Do you want some inspiration to create a visually stunning – yet fully optimized – data graphic? Well, let’s go back about a 140 years… Handsome Atlas [handsomeatlas.com], developed by Jonathan Soma of Brooklyn Brainery, provides a stunning new online interface to a large collection of beautiful data visualizations from the 19th century. While all the visualizations shown can already be found in some long list at the US Census website, this website is specifically designed so to encourage you to explore, investigate and enjoy.

All the featured data visualizations were originally printed in 3 different books, namely the Statistical Atlas of the United States of the year 1870, 1880 and 1890.

The Handsome Atlas interface displays each unique page of each book in a nicely, browseable table, while also providing a separate interface that allows you to zoom into each diagram, graph or map. In addition, one can filter and explore specific visualization techniques, such as for all pie charts or treemaps, or filter by specific subject matter, like ethnicity or population.