Map of the #1 song in countries all around the world

The Pudding's Music Map shows the number 1 song all around the world. It's like a weird game of Risk, a world of brief new empires rising in the wake of Despacito's worldwide domination. The data comes from YouTube's API and is tracked by city. Read the rest

Veiny map shows best car route from center of US to every county

Topi Tjukanov makes remarkable mapped data visualization, like this map of optimal routes by car from the geographic center of the contiguous United States to all counties. Read the rest

The size of the solar system if Earth were the volume of a basketball

Using a Google Maps overlay, Solar System Maps shows how large the solar system would be if Earth or other celestial bodies were much smaller than the are. Here's "Earth the size of a basketball," centered on SFO. The outermost ring is Pluto's orbit.

If Jupiter were the size of a tennis ball, Pluto's orbit could still encompass the British Library, the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament. Read the rest

A map of how long it takes to get to a city from anywhere on Earth

University of Oxford’s Malaria Atlas Project just published new research showing that 80.7 percent of the world's population live an hour or less from a city. (In the visualization above, "d" stands for "day" and "h" is for "hour.") The map takes into account transportation infrastructure across the globe. From Nature:

...New data sources provided by Open Street Map and Google now capture transportation networks with unprecedented detail and precision. Here we develop and validate a map that quantifies travel time to cities for 2015 at a spatial resolution of approximately one by one kilometre by integrating ten global-scale surfaces that characterize factors affecting human movement rates and 13,840 high-density urban centres within an established geospatial-modelling framework.

Our results highlight disparities in accessibility relative to wealth as 50.9% of individuals living in low-income settings (concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa) reside within an hour of a city compared to 90.7% of individuals in high-income settings. By further triangulating this map against socioeconomic datasets, we demonstrate how access to urban centres stratifies the economic, educational, and health status of humanity.

"Accessibility to Cities" Read the rest

A whimsical map of movies, geographically by genre

David Honnorat created The Great Map of Movieland, a delightful atlas showing 1,800 movies organized into regions by genres. Read the rest

Changes in life expectancy for people born since 1960

Posted to Reddit's Data is Beautiful subreddit (cf.), this animated map shows the growth in life expectancy for children born since 1960. Things get better, slowly. I'd expected to see declines in some parts of the world, and there are some temporary setbacks -- post-Soviet Russia drowning in the 1990s and subsaharan Africa at the height of the AIDS crisis, for example -- but it appears that nowhere is worse off now than in the past. Read the rest

Google Maps knows all

Google is way ahead of the competition when it comes to the detail and complexity of its maps, writes Justin O’Beirne, and its thanks to a relentless program of turning satellite and street view imagery into accurate 3D models of buildings. It knows where your rooftop AC units are, and it's showing them to the world. And it's now calculating the most interesting groups of buildings and depicting them as algorithmically-generated "areas of interest."
And as we saw in “A Year of Google & Apple Maps”, Google has been using computer vision and machine learning to extract business names and locations from its Street View imagery. In other words, Google’s buildings are byproducts of its Satellite/Aerial imagery. And some of Google’s places are byproducts of its Street View this makes AOIs a byproduct of byproducts. This is bonkers, isn’t it? Google is creating data out of data.

It appears the competition (Apple, Microsoft) are so far behind they don't even have the data they need to create the data that Google has. Read the rest

Only Chinese companies will be allowed to map Chinese roads

Self-driving cars require incredibly accurate, up-to-date maps; in China, only Chinese companies will be able to make these maps. Nominally, this is about preventing espionage, but it also has the non-coincedental effect of forcing foreign autonomous vehicle companies to partner with (much more easily controlled) Chinese firms, a policy already in place for traditional auto manufacturing. Read the rest

Infinitown: endless 3D-animated city in your browser

Infinitown is a three-dimensional city that lives in your browser, complete with folks going about their business and clouds drifting lazily overhead. It goes on forever, as the name suggests, in endless procedurally-generated loveliness. [via] There's something perfect about it: just enough suggestive detail to get the mind rolling, not so much that its shallows become too obvious, and a clean and colorful animation style. There's no game to it, but the creator, Little Workshop, published a traditional grid-based dungeon crawler with the same random map trickery and visual polish: Keepout. Read the rest

Medieval city plan generator

The Medieval city generator does just that, with the right balance of abstraction and detail to give your imagination space to put it to good use. (previously)
This application generates a random medieval city layout of a requested size. The generation method is rather arbitrary, the goal is to produce a nice looking map, not an accurate model of a city. Maybe in the future I'll use its code as a basis for some game or maybe not. Click one of the buttons to create a new city map of a desired size. Hover the mouse pointer over a building to see the type of the ward it belongs to. Press and hold SPACE to see all ward labels. Toy Town is a 3d-visualizer for this generator. One day it may become a separate native application or a part of the generator, or both.
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Cool interactive map of Rome's landmarks and related literary musings

Walks in Rome is an interactive map project that updates and modernizies a famous 1870 guidebook of Rome by August Hare. Read the rest

Interactive world map lets you create your own projection

The EarthWindMap not only animates our homeworld's air currents, but you can drag, zoom and warp the view to create unique projections of its surface.

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Computer-generated maps imagine America redivided into equal-population areas

America votes Democrat but elects Republicans, and it's all thanks to how the country is divided up.

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Map of separatist support in Europe

Compiled by redditor bezzleford, this map offers a rough view of support for independence in various European regions. Scotland and Catalonia are well-known hotspots, but I didn't know about Sardinia or Venice. And, of course, there's the good old Serb Republic!

"What does this map show?" - it shows the support for separatist movements that I could find data for in Europe

"How did you get these figures" - I made an average (usually three) of opinion polls which I will post below as part of my source. For some states I could only find 1 or 2 sources; Brittany (2), Galicia (1) and Republika Srpska (1)

"Why do you not have figures for Flanders, Lombardy etc." - Belgium was a very messy collection of statistics with no clear direction as to what the general support for partition or independence were.

"But 90%+ of Catalonians just voted for independence?!" - please don't attack me for this as I merely made an average (as stated above) of the three most recent polls which averaged out to 44% in support of independence.

"What about an Independent Northern Ireland" - since it was a higher figure, I used support for a United Ireland. But otherwise if anyone is curious support for an independent Northern Ireland is around 5-7%.

"Are there any overseas territories of EU states with data?" - Yes. New Caledonia plans on holding an independence referendum next year (an official, legally binding one) and support appears to be around a quarter 1


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London's amazing underground infrastructure revealed in vintage cutaway maps

Londonist's roundup of cutaway maps -- many from the outstanding Transport Museum in Covent Garden -- combines the nerdy excitement of hidden tunnels with the aesthetic pleasure of isomorophic cutaway art, along with some interesting commentary on both the development of subterranean tunnels and works and the history of representing the built environment underground in two-dimension artwork. Read the rest

Fantasy maps deemed terrible, or fine, depending

Maps of imaginary lands, as found illustrating the frontispieces of fantasy books since long before Tolkien, are usually so bad the only thing they chart is the ignorance and idiocy of the authors. As Alex Acks puts it, in the first a list of ten objections:

...terrible. Like geographically, geologically terrible. You’ve already probably seen me complain about the map of Middle Earth. From my experience as a reader, and I’ll readily admit that I have neither had the patience nor time to read every fantasy book ever written, the majority of fantasy maps make me want to tear my hair out as a geologist. Many of them are worse than the Tolkien map, and without his fig leaf of mythology to justify it. (And sorry, it’s not a fig leaf that works for me.)

Allow Paul Weimer to retort:

It might be facile to hashtag #notallmaps, but, really, not every map is a geologic mess,not every map is a Eurocentric western ocean oriented map, with an eastern blend into problematic oriental racial types. Not every map has borders which strictly follow natural barriers and does not have the messy irregularity that real world maps and borders have.

This is a hot issue right now because (its other virtues notwithstanding) Game of Thrones has such a terrible map it could be presented as a parody of bad fantasy maps.

Previously: awesome fantasy maps Read the rest

A (flawed) troll-detection tool maps America's most and least toxic places

The Perspective API (previously) is a tool from Google spinoff Jigsaw (previously) that automatically rates comments for their "toxicity" -- a fraught business that catches a lot of dolphins in its tuna net. Read the rest

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