This is a pretty incredible find: a map of Middle Earth featuring annotations from its creator, J.R.R. Tolkien was recently discovered in a copy of a book owned by illustrator Pauline Baynes, which sheds some light on some of the inspiration behind it. »
It’s no secret that scientists are incredible, unrepentant geeks, so we really shouldn’t be surprised that the tentative maps for Pluto and Charon read like the most awesome mishmash of exploration history and popular culture to ever grace a planetary system. And every single place holds a story. »
If the world were mapped according to how many scientific research papers each country produced, it would take on a rather bizarre, uneven appearance. This image makes a dramatic point about the complexities of global inequalities in knowledge production and exchange. So what is driving this inequality and how can it… »
A group of researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Stanford University used NASA’s satellite images to chart the growth of the Chinese capital city, and one of their more interesting findings was the astounding rate at which Beijing has grown during the last 10 years.
Researchers at the University of California in Merced recently put together a look at where in the country you could survive on only local foods and concluded that 90% of the U.S. could make it. So should you be taking your grocery list out to your local fields? Nope, and here’s why.
There are just 32 pieces on a chessboard, but the number of patterns in which those pieces can move in the course of an individual game are astronomical. Still, as these maps show, despite all those different possibilities, each piece has a pretty clear pattern behind it. »
The world has over 200 million fewer hungry people than it did 25 years ago. So does that mean hunger is decreasing around the world? The answer is yes — but sadly, not everywhere.
Loads of video games (and movies, and TV shows, and comics, and books) have maps in them. You might think they’re there to stop you getting lost, but no. They’ve got a much more important role than that. »
For the most part, the things that kill Americans are fairly consistent from state to state. But as this new map by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clearly shows, not all states are equal when it comes to certain risks. »
Turns out it’s a lot. Industrious Imgur user Mattsawizard tabulated the miles it took Frodo and his erstwhile companion Samwise to get from Bag’s End all the way to Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the distance is 1350 miles — as long as it would take you to walk from Los Angeles, CA, to Austin, Texas. »
The shape of Missouri mostly makes sense: It’s bounded by straight lines and river routes, except for one deviation, where suddenly the state’s shape juts out randomly. It’s called Missouri’s bootheel — and it owes its creation to just one guy. »