is not indicated in the map.
The Space-Time-Cube and the Map: the cube can reveal temporal patterns that may remain hidden in the map. Napoleon’s month long stay in Moscow cannot be derived from Minard’s map, but is immediately seen in the the cube.
Viewing Napoleon’s campaign in detail and from different angles. The path of the corpses as shown in 5-13 are mapped in the cube. similar to 5-23 it reveals clearly how the different corpses moved over time. Note the II (purple) and VI (light blue) corps remained in Polotsk (see also Figure 4-4) and see how the IX corps (orange) came to Russia only halfway the campaign.
Did Napoleon lose all battles? a) Battles and victories -I. On a map, II, On a time line; III Battle details; b) Timeline of the battles, number of troops involved and the victors; c) The size of the French troops on a time line and the impact of the losses during battles or the temperature on their decline d) Number of troops involved in the battles: I. ordered according time, II. ordered according amounts
What happened at the crossing of the Berezina River: a) A time line of the crossing indicating when certain troops were able to cross. Above the timeline a ‘time-map’ of the bridges indicating when both the infantry bridge and artillery bridge were intact and usable. Below the timeline the size of the troops before the crossing; b) a snapshot of an animation of the event - the map designed as a chorem; c) The number of French and Russian troops involved; the patterns indicating the losses of troops, and a pie indicating the losses of officers of the Grande Armee in particular; d) The number of French troops before and after the crossing. Left a snapshot of a schematized animation, Right the estimates of the size of these troops by different authors
The book also includes a personal story since the French army included Dutch conscripts, among them a family member, Gerrit Jans Kraak, born in Sneek 27.02.1790 and who was killed at the crossing of the Berezina River on 27 November 1812. He served in the 125th Regiment 1th battelion as voltigeur (skirmish unit). [French Militairy Archives - Vincennes, Paris - 21Yc874, pp. 383]
Below a detail of the school poster by Hoynck van Papendrecht titled: 'Dutch infantry at the bridges over the Berezina River, 1812' painted in 1911 [Schoolplaten voor de Vaderlandse geschiedenis - J.B. Wolters, Groningen] .