Why we love it

A new take on an old classic, the Minard map of Napoleon’s tragic march to Moscow is reimagined as a 3D space-time cube. We love the interactive pan, rotate, and zoom options. Time is on the vertical axis, anchored to a basemap that shows the location of cities. The slope of the line tells us how fast the troops were moving, and vertical lines are periods of no movement. Troop movement dwindles downward as soldiers fall victim to injury, illness, and harsh weather.

Why it works

New technology can make for new insight and give mapmakers a chance to present data in a rich new format. The Minard map showed a complex interplay of army size, location, direction, varying temperatures, and a devastating loss of French troops. This interactive 3D version shows all that, plus time spent in each location so we can really see how Napoleon’s decisions turned disastrous, even deadly.    

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