People tell themselves stories about nature. Stories can transfer information from place to place and from generation to generation. We have the ability to develop our knowledge through culture. New instruments, new data, and new means of communication result in new interpretations of reality. Data visualization is a medium for exploration and storytelling. We use computers to map the genetic code. As billions of people interact online, we use statistics and probability to understand human behavior. Our ability to measure change in population, weather, natural resources leads us to a new understanding of civilization.