Google Earth now available in VR

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A virtual reality version of Google Earth is now available on Steam for the HTC Vive. Viewers can walk around, or fly, or browse any number of recorded locations. Read the rest

Every country's tourism slogan

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FamilyBreakFinder created this map, featuring the slogans of every country's official tourism board. The key division, I think, is between ones that could apply to any country and ones that identify something specific to the country. [h/t Leigh]

Generic: USA: All within your reach Chile: All are welcome India: Incredible India

Specific Peru: land of the Incas Mongolia: Go nomadic Britain: What a knife island. Read the rest

Meet the small team producing some of the last handmade globes in the world

Bellerby & Co is one of the last companies that handmakes globes. It's a team of 15 people including woodworkers, painters, and a digital cartographer. (Great Big Story)

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A more accurate world map wins prestigious design award

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The grand prize winner of Japan's 2016 Good Design Award went to a world map, designed by Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa.

From Spoon & Tamago:

Narukawa developed a map projection method called AuthaGraph (and founded a company of the same name in 2009) which aims to create maps that represent all land masses and seas as accurately as possible. Narukawa points out that in the past, his map probably wasn’t as relevant. A large bulk of the 20th century was dominated by an emphasis on East and West relations. But with issues like climate change, melting glaciers in Greenland and territorial sea claims, it’s time we establish a new view of the world: one that equally perceives all interests of our planet.

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Google Maps Streetview Player animates any entered trip

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Created by developer Brian Folts, this nifty program "will take in either a starting point and end point, or a provided file of a route and provide a playthrough of the Google Streetview images that are available." Read the rest

ShipMap generates gorgeous maps of global shipping routes

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Here's a fun interactive map of global shipping. ShipMap allows users to selected color coding for ship types: container, dry bulk, tanker, gas bulk, and vehicles. It even lets you select animated ships on their routes. Read the rest

US unemployment timelapse highlights 2008 crisis

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It's difficult to comprehend the onset and severity of the 2008 financial crisis, but this timelapse map of US unemployment data from 1990 through July 2016 helps put things in context. Read the rest

Blueprint-style map of alternative music

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You're looking at Dorothy Studio's beautiful map of the history of alternative music, available as a poster from their website. Read the rest

Five years of American drought, visualized

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At Adventures in Mapping, John Nelson developed a sobering series of maps that visualize the intensity of the drought gripping much of the US: Read the rest

Geographically representative map of the London Underground

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The Transport for London tube map, building on Harry Beck's pioneering work in 1931, is rightly hailed as a masterpiece of simplification and clarity in data visualisation. Read the rest

Maps lie: countries that fit inside other countries

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We all know the traditional, navigator-friendly Mercator projection distorts the true sizes of Earth's landmasses. But it's fascinating to see how countries look next to one another when that distortion is, as far as possible, removed. The tininess of Britain against Japan, for example, or the vastness of Alaska against France, become specific in this video from RealLifeLore. As for Greenland... Read the rest

Frodo's trip to Mordor as a Google Map

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Mark Carpenter made this spot-on Google Map of Frodo's journey from Hobbiton to Mount Doom. Read the rest

The most common job in every state

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Most states being large and empty, the most frequent answer to the question "what is the most common job in your state?" is "truck driver." For everywhere else, teachers and software developers prevail. And where even roads are rare, farmers. Hawaii, though...

NPR's map is fascinating, though, in that you can jump back to earlier days. In 1978s, what did we all do before software development was the day job of millions?

What's with all the truck drivers? Truck drivers dominate the map for a few reasons.

Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation. A worker in China can't drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can't drive cars (yet).

Let's see about that in a decade. Read the rest

Can you design a better NYC Subway system?

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Brand New Subway is an online toy/game that lets you redesign, from scratch, New York City's mass transit system. The UI is complex and broken and slow to react to decisions (presumably in honor of the real subway), but once I gave up trying to actually make a better subway system the results were fun. Read the rest

World map of national cost obsessions

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What costs are the people of the world obsessed by? Cubans seem preoccupied with the prices of cigars, for example, and Venezuelans with gasoline. Koreans are fixated on rhinoplasty's damage to their plastic, while Russians just want to fly a MiG jet. Read the rest

Map of the world divided into 7 regions, one for each billion inhabitants

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I spotted this map on Twitter, showing the world divided into seven regions each of 1 billion people. The source appears to be National Geographic but it's not clear. (Update: it's be Reddit uset delugetheory) Read the rest

Sierra Leone is the roundest country

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Gonzalo Ciruelos set out to discover which country was the roundest in shape.

We can define roundness in many ways. For example, as you may know, the circle is the shape that given a fixed perimeter maximizes the area. This definition has many problems. One of the problems is that countries generally have chaotic perimeters (also known as borders), so they tend to be much longer than they seem to be.

For that reason, we have to define roundness some other way. We represent countries as a plane region, i.e., a compact set C⊂R2C⊂R2. I will define its roundness as

That's about where I tune out! Turns out the answer is Sierra Leone. Click through to see lots of mathy thingies on the screen, the runners-up, the least round countries, and the source code. Read the rest

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