The World History Timeline it's a beautifully crafted time wall chart compressing major historical events and human acheivements in thousands of years, on a 195 cmx134 cm or 78"x53" frame.
In the author's words:
It took more than four years to work out this timeline in a coherent and enlightening manner. The structure of this timeline is set up to facilitate interdisciplinary understanding of diverse intellectual, artistic and scientific movements, discoveries, and cultural developments. The history of the sciences, literature, art, music, philosophy, religion and political milestones, have been mapped in a coherent and synchronoptic manner.
The map has an interesting structure: a large part of it (about 80% of its width, on the left side) is devoted to events spanning a time period between 3000 BC and 2000, covering literature, religions, art, evolution, etc. On the remaining space, on the right side, there are modern items like economics, sociology, biology, etc. Here is a picture making its structure clear.
I think this is a very powerful example of how vital and useful visualization can be. I like the idea of visualization as a discipline not necessarily related to computer screens. I can imagine the impact of a chart like this in a classroom to let boys and girls understand history at a glance and stimulate their curiosity. Also, this is yet another example of how one of the primary purposes of visualization is the illustration of complex information in a way that understanding becomes easy.
In fact, it's strange how much relevance is given to the role of discovery in visualization over understanding (or as I prefer saying "making sense of data"). Sure, the discovery of previously unknown information is valuable and exciting but it is extremely rare and, in any case, understanding is always a prerequisite of it.
By the way, if you are interested the wall chart can be preordered from here. I think I'm going to buy one!
[thanx to Bruno, via pasta&vinegar. ]