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May 1, 2017 AT 9:00 am

People Have Been Using Big Data Since the 1600s

Wenceslas hollar plan of london before the fire state 2 variant 1

Fun story about one of the earliest known uses of big data from SmithsonianMag.

John Graunt may have helped to invent the idea of public health statistics, but by day he made hats.

Graunt, born on this day in 1620, was a London haberdasher who was the first to start putting together the information about how people died in the city to help gain a broader understanding of the causes of death and how people lived. In doing so, he gave people a tool that helped pave the way for all kinds of public health innovations, but he also created a historical document that conveys how authorities saw death and life in 1600s London.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/people-have-been-using-big-data-1600s-180962949/#AByfJ7BdDpJSUABG.99
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