There Is No Such Thing As An Unbiased Map

Who knew that asking for directions to the Hollywood Sign could be such a complicated question? Well, it is. After writing recently that a group of residents have succeeded in effectively erasing the Hollywood Sign from Google Maps to lead tourists astray, I was floored by the response that came from every corner of… » 12/05/14 3:15pm 12/05/14 3:15pm

Why People Keep Trying to Erase the Hollywood Sign From Google Maps

The Hollywood Sign might be one of the most recognizable things on Earth. In Los Angeles, it's also one of the most visible. You can see it from a plane as you glide into LAX. You can see it from a car as you drive up the 101 freeway. But a group of people who live near the sign are trying to hide it, even as it looms… » 11/21/14 1:42pm 11/21/14 1:42pm

These Two Guys Want to Turn The Entire Planet Into a Typeface

Last we checked in with Benedikt Groß and Joey Lee, the designer and geographer had just finished counting the number of pools in LA (43,123). Now the duo hope to bring their somewhat-insane methodology to a similarly perplexing challenge: How do we find all the buildings on the planet that look like letters from the… » 10/14/14 3:17pm 10/14/14 3:17pm

Google and Microsoft Are Mapping Favelas So They Can Sell Things There

The twisting sidewalks and dizzying density of Brazil's favelas might deter most outsiders from navigating these crowded inner-city neighborhoods, which informally house about 1.5 million of the country's residents. Yet in the last few months, both Google and Microsoft have both been seen mapping their narrow streets… » 9/26/14 6:00pm 9/26/14 6:00pm

Watch How Open-Source OpenStreetMap Mapped the Globe In Just 7 Years

A decade ago, OpenStreetMap launched as a free, open-source alternative to the other mapping tools you may encounter on the internet. Turns out that the collaborative experiment worked exceptionally well, and thanks to a new site, you can see for yourself how the Wikipedia of mapping has covered the whole planet. » 8/11/14 3:30pm 8/11/14 3:30pm

Scientists Are Mapping the Ocean's Plastic Because 99 Percent Is Missing

Last week, some strange news swept the science internet: Much of the plastic scientists expected to find on the ocean's surface is gone, and no one knows exactly where it is. Now the scientists behind the research have shared a first-of-its-kind map of ocean plastic with National Geographic--and it could be key to… » 7/17/14 11:11am 7/17/14 11:11am

Watch How American Cities Grew Through Thousands of Historic Maps

Good thing it's almost the holiday weekend and you don't need to be productive because the USGS just launched a heck of a time-wasting website. Now you can explore cities through beautiful old maps, some dating all the way back to 1884. But here's the best part: You can mix and match many maps to tell your own… » 7/02/14 6:00pm 7/02/14 6:00pm

This Map Shows You The Fastest Way to Get Anywhere In Your City

Conventional wisdom (especially when it's raining) whispers in your ear that you can get anywhere in your city fastest by jumping in a car. Turns out in many cases, that is probably not true. Now you can easily see which mode of transit will deliver you to your destination faster, wherever you are. » 6/06/14 4:00pm 6/06/14 4:00pm

This Company Uses Earth's Magnetic Field To See Inside Buildings

In some ways, it's an ominous pitch. By measuring the "magnetic fingerprint" of any building in the world, the Finnish company IndoorAtlas can conjure up a startlingly precise indoor map of any building. It's technology that sci-fi has dreamt of for decades. But instead of surveillance, it's being used for shopping. » 5/20/14 5:20pm 5/20/14 5:20pm

Webcam Timelapses Used To Automatically Model Cities in 3D

The ability to see maps in buildings and landscapes in 3D makes following along considerably easier than with just 2D. So researchers at the University of Washington have made generating 3D models of a given location dead simple using custom software and nothing more than a webcam timelapse video of the spot captured… » 10/18/12 5:40pm 10/18/12 5:40pm