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The Roman Roads of Gaul Visualized as a Modern Subway Map

At a casual glance, some travelers may take the map above for a depiction of France’s enviable intercity high-speed rail network Train à Grande Vitesse, better known as TGV. In reality, its content predates that system’s inauguration in the early 1980s — and by nearly two millennia at that. This is in fact a map of Gaul, a region of Europe that, most broadly defined, included modern-day France, Luxembourg, and Belgium, as well as parts of Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany. Ruled ...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Europe, Maps, College, France, Germany, History, Rome, Netherlands, Belgium, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Gaul, Roman Empire, France Luxembourg


The Oldest Known Globe to Depict the New World Was Engraved on an Ostrich Egg, Maybe by Leondardo da Vinci (1504)

Image by Davidguam via Wikimedia Commons Every time you think you’ve got a handle on Leonardo da Vinci’s genius (which is to say, you think you’ve heard about the most important things he painted, wrote, and invented), yet more evidence comes to light of the many ways he meets the standard for the adjective “genius”…. Recently, Leonardo re-appeared not only as an inventor of futuristic military technology or discoverer of complex human anatomy, but also as the first European to depict the “New ...
Tags: Google, Art, Maps, London, College, Southeast Asia, History, Atlantic, Cambridge, Belgium, Newfoundland, Kim, North America, Library Of Congress, Pacific, Columbus


Behold All 42 Maps from Jules Verne’s Extraordinary Voyages, the Author’s 54-Volume Collection of “Geographical Fictions”

Jules Verne’s tales of adventure take his characters around the world, through the deepest seas, even into the center of the Earth—on journeys, that is, difficult or impossible in the 19th century. Verne himself, however, spent most his life in France, writing of places he had not seen. In one apocryphal story, the young Jules Verne is caught trying to sneak aboard a ship bound for the Indies and promises his father he will henceforth travel “only in his imagination.” Whether or not he made suc...
Tags: Google, Maps, College, France, Earth, Paris, Literature, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolkien, Alexandre Dumas, Facebook Twitter, Jules Verne, Josh Jones, William Faulkner, Dupuy, Durham NC Follow


40,000 Early Modern Maps Are Now Freely Available Online (Courtesy of the British Library)

Most of us do not, today, live in desperate need of maps. On the internet we can easily find not only the current maps we need to navigate most any territory on Earth, but also an increasing proportion of all the maps made before as well. You can find the latter in places like the David Rumsey Map Collection, which, as we wrote last year here on Open Culture, now boasts 91,000 historic maps free to download.  It will surely add even more, as humanity seems to have only just begun digitizing its...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Maps, London, Instagram, College, New York City, History, Earth, Britain, University Of Chicago, Flickr, Seoul, British Library, King, Lascaux


GPS Tracking Reveals the Secret Lives of Outdoor Cats

We track sharks, rhino, and bears, so why not Boo Boo Kitty, Peanut, and Pumpkin? The Long Island feline residents volunteered—or more accurately, were volunteered—by their human companions to participate in a domestic cat movement study as part of the international Cat Tracker project. Each beast was outfitted with a GPS tracker-enhanced harness, which they wore for a week. (Many cat owners will find that alone something of an achievement.) In total, almost a thousand households in ...
Tags: Google, Maps, UK, Science, Technology, College, US, Data, Nature, K-12, New Zealand, Long Island, Facebook Twitter, United States Australia, Roland Kays, Secret Lives of Outdoor Cats


Hand-Colored Maps of Wealth & Poverty in Victorian London: Explore a New Interactive Edition of Charles Booth’s Historic Work of Social Cartography (1889)

Mapping has always been contentious, no matter where you look in time. Maps preserve ideological assumptions on paper, rationalizing physical space as they render it in two dimensions. No matter how didactic, they can become political weapons. In the case of Charles Booth’s visually impressive Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, we have a series of maps whose own assumptions can sometimes seem at odds with their ostensible purpose: to improve the living conditions of London’s poor. Booth’s “col...
Tags: Google, Maps, New York, London, College, Bloomberg, History, Brighton, London School Of Economics, Lse, Craig, John Snow, Facebook Twitter, Booth, Josh Jones, Charles Booth


A New Interactive Map Shows All Four Million Buildings That Existed in New York City from 1939 to 1941

New Yorkers have borne witness to a noticeable uptick in the number of shiny, new buildings going up in the city over the last few years, crowding the waterfront, rising from the ashes of community gardens and older, infinitely more modest structures. Their developers have taken care to top load them with luxury amenities—rooftop cabanas, 24-hour fitness clubs, marble countertops, screening rooms. But one thing they can’t provide is the sense of lived history that imbues every old building ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Photography, Maps, New York, College, New York City, History, Architecture, Brooklyn, Manhattan, New York Public Library, Facebook Twitter, Russ, Works Progress Administration, Hudson Yards


3D Interactive Globes Now Online: Spin Through an Archive of Globes from the 17th and 18th Century

No matter how accustomed we've grown over the centuries to flat maps of the world, they can never be perfectly accurate . Strictly speaking, no map can perfectly capture the territory it describes (an impossibility memorably fictionalized by Jorge Luis Borges in "On Exactitude in Science" ), but there's a reason we also call the Earth "the globe": only a globe can represent not just the planet's true shape, but the true shape of the land masses on which we live. This is not to say that glo...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Astronomy, Maps, College, History, Museums, Sharp, Seoul, Jorge Luis Borges, Facebook Twitter, Cygnus, Rosetta Stone, Nefertiti, Hyperallergic, Buckminster Fuller


The History of the Plague: Every Major Epidemic in an Animated Map

All of us have tried to come to grips with the coronavirus in different ways. Here on Open Culture we've featured online courses to get you conversant in the science around the pandemic, but readers of this site will also have sought out the most pertinent works of history and literature. That goes especially for those in need of reading material while in states of quarantine or lockdown (self-imposed or otherwise), and any list of recommended books must include Daniel Defoe's A Journal ...
Tags: Health, Google, Europe, Maps, Milan, London, College, France, Africa, History, Middle East, Korea, Albert Camus, Seoul, Seville, John Snow


An Artist Tricks Google Maps Into Creating a Virtual Traffic Jam, Using a Little Red Wagon & 99 Smartphones

Sometimes the miraculous time-saving conveniences we’ve come to depend on can have the opposite effect, as artist Simon Wickert recently demonstrated, ambling about the streets of Berlin at a Huck Finn-ish pace, towing a squeaky-wheeled red wagon loaded with 99 secondhand smartphones. Each phone had a SIM card, and all were running the Google Maps app. The result? A near-instantaneous "virtual traffic jam” on Google Maps, even though bicyclists seem to vastly outnumber motorists alon...
Tags: Travel, Google, Maps, Technology, Instagram, College, Life, Berlin, New York City, Earth, Rome, Egypt, Airbnb, Google Maps, Facebook Twitter, U S Geological Survey USGS


Anyone can now create maps and stories on Google Earth

Google Earth is making a significant change to its product, with the addition of content creation tools that allow anyone to create maps and stories for its platform. The feature is an expansion of the Voyager program, launched in 2017, which then introduced guided tours from top storytellers, scientists, and nonprofits, like BBC Earth, Jane Goodall, Sesame Street, and NASA. Those tours combined text and imagery, including Street View and 360-degree videos, to immerse viewers in habitats around ...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, TC, Maps, Education, Microsoft, Tech, Nasa, Italy, Google-earth, Chromebooks, Cnbc, Classroom, Phil Schiller, Google Drive Google


How Humans Migrated Across The Globe Over 200,000 Years: An Animated Look

Coverage of the refugee crisis peaked in 2015. By the end of the year, note researchers at the University of Bergen, “this was one of the hottest topics, not only for politicians, but for participants in the public debate,” including far-right xenophobes given megaphones. Whatever their intent, Daniel Trilling argues at The Guardian, the explosion of refugee stories had the effect of framing “these newly arrived people as others, people from ‘over there,’ who had little to do with Europe...
Tags: Google, Europe, Maps, College, History, Npr, National Geographic, Facebook Twitter, University of Bergen, Josh Jones, Jesse James, Durham NC Follow, Joint School of Nanoscience, Angela Saini, Daniel Trilling, Joseph L Graves


The First High-Resolution Map of America’s Food Supply Chain: How It All Really Gets from Farm to Table

The phrase "farm to table" has enjoyed vogue status in American dining long enough to be facing displacement by an even trendier successor, "farm to fork." These labels reflect a new awareness — or an aspiration to awareness — of where, exactly, the food Americans eat comes from. A vast and fertile land, the United States produces a great deal of its own food, but given the distance of most of its population centers from most of its agricultural centers, it also has to move nearly as great a de...
Tags: Google, Maps, California, College, America, Los Angeles, United States, Food & Drink, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, Illinois, Seoul, Midwest, University Of Illinois, Facebook Twitter


The Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained: A (Pre-Brexit) Video Explains

I once played in a New York pub band with an Englishman, a Northern Irishman, and a Scotsman. This is not the setup for a joke. (We weren't that bad!) But I had questions. Were they all from different countries or different parts of one country called Britain, or Great Britain, or the grander-sounding United Kingdom? British history could be a contentious subject in such company, and no wonder given that the violence of the Empire began at home, or with the neighboring people who were ab...
Tags: Google, Europe, Maps, Politics, England, New York, Wales, Youtube, College, European Union, History, Britain, United Kingdom, Republic Of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Grey


Behold the New York City Street Tree Map: An Interactive Map That Catalogues the 700,000 Trees Shading the Streets of New York City

It may sound odd, but one of the things I miss most about living in New York City is the ability to hop on a bus or train, or walk a few blocks from home, and end up lounging in a forest, the cacophony of traffic reduced to a dim hum, squirrels bounding around, birds twittering away above. Such urban respites are plentiful in NYC thanks to its 10,542 acres of forested land, “about half as much as the Congaree Swamp in South Carolina,” notes James Barron at The New York Times, in one of the most...
Tags: Google, Maps, London, College, New York City, Environment, Data, Nature, Brooklyn, New York Times, South Carolina, Parks, Central Park, Prospect Park, East Village, Facebook Twitter


Download 91,000 Historic Maps from the Massive David Rumsey Map Collection

Three years ago, we highlighted one of the most comprehensive map collections in existence, the David Rumsey Map Collection, then newly moved to Stanford University. The Rumsey Collection, we wrote then, “contains a seemingly inexhaustible supply of cartographic images”—justifiable hyperbole, considering the amount of time it would take any one person to absorb the over 150,000 physical artifacts Rumsey has amassed in one place. By 2016, Rumsey had made almost half the collection—over 67,000 im...
Tags: Google, Maps, College, History, Ireland, Tolkien, Latin America, Cheltenham, West Indies, Great Britain, Facebook Twitter, U S Geological Survey USGS, Josh Jones, David Rumsey, Rumsey, Durham NC Follow


The Strikingly Beautiful Maps & Charts That Fired the Imagination of Students in the 1880s

We all remember the world maps that hung on the walls of our classrooms, the ones at which we spent countless hours staring when we couldn't focus on the lesson at hand. Did we look at them and imagine fleeing school for one of the far-off lands they pictured — or indeed finding a way to escape planet Earth itself? Such time-passing fantasies unite schoolchildren of all eras, though some eras have provided their schoolchildren richer material to fire up their imaginations than others. Take, fo...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Maps, Education, College, History, Earth, Chicago, United States, Seoul, Miller, Facebook Twitter, Leonardo da Vinci, Greg Miller, David Rumsey, Colin Marshall


How to pull off a tech-free family vacation the whole family will enjoy

It’s a full-blown modern challenge to get through even an hour of the day without using technology. So considering a tech-free trip for the entire family may seem insurmountable. While we acknowledge that there will likely be some discomfort at times, we’re happy to report that it’s certainly attainable. Here are some tips to get you headed in the right direction towards a tech-free family vacation. Preparations We are so accustomed to having technology at our fingertips that you might h...
Tags: Maps, Design, Technology, Camping, Education, Traveling, Activities, Environment, Features, Zoo, Chamber of Commerce, Nature / Environment, Family Vacation, Diner, iSpy, Matador Network Images


Animated Maps Reveal the True Size of Countries (and Show How Traditional Maps Distort Our World)

The world maps we know all misrepresent the world itself: we've all heard it many times before, but how well do we understand the nature of that misrepresentation? "For many people, the Earth as they know it is heavily informed by the Mercator projection – a tool used for nautical navigation that eventually became the world’s most widely recognized map," writes Visual Capitalist's Nick Routley. But the Mercator projection dates to 1569, and "the vast majority of us aren’t using paper maps to ch...
Tags: Google, Europe, Maps, College, Mexico, Russia, Earth, Canada, Greenland, North America, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Kaye, Colin Marshall, Mercator, Gerardus Mercator


Animations Visualize the Evolution of London and New York: From Their Creation to the Present Day

If you’ve ever lived in a metropolis like London or New York, you know the sometimes-disorienting feeling of experiencing several decades—or centuries—at once in the dizzying accretions of architecture, street, and park designs. Or, at least, if you’ve toured one of those cities with a longtime resident, you’ve heard them loudly complain about how everything has changed. Whether you study urban life as a historian or a city dweller, you know well that change is constant in the story of b...
Tags: Google, Maps, England, New York, London, College, New York City, Data, History, Manhattan, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Lenape, Durham NC Follow, London Time Machine, Polly Hudson


How Leonardo da Vinci Drew an Accurate Satellite Map of an Italian City (1502)

When I look at maps from centuries ago, I wonder how they could have been of any use. Not only were they filled with mythological monsters and mythological places, but the perspectives mostly served an aesthetic design rather than a practical one. Of course, accuracy was hard to come by without the many mapping tools we take for granted—some of them just in their infancy during the Renaissance, and many more that would have seemed like outlandish magic to nearly everyone in 15th century ...
Tags: Google, Art, Europe, Math, Maps, College, History, Vox, Carl Sagan, Facebook Twitter, Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci, Josh Jones, Borgia, Imola, Vitruvius


A Visual Map of the World’s Major Religions (and Non-Religions)

Images by Carrie Osgood “The nones are growing,” we hear all the time, a reference to the huge increase in people who check the “none” box in documents that ask about religious beliefs. In the U.S., at least, the response to this news seems to be fivefold: fear, denial, anger, celebration, and speculation that can seem to go beyond what the data warrants. National Geographic, for example, trumpets “The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion,” though it’s not exactly clear what no religion m...
Tags: Google, Europe, Maps, College, China, Religion, Czech Republic, Islam, Facebook Twitter, Jacobs, Osgood, Josh Jones, United Nations Population Fund, Durham NC Follow, Buddhism Taoism, Free Yale


A Visualization of the United States’ Exploding Population Growth Over 200 Years (1790 – 2010)

The U.S. is barely even an adolescent compared to many other countries around the world. Yet it ranks third, behind China and India, in population. How did the country go, in a little over 200 years, from 6.1 people per square mile in 1800 to 93 per square mile today? We’ve previously featured maps of how the real estate came on the market. And we’ve brought you a map that tells the locations and stories of the peoples who used to live there. The map above takes a different approach, showing...
Tags: Google, Maps, College, China, India, Data, History, United States, Oklahoma, Facebook Twitter, Desjardins, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Jeff Desjardins, Center of Planet Earth


A Tactile Map of the Roman Empire: An Innovative Map That Allowed Blind & Sighted Students to Experience Geography by Touch (1888)

From curb cuts to safer playgrounds, the public spaces we occupy have been transformed for the better as they become easier for different kinds of bodies to navigate. Closed captioning and printable transcripts benefit millions, whatever their level of ability. Accessibility tools on the web improve everyone’s experience and provide the impetus for technologies that engage more of our senses. While smell may not be a high priority for developers, attention to a sense most sighted people tend to...
Tags: Google, Europe, Maps, College, History, United States, Michigan, Facebook Twitter, Howe, Klemm, Josh Jones, Roman Empire, Perkins School, Durham NC Follow, Smithsonian Museums, Rebecca Onion


Vintage Geological Maps Get Turned Into 3D Topographical Wonders

What good is an old-fashioned map in the age of apps? One need not be a mountaineer, geoscientist, or civil engineer to get the topographical lay of the land with a speed and accuracy that would have blown Lewis and Clark’s minds’ right through the top of the lynx and otter toppers they took to wearing after their standard issue army lids wore out. There’s still something to be said for the old ways, though. Graphic designer Scott Reinhard has all the latest technological advances at his di...
Tags: Google, Maps, Design, Technology, College, New York City, History, United States, K-12, Jason Kottke, Lewis, Facebook Twitter, Clark, U S Geological Survey USGS, U S Geological Survey, Hoosier State


America at War: Infographic Reveals How the U.S. Military Is Operating in 40% of the World’s Nations

Earlier this month, NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin ended a 30-year career as a journalist, announcing in a “scathing letter,” Democracy Now! reports, that “he would be leaving the network. Arkin accuses “the media of warmongering while ignoring the, quote, ‘creeping fascism of homeland security.’” He does not equivocate in a follow-up interview with Amy Goodman. “The generals and the national security leadership" are also now, he says, “the commentators and the analysts who populate the...
Tags: Google, Maps, Politics, Nbc, College, Africa, America, Cnn, Fox, Current Affairs, Middle East, Army, Smithsonian, Cornell, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones


The Largest J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit in Generations Is Coming to the U.S.: Original Drawings, Manuscripts, Maps & More

"I first took on The Lord of the Rings at the age of eleven or twelve," writes The New Yorker's Anthony Lane. "It was, and remains, not a book that you happen to read, like any other, but a book that happens to you: a chunk bitten out of your life." The preteen years may remain the most opportune ones in which to pick up the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, but whatever the period in life at which they find their way in, most readers who make the journey through Middle-earth never really leave th...
Tags: Google, Art, Books, Maps, New York, College, America, Seoul, Middle Earth, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolkien, Morgan, Facebook Twitter, Anthony Lane, Lane, May


An Archive of 800+ Imaginative Propaganda Maps Designed to Shape Opinions & Beliefs: Enter Cornell’s Persuasive Maps Collection

We tend to take a very special interest in archives and maps on this site—and especially in archives of maps. Yet it is rare, if not unheard of, to discover a map archive in which every single entry repays attention. The PJ Mode Persuasive Cartography Collection at Cornell University Library is such an archive. Each map in the collection, from the most simplified to the most elaborate, tells not only one story, but several, overlapping ones about its creators, their intended audience, their ant...
Tags: Google, Asia, Europe, Maps, Politics, England, Wales, College, China, Russia, United States, Napoleon Bonaparte, Hitler, Archives, Robert Louis Stevenson, New York Times Magazine


An Archive of 800+ Propaganda Maps Designed to Shape Opinions & Beliefs: Enter Cornell’s Persuasive Maps Collection

We tend to take a very special interest in archives and maps on this site—and especially in archives of maps. Yet it is rare, if not unheard of, to discover a map archive in which every single entry repays attention. The PJ Mode Persuasive Cartography Collection at Cornell University Library is such an archive. Each map in the collection, from the most simplified to the most elaborate, tells not only one story, but several, overlapping ones about its creators, their intended audience, their ant...
Tags: Google, Asia, Europe, Maps, Politics, England, Wales, College, China, Russia, United States, Napoleon Bonaparte, Hitler, Archives, Robert Louis Stevenson, New York Times Magazine


A Map of the U.S. Created Out of 1,000 Song Titles That Reference Cities, States, Landmarks & More

According to Leonard Cohen, songwriting is a lonely business, but there’s nothing for it, he sings in “Tower of Song,” when you’re “born with the gift of a golden voice" and when “twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond” tie you to a table and make you write. Just where is Cohen’s tower? Maybe Montreal, his hometown, or his adopted city of L.A.? He doesn’t tell us, though we do know Hank Williams lives 100 floors above, so there's a good chance that it's not a place on earth. Cohen the poet h...
Tags: Google, Music, Florida, Maps, College, Chicago, David Bowie, Pasadena, Dorothy, Leonard Cohen, Cohen, Facebook Twitter, Sutter, Hank Williams, Mark Knopfler, Nazareth



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