News

Will You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

If a zombie apocalypse broke out in America this moment, long would you last? Where's the place with the highest chance of survival? The brilliant folks at theWashington Post's Wonkblog decided to mark the return of AMC's The Walking Dead  with a detailed interactive map measuring "Zombie Apocalypse Survivability" by region.  

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Explore the Lush, Overgrown Ecology of 1600s Manhattan

Before bankers and club kids, Manhattan had gray wolves, harbor porpoises, and the Lenape (aka Delaware Indians). Now New Yorkers can explore where these historical humans and wildlife likely roamed—right down to the block they live on today.

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NASA's trippy Ceres map shows what the dwarf planet is made of

No, you're not looking at an artist's watercolor impression of the Moon. That's NASA's false-color map of Ceres, generated using a mix of infrared and visible light filters onboard the Dawn spacecraft currently orbiting the dwarf planet. The resulting psychedelic freakout isn't just for show, of course. The surface temperatures reflected in those colors give scientists an idea of both Ceres' mineral contents and the age of its many craters and ridges. Reddish hues reveal materials that reflect infrared light, while green highlights spots that are much brighter than usual. Even if humanity never touches down on the planet's surface, you'll eventually know what you could expect from a first-hand visit.

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A Bizarrely Complicated Late-19th-Century Flat-Earth Map

This map, published by South Dakotan Orlando Ferguson in 1893, offers a unique vision of the Earth as a concave field, with a round convex area in the middle. Surrounded by Bible passages arguing against the idea of a spherical Earth and embellished with a small illustration of men grasping desperately onto a spinning globe, the map begs its viewers to order Ferguson's book on "this Square and Stationary Earth," which "knocks the globe theory clean out." 

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The Horsepower Map of the United States

Remember the days when progress was measured not in bandwidth, but in horsepower? Of course not; you're not 100 years old. And so you never pored over this map as an impressionable teenager. 

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A State-by-State Map of Where Immigrants Came From

U.S. migration patterns changed plenty from 1850 to 2013. A nifty interactive map, created by the Pew Research Center, visualizes these shifts by showing the origin of the dominant immigrant group in each state for every decade during this time period.

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Beautiful, Informative Maps of the Moon

The editors of Sky & Telescope have a close, decades-long friendship with the talented planetary scientists and cartographers at the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. Over the years the "Flag" team has been instrumental in preparing the base maps used for our planetary globes, and the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature it maintains for the International Astronomical Union is the unrivaled, go-to source for information about named solar-system features. 

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6 stunning maps uncover hidden details of the Earth and moon

People have been drawing maps for thousands of years. A grouping of dots on the walls of the Lascaux caves in southern France, for example, is thought to be a prehistoric map of the night sky. As mapmaking evolved, new forms of representation came about and cartographers started highlighting different features of the landscape. These shifts are charted in the 300 maps presented in the book Map: Exploring the World. Here are a few of our favourites.

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The Map of Literature combines centuries of books and poems in one gorgeous illustration

Romanticism serves as the bridge between realism, enlightenment, and fantasy in 17-year-old Martin Vargic's meticulously comprehensive Map of Literature. Vargic is a self-appointed illustrator of brilliant worlds made out of our own ideas. The Map of Literature, which reviews writers of drama, poetry, nonfiction, and prose works, is one of 64 and infographics featured in his new book Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps: Mapping Out the Modern World (Penguin hardback available in US/UK).

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Mountains and Skyscrapers Made from Maps and Books

Blocky skylines made from stacked books dominate one side of the gallery in Chinese artist Ji Zhou's new show at Klein Sun Gallery and first U.S. solo show, Civilized Landscape, while crinkled maps become mountain ranges on the other. This dichotomy is at the heart of the exhibit, Ji Zhou tells The Creators Project. "My concerns lie in why more and more cities are becoming visually identical and boring in their cityscapes," he says.

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History As Big Data: 500 Years Of Book Images And Mapping Millions Of Books

The terms “big data” and “massive data analytics” likely conjure thoughts of the modern world, of hundreds of millions of tweets or billions of Facebook FB +0.00% posts streaming in real time into gleaming data centers filled with blinking lights. Libraries, on the other hand, filled with endless rows of dusty books, are likely not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, what if we could use libraries to reimagine our past, creating a gallery of all the images from half a millennium of books or creating a 215-year animated map of human history as seen through millions of books?

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Forest-mapping instrument for space station passes major milestone

A laser-based instrument for mapping the 3-D structure of Earth's forests has passed a major milestone toward deployment on the International Space Station (ISS). The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), led by the University of Maryland, College Park, and built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, successfully transitioned to "Phase B," moving from requirements development and mission definition to preliminary design. GEDI will provide the first comprehensive, high-resolution measurements of the vertical canopy structure of Earth's temperate and tropical forests.

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An Internet Map To Rule Them All

Despite the fact that we use it every day, most of us don't really know where the Internet comes from or how it works. Hint: it's not magic, and it's not exactly a 'series of tubes'.

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