Superb investigative report on the fake locksmith scam

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If you've ever locked yourself out of your home and googled for a locksmith, you've seen that it's virtually impossible to reach a real local locksmith. Read the rest

Map shows countries that are due east or west from any spot in the Western Hemisphere

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What surprised me about this map is how far north the UK and Portugal are. The UK is above the continental US, and I would have thought Portugal would be closer to Mexico's latitude. [via] Read the rest

Who is the most corrupt of them all? 2016's international rankings out

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Transparency International released its annual Corruption Perception Index, an international ranking of where the government graft grows. Read the rest

Doppler radar weather map of the entire contiguous United States

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radar.weather.gov's "full loop" depicts the whole of the contiguous United States and is thereby useful for your winter weather anxiety needs regardless of where you reside. Above is a detail of the horrid weather currently being endured by Florida. Read the rest

Gorgeous infographics from the 19th century

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At the dawn of the 19th century, naturalist Alexander von Humboldt invented the "thematic map," pioneering infographics through the likes of maps annotated with zoological life, temperature, elevations, and other data meant to present an area's "physical phenomena into one image," according to this profile on Atlas Obscura.

Above, "a plate from Atlas of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos, illustrating the composition of the Earth's crust via color-coding."

Below, "a snowflake of clocks illustrates world time zones, with Dresden at the center. "

Read the rest

Animated map shows the Civil War's front lines in 5 minutes

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Watch the U.S. Civil War unfold a day at a time in this animated map. The creator, EmperorTigerstar, attempted to represent every single day's movements in the front lines, resulting in a fascinating view of the conflict. He's made many more just like it. See your favorite war from a completely dehumanized perspective!

It's strange how some of the most superficially spectacular gains and losses on land were mostly side-events to more important battles. To look at this map, you'd guess the critical events of October 1862 happened somewhere in Kentucky. On the other hand, Sherman's March to the Sea is like OMGGGGGGGG it's all over now. [via] Read the rest

Yet another unofficial New York Subway map redesign

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Wonkblog explains "why designers can’t stop reinventing the subway map." It's an abstraction problem generally solved by Read the rest

A world map of your surname's prevalence

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Forebears.io charts the worldwide prevalence of your surname and offers interesting stats on its distribution. [via]

Pictured above is "Beschizza," which originates in northern Italy (allegedly a locally-assimilated Roma name, it has splendid connotations in German of crappiness and drunkenness, a la "shitfaced" or, more literally, "beshitted") but everyone went to Brazil and England about a century ago. Read the rest

Map of businesses with puntastic names

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Atlas Obscura and Digg have generated an incredible interactive map of punnish-named businesses, neatly organized by category.

The pain mixed with pleasure of, say, something as evocative as Hannah and Her Scissors, or something as plainly wrong as A Shoe Grows in Brooklyn surrounds us. After picking through duplicates, over 1,900 businesses made the map, which we think makes it the most complete pun business name map in the world.

There isn't, to my eye, any discernible concentration to set the map apart from population density and the well-known "resort bonus" increasing the numbers of restaurants and bars on coastlines. Which is to say, everyone in America's vast cultural tapestry are yet equal offenders when it comes to puns.

Be sure to filter by editors' choice. For example, "Floral and Hardy," an Oklahoma City florist, and "What Were You Inking?" a tattoo-removal specialist in Denver. Read the rest

The Mercator Puzzle reminds you how deceptive maps can be

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The Earth is round, and maps are flat. While we have may mapped nearly every inch of our world, figuring out how to translate that information from three dimensions to two remains a problem. Read the rest

Interactive map lets you be global warming, shrinking the ice cap

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The Atlantic: "On September 11 of this year, the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean reached its annual minimum. 2015’s minimum was the fourth-smallest ever recorded, and it nearly tied with the third-smallest on record. Which makes a certain amount of sense: In the satellite era, the ten worst years for Arctic sea ice have been the last ten. Read the rest

Map shows you if leaves are falling without you having to leave house or approach window

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SmokyMountains.com has a delightful interactive graphic to show the turn of the season by county. Slide it and see! [via Kottke] Read the rest

London Underground releases official geographic map

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London's subway system switched early to an abstract map (PDF), and it became a legendary work of design. It just published an internally-used geographic version of map (PDF), however, for the first time in a century—and it's awesome. Read the rest

World map with countries the size of their stock markets

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Created by Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett, this illustration shows "free-float equity market capitalization" in billions of dollars. Read the rest

Watch weather forecaster nail pronunciation of: Llanfairpwll​gwyngyllgogery​chwyrndro​bwllllantysilio​gogogoch

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Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a village on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales, UK. Nice work, Liam Dutton of Channel 4. Read the rest

The Game of Thrones cartographer explains how to draw maps

How to draw a map - a tutorial on creating a map from sketch to finally rendered map
If you've ever wanted to make your own map—either of the real world or a fantasy world of your creation—these tips are essential.

Iceland names street after Darth Vader. It's called "Black-head."

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The Reykjavík City Council has approved a citizen-led effort to rename a street Svarthöfði, translated as Blackhead, which is the Icelandic name for Darth Vader. Read the rest

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