Yesterday in San Francisco Edward Tufte spoke about ways to effectively and beautifully present data. One of the most striking examples he discussed was this, an infographic that describes the casualties suffered by Napoleon's army as they marched to and retreated from Moscow from 1812 to 1813.
The tan line at the top shows the procession; the black line shows retreat. Width of the line indicates the number of troops. The table at the bottom shows temperature. 422,000 troops depart from the origin; 10,000 were alive at the conclusion of the march. The dramatically thinned black line about halfway through shows the Grande Armee halved by losses in the Battle of Berezina.