University of Chicago sophomore Sasha Trubetskoy spent a few weeks designing this amazing subway-style transit map of all the roads in the Roman Empire circa 125 AD. As Kottke notes, Rome constructed 250,000 miles of roads starting in 300 BC—over 50,000 miles of which were paved with stone—linking a total of 113 provinces from Spain to modern day Britain to the northern tip of Africa.
Trubetskoy pulled data from numerous sources, but took liberties where the history is fuzzy. “The biggest creative element was choosing which roads and cities to include, and which to exclude,” he shares. “There is no way I could include every Roman road, these are only the main ones. I tried to include cities with larger populations, or cities that were provincial capitals around the 2nd century.”
You can see the map in a bit more detail on his website, and if you donate a few bucks he’ll send you a hi-res PDF fit for printing. (via Kottke)
New York by playhouse_animation
Designing a public transit map can be a complicated process, taking months if not years to create a concise layout that can be interpreted quickly for commuters on the go. To make things easier to understand the obvious decision is to use symbolic geography in lieu of real maps so that everything fits in a legible manner. Over at the subreddit r/DataIsBeautiful, Reddit user vinnivinnivinni had thew idea to create an animated comparison of a Berlin subway map compared to its real geography. The post went viral and several other users chimed in with their own contributions. Gathered here are some of the best examples, but you can see a few more on Twisted Sifter (gotta love Austin).
Berlin by vinnivinnivinni
Tokyo by -Ninja-
Singapore by wrcyn
Shanghai by KailoB6
São Paulo by sweedishfishoreo
Washington D.C. by stupidgit
Oslo by iamthedestroyer
Montreal by weilian82
We’ve long been fans of the data-rich illustrations produced by Pop Chart Lab, and this new print is no exception. The Chart of Cosmic Exploration documents every exploratory endeavor into space spanning Luna 2 in 1959 to DSCOVR in 2015. The elegantly dense chart not only depicts the flight paths and orbits around planets, moons, comets, and asteroids, but also takes pains to illustrate some 100 exploratory instruments. The result is a shockingly clear overview of an immensely complex topic. The print is now available for preorder and begins shipping next week. (via Mental_Floss)
Update: The Chart of Cosmic Exploration is now available in the Colossal Shop.
When considering the historical path of a river, it’s easy to imagine a torrential flood that causes a stream to overflow its banks, or a drought that brings a body of water to a trickle. The reality of a river’s history is vastly more complex, as the artery of water gradually changes directions over thousands of years, shifting its boundaries imperceptibly inch by inch.
Geologists and cartographers have grappled with helpful ways to visually depict a river’s flow over time. In 1941, the Mississippi River Commission appointed Harold Fisk to undertake a groundbreaking effort to map the entire Lower Mississippi Valley. Three years later he produced a stunning series of 15 maps that combine over 20 different river paths obtained through historical charts and aerial photography.
The beautiful map seen here of the Willamette River Historical Stream Channels in Oregon by cartographer Dan Coe also shows the history of a river, however Coe relied on more recent aerial radar technology called lidar. From The Oregonian:
Lidar data is collected by low-, slow-flying aircraft with equipment that shoots millions of laser points to the ground. When the data is studied, an amazingly accurate model of the ground can be mapped.
It is possible to strip buildings and vegetation from the images, so that only the ground is shown. In the Willamette River poster, the shades of white and blue show elevations. The purest white color is the baseline, (the zero point, at the lowest point near Independence on the upper part of the image). The darkest blue is 50 feet (or higher) than the baseline.
The shades of white show changes in elevation, between 0 to 50 feet. This brings out the changes made by the river channel in the last 12,000 to 15,000 years, in the time since the landscape was basically swept clean by the Missoula floods.
The map is usually available as a print through the Nature of the Northwest Information Center, however the site appears to be down at the moment. (via Feltron, The Oregonian)
The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People cleverly organizes the daily schedules of famous artists, philosophers, writers, and composers as recorded in their own diaries and letters. Not only does it show how they switched gears between creating, sleeping, and leisure time, but the chart is fully interactive including quotes from each individual. I would love to see a version of this with modern creatives (and more women) as well. (via Coudal)
Update: The information used to create the infographic comes from the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.
Although the meaning behind these oil paintings by Atsushi Koyama is somewhat ambiguous, it’s easy to appreciate the exactness of his paintbrush that colorfully and elegantly depicts mechanical diagrams mixed with anatomical illustrations. Born in Tokyo, Koyama holds both a BFA in art from Tama Art University and a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Tokyo University of Science, so it’s no surprise to see a confluence of both backgrounds in his artwork. You can see more paintings from the last few years over at Frantic Gallery. (via Dark Silence in Suburbia, Hayden’s Magazine)