Iconographic Encyclopædia


Ridges poster


Scattered throughout the description of each subject in Iconographic Encyclopædia are 80–2,500 references to figures illustrated on 500 plates that accompany the text. These appear as “fig. 5“ or “pl. 3, fig. 45–47.”

Highlighted figure references in the first five pages of mathematics

The position of where each appears in the text was tracked and aggregated into groups, which were then plotted in order as a histogram that shows how many references to figures appear in each group of 3,000 characters from the HTML that structures them (larger circles and higher peaks = more references).

Top: Plot of where references in the first five pages of mathematics occur on a single horizontal line; bottom: histogram of figures aggregated into 3,000-character groups

This technique was applied to all references throughout the text for every subject and strung together into one continuous line. That line was then split into 50 equal parts and stacked vertically and stretched horizontally, resulting in the image above.

Histogram of figure references for all subjects split into TK segments for stacking

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