What were other characteristics of the story that made you decide to write The Ghost Map?
It turned out to fit my expectations or visions of a beautiful story about the interaction between different scales of experience. Once I actually sat down to research it, there were a number of things that I found that surprised me and that had not been in the traditional telling of the story. The map was a marketing vehicle for his idea. The other thing was the important role, which is very relevant today, of public data. The city had begun releasing more complex mortality reports a decade before the outbreak, and instead of just listing so-and-so died on this date, they would list so-and-so died of this age, this gender, this disease, this exact address.
Whatever data they had, they would release in these reports. Snow ended up using a lot of that data, in addition to his on-the-ground detective work to build a map, to build his case for the waterborne theory.
So that was a cool surprise. I mean, almost nobody talks about him, and he was crucial to the story. Can you elaborate? This is why the period is so interesting in a sense.
- Two Tales of a City.
- College of Arts and Sciences;
- Tudor and Stuart Britain: 1485-1714?
- Reframing the Conceptual Change Approach in Learning and Instruction (Advances in Learning and Instruction) (Advances in Learning and Instruction) (Advances in Learning and Instruction)?
- The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914?
- Fullerenes and Related Structures.
There were all these people looking around London in and saying: This is not sustainable. Human beings are not meant to live in this state, two and a half million people is just too large for a city to work.
Book Review John Snow
One of the biggest was how to deal with all the human waste that is created with two and a half million people so densely populated. Making it clear that that could happen — and conquering cholera within 12 years — is just a staggering achievement. And that became a blueprint for every big city in the world. It enabled us to build cities of 10 million and 20 million people without necessarily having to battle these diseases.
Now, developing-world megacities are trying to figure it out with 25 million people. That nicely leads to my next question. What are the main challenges these new megacities face?
Broad Street pump and the “Grand Experiment”
The root cause is that the growth in these megacities is coming in areas without traditional infrastructure. It may be that the way to deal this is to just build infrastructure and support them in a traditional way that we pioneered in the 19th century. Or maybe there are new solutions. There are actually.
There are a million examples of things like this, precisely because we now have Google Maps where we can drop datasets and anybody can do new dynamic maps of interesting social problems. There were some great improvised maps that were created after the earthquake and cholera epidemic in Haiti. What was the most memorable moment for you?
There was a talk by Alastair Parvin about this kind of open-source Creative Commons kit for building small houses, where two people with a 3D printer can assemble one in 48 hours. It was really cool, and his point was about releasing tools so that anyone can build a structure in those developing world megacities that we are talking about. An overwhelming number of the houses are actually built by members of the community cobbled with existing materials.
We have also added a page describing the genesis of the book project and its unifying thesis, a page containing extracts from pre-publication reviews and a list of reviewers, and a page with current e-mail address for the team of authors.
Cholera, chloroform and the science of medicine: A life of John Snow
Readers interested in references beyond those that we cited in the chapter notes which appear in the selected bibliography , and for titles that have appeared since publication of our biography, should consult the Additional Bibliography. For scholarly essays, presentations, and commentary, please consult the section on Interpretive Studies. We have also created a page containing other Web sites that may be of interest to you. About John Snow. Snow's Works. Interpretive Studies. Additional Bibliography.
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