People have been communicating through visual imagery for centuries. Before there were written words, there were pictographs, cave paintings and hieroglyphics. Archeological discoveries suggest that symbolic, iconic images used by the ancient Egyptians as a form of written communication represent the oldest forms of writing. Ancient cultures in China, Mesopotamia and the Americas also first used similar iconic systems before evolving native alphabets and modern written language systems. Thus, information graphics have always been a part of civilized culture. And, as human knowledge evolved through the Renaissance and the ages of Enlightenment and Reason, so did the use of maps, charts and diagrams as a method for recording important scientific, economic and social data, and later, as a method for communicating important information related to news and current events to the masses.