Russian-language thematic map of canal traffic, in the style of Minard

Ministry of Transport Statistics Division, [“Movement of Ships and Rafts along Artificial Waterways in the Year 1892.”] St. Petersburg: B.R. Panteleev Publishing House, Verejskaja St. no. 16, 1892.
6-stone lithograph, 28 ½”h x 23 3/8”w at neat line plus margins.

A fine Russian-language thematic map showing the flow of goods by “artificial waterways,” using graphic techniques pioneered by Charles Joseph Minard.

The map—two maps, actually—depicts shipping along Russia’s canal system, with the thickness of lines corresponding to the volume of traffic. The upper map depicts traffic between the St. Petersburg-Lake Ladoga region and the Volga, while the lower depicts trade with Austria and Prussia along the Bug and Vistula Rivers and associated canals. Per the key at upper right, colors differentiate goods carried by steam-powered vessels (orange), non-steam-powered vessels with and without cargo (brown and tan respectively), and rafts (green). A full translation of the Russian text on this map will be provided on request.

This graphical technique is now known as a “Sankey diagram” after Matthew Henry Phineas Riall Sankey (1853-1926), who employed it in 1898 to depict the efficiency of steam engines. It was however popularized considerably earlier by Charles Joseph Minard (1781 – 1870), a French civil engineer remembered today for his contributions to the field of the visual display of information, in particular the representation of numerical data on maps. His most famous use of a Sankey diagram is his depiction of losses suffered by Napoleon’s Grand Army during the Russian campaign of 1812 (Carte figurative des pertes successives en hommes de l’Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813).


Some minor offsetting and soiling, minor separations along old folds not affecting image.