Interactive map of "history's greatest journeys"

Our pals at GOOD created a fascinating interactive infographic documenting "history's greatest journeys," including trips from travelers like Amelia Earhart, Ken Kesey, Columbus, and Jack Kerouac. Notably absent though is Albert Hoffman's bicycle ride. Good traces the most famous trips in history (Good Magazine)


  1. How odd that this graphic notes wimpy little jaunts like that of deSoto or Pizarro but ignores\ major undertakings like those of Nikolai Przhevalsky, who explored China, the Tien Shan mountains, much of Central Asia and Turkestan, during 5 expeditions. This is a pretty major omission.

  2. It’s also strange that they note Lewis & Clark’s journey – when they don’t show Alexander Mackenzie’s transcontinental journeys to the Pacific and Arctic oceans more than a decade earlier.

  3. What the hell is the Union Pacific Railroad? The CNR was far greater and far more of an adventure?

    Lewis and Clarke? Late comers, try Alexander Makenzie or David Thompson or Simon Fraser.

    Where is Ibn Battua the great Arab traveller? Herodotus? Pytheas the Greek? Hanno the Carthaginian? Zhang Quian who traveled from China to Syria in 130 BC?


  4. Also sadly missing – Tania Aebi, the first American woman and youngest person to sail around the world solo.

  5. I just clicked on that thread from @1’s post. That woman takes the cake.

    I’m also reminded of Don Starkell who paddled a canoe from Winnipeg,Manitoba to the mouth of the Orinoco river and then up the Orinoco and down the Amazon to the mouth of the Amazon.

    Obviously these people didn’t bother to spend more than 5 minutes looking through an old American history text.

  6. Kingsley Holgate would probably not be known to people in the rest of the world but here in Southern Africa he is a legend having undertaken many epic and most times humanitarian journeys throughout Africa and beyond – including the ‘Capricorn Adventure’ where he and his wife and son circumnatigated the world following the Tropic of Capricorn. Heck he even looks the part with bushy white hair and an equally bushy white beard!

    See: for more on the man.

  7. Ok.

    Here is Ibn Battuta

    David Thompson and Simon Fraser

    Alexander MacKenzie (and a fabulous site on the exploration of North America

    Pytheas & Herodotus

    Hanno of Carthage

    And here is the CPR

    All found within 20 minutes.

  8. Around the World in 80 days…
    That is a story about British men being on time places,
    …and paying people to drive boats faster
    …and a servant who loves his boss
    …and colonial-era-style racism,sexism, etc.

    It represents nothing good about adventure as a genre

  9. Joshua Slocum: the first solo circumnavigation of the globe! has a really good reading of his book available (for free!).

    The Shackleton Expedition to the South Pole!

    I’m seconding the Rick Hansen and Don Starkell nominations; both astounding examples of guts and mental/spiritual strength and growth. I can still remember both of ’em doing regular on-the-phone updates to CBC’s Morningside with Gzowski over the course of their voyages.

    Marco Polo? Have you actually ever read ‘The Travels’? Do you actually really think any of it was the truth?
    Well, I’ve read it, cover to cover. I think “Writing MS-DOS Device Drivers” was a more interesting read, with a more substantial plotline.

    I’m not even going to bother commenting on “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.

  10. Wow, this thread is a goldmine of explorers I’ve never heard of.

    Keep it! I want to read more about people like this that my US public education has ignored!

  11. im witcha battlehobo! i can’t believe noone has even mentioned thor hyerdahl! anti viking indeed! kon tiki!

  12. I think it’s a great idea and they should definitely build on it.

    I don’t get the snarkiness though. I was missing Ibn Battuta (his opinions of the filthy Europeans make for great reading) but I’m not going to fault a really cool project for not being utterly complete.

  13. At last we can find Amelia Earhart! If only it included Jimmy Hoffa we could follow the map to him as well!

  14. I should probably register an account first, but the omission of the voyages of the Chinese eunuch admiral Zheng He is pretty glaring to me. Others probably worthy of inclusion include Tschiffely’s journey from Buenos Aires to D.C. on horseback,and Hugo Eckener’s trip around the globe aboard the Graf Zeppelin. It’s a good map, but I think real voyages deserve precedence over fictional ones.

  15. They also left off the amazing adventures of Captain Gladys Stoat-Pamphlet and her intrepid spaniel Stig amongst the giant pygmies of Corsica.

  16. Share your Trip!

    Would have been cool if they had done this as a Google Maps extension allowing people to submit new paths, pictures, prose. Lots of people posting here with additional material. The trips could be categorized / tagged: by era, by fiction/non-fiction, by some more arbitrary notion of type of trip from nationalistic world exploration to personal discovery.

    Of course it would then require a censor mechanism – public voting seems to work well – lots o good votes, leave it in, lots o bad votes, drop under visibility threshold.

  17. Don’t forget about Vasco da Gama’s journey to India:

    He was the one to acomplish what Columbus was trying to when he discovered America.

    Before him there were other great Portugueses explorers who paved his way like Bartolomeu Dias, who was the first to “bend” de then named “Cape of Storms” so that from that day on it is known has “Cape of Good Hope” (the “hope” was to eventually get to India):

  18. What about Xuanzang? He’s both real and an inspirational figure for a great Ming dynasty novel:

    He traveled from China to India in 629.. took 17 years to come back. He mastered many languages and brought back many sutras.

    In Journey to the West he’s a fictional character aided by several magical helpers (including the monkey king).

  19. Hey, what about my Expedition To Fetch The Mail? It’s a mile or so each way and I do it on *foot*! Watching for bears and cougars at all times, not to mention incompetent boonies drivers. I don’t even take a map….

  20. Oh, David, Albert Hoffman took the same old route daily. What was different about the bicycle ride he took that day wouldn’t show up on any map.

  21. Where’s Captain Jack Black, he always seems to end up bobbing around in a little boat on his own in the middle of the sea.

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself, I’ll just shuffle over to that corner and hang my head in shame.

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