# Timeline of *Systematic Data* and the Development of *Computable Knowledge*

## 1600

### 1604: *A Table Alphabeticall*

#### Organizing the English language

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

### 1614: John Napier

#### Multiplying numbers by simple addition

John Napier publishes the first tables of logarithms.

### 1623: Mechanical Calculator

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

### 1627: *Rudolphine Tables*

#### Cataloging the known universe

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

### 1637: René Descartes

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

## 1650

### 1650: Maria Cunitz

Maria Cunitz, a German astronomer, publishes *Urania Propitia*, which contains simplifications of Kepler's *Rudolphine Tables*.

### 1654: William Petty

#### Taking stock of economic activity

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

### 1659: Central England Temperature Record

#### Temperature every day

A record is started that continues today.

### 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.

### 1668: John Wilkins

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

### 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.

### 1686: Mapping the Winds

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

### 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.

### 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.

## 1700

### 1732: *Poor Richard's Almanack*

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

## 1750

### 1750: Creating a taxonomy for life

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

### 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.

### 1755: Candlestick charts

#### Charting market prices

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

### 1768: *Encyclopædia Britannica*

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

### 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.

### 1786: Pie Charts, or *Commercial and Political Atlas*

William Playfair's *Commercial and Political Atlas* graphically illustrates socioeconomic dates and invents the pie chart.

### 1792: *Farmer's Almanac*

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

### 1795: The Metric System

#### Everything is decimal

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

### 1796: 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.