Commonwealth War Deaths Visualised: World War One Data Timeline

Sunday, October 20th, 2013 at 6:48 pm

For the past few months I’ve been playing around with Commonwealth War Graves Commission data from the First World War. The loss of life during the First World War was massive, as we all know: but I’ve seen little in the way of visualisation of the true cost of all these figures.

World War One Data Timeline

So here’s my attempt at trying to visualise the massive death toll from the First World War: the Commonwealth World War One Data Timeline. Limited by the data set this only looks at the British, Australian, Canadian, Indian, New Zealand and South African dead during the war: it doesn’t account for the millions lost by Commonwealth Allies (such as France and the US) or the Entente Powers.

More importantly, it doesn’t show the amount of deaths after armistice or the death toll from the Spanish Flu in 1919.

Regardless, I find it an interesting yet tragic way to explore the First World War. I plan to write up the full story of how I developed the timeline, but for the moment I’m keen to do some iteration and polishing on the actual timeline. So please check out my First World War data visualisation — any feedback gratefully received.

3 Responses to “Commonwealth War Deaths Visualised: World War One Data Timeline”

  1. Ian Phillips says:

    I’m a history lecturer working at a University in the NW of England and have been doing some work based on the CWGC data for communities in the UK. I found your realisation of this data fascinating and very impressive – don’t think I’ve seen this presented so effectively. My work is more limited working with relatively simple databases to dig deeper into the narratives hidden in the data. If you might be interested in this smaller scale data please get in touch

  2. James says:

    Thanks for the comment Ian. I’m interested to see what you’ve done — I’ll send you an email.

  3. Steve Pitman says:

    I seem to spend half my life browsing Great War books & DVDs & websites. Like many others around the country I am now working with a group researching the names on our parish war memorial. Therefore I think I know quite a lot about this war, but I’ve NEVER seen any information about it quite as wonderful as your timeline, James. Simply brilliant. I am emailing links to everyone I know who has even the smallest Great War interest. A real triumph. Thank you. Steve

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