Timeline of Systematic Data and the Development of Computable Knowledge

Timeline of Systematic Data and the Development of Computable Knowledge: 1600 - 1799

1600

1602: Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library in Oxford is founded with 2,000 books.

1623: Wilhelm Schickard

Arithmetic by machine

Wilhelm Schickard creates a gear-based, wooden, six-digit, mechanical adding machine.

1604: A Table Alphabeticall

Organizing the English language

Robert Cawdrey publishes a dictionary with definitions for 2,543 terms.

1627: Johannes Kepler

Cataloging the known universe

Kepler's Rudolphine Tables list the positions of 1,406 stars and procedures for locating the planets.

1614: John Napier

Multiplying numbers by simple addition

John Napier publishes the first tables of logarithms.

1637: René Descartes

René Descartes introduces coordinate systems to allow geometry to be studied using algebra.

1650

1654: William Petty

Taking stock of economic activity

William Petty, traveling with Cromwell's army, systematically surveys the profitability of land in Ireland.

1684: Gottfried Leibniz

Answering questions using computation

Leibniz promotes the idea of answering all human questions by converting them to a universal symbolic language, then applying logic using a machine. He also tries to organize the systematic collection of knowledge to use in such a system.

1659: Central England Temperature Record

Temperature every day

A record is started that continues today.

1686: Edmond Halley

Mapping the winds

Edmond Halley creates a map showing prevailing winds at different locations.

1662: John Graunt

Inventing the idea of statistics

Graunt and others start to systematically summarize demographic and economic data using statistical ideas based on mathematics.

1687: Isaac Newton

Mathematics as a basis for natural science

Newton introduces the idea that mathematical rules can be used to systematically compute the behavior of systems in nature.

1665: Scientific Journals

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society begins publication.

1688: Joseph de la Vega

Prices in the stock market

Joseph de la Vega's book Confusion of Confusions describes fluctuations in Dutch stock market prices.

1668: John Wilkins

John Wilkins suggests a "philosophical language" in which concepts are encoded by pronouncable phonemes.

1700

1732: Poor Richard's Almanack

Benjamin Franklin publishes the first edition of his popular yearly (1732–1758) almanac.

1750

1750: Carl Linnaeus

Creating a taxonomy for life

Linnaeus systematizes the classification of living organisms, introducing ideas like binomial naming.

1786: William Playfair

Playfair's Commercial and Political Atlas graphically illustrates socioeconomic data and invents the pie chart.

1753: British Museum

Collecting everything in a museum

The British Museum is founded as a "universal museum" to collect every kind of object, natural and artificial.

1790: US Census

The first US Census is taken, as specified by the US Constitution.

1755: Munehisa Homma

Charting market prices

Munehisa Homma uses an early candlestick chart for prices in the Japanese rice market.

1792: Farmer's Almanac

Robert Bailey Thomas begins publication of the still-extant Farmer's Almanac.

1755: Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson publishes an English dictionary containing 42,773 words.

1795: The Metric System

Everything is decimal

France becomes the first nation to officially adopt the metric system of measurement.

1768: Encyclopædia Britannica

The Encyclopædia Britannica—and the Encyclopædie of Diderot and d'Alembert—attempts to summarize all current knowledge in book form.

1796: James Watt

Recording data by machine

James Watt and John Southern create (but keep secret for 24 years) a device for automatically tracing variation of pressure with volume in a steam engine.

1785: US Land Ordinance; British Ordnance Survey

Mapping whole countries

The US (1785) and UK (1791) governments begin creating detailed systematic maps of their countries.

Timeline of Systematic Data and the Development of Computable Knowledge

This art-quality 4'10" x 16" poster timeline of the History of Systematic Data and the Development of Computable Knowledge includes nearly 200 entries spanning millennia of events that have shaped the modern world of data and knowledge. Presented in its original version at the 2010 Wolfram Data Summit, this fascinating and impressive large-scale poster is the perfect piece of intellectual art for your library, office, or other wall, and is a unique gift for any enthusiast of data, technology, and its history.