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

Just How Bad Is California's Drought? Here's A Scary, 10-Second Answer.

California continues to dry up. The latest figures indicate more than 80% of the state is in extreme drought, or worse, exceptional drought. These are sobering numbers, to be sure, but for an even better perspective on the drought's unprecedented progression, check out this GIF, created by L.A. Times reader Alvaro… » 8/09/14 4:34pm 8/09/14 4:34pm

Here's How to Explore the Moon and Mars in Google Maps

Everyone's favorite lil' rover, Curiosity, has now been rolling around Mars for two years. So it's high time Google Maps got in on the action—and now, to celebrate the anniversary, it's launched Maps for Mars and the Moon. Getting pin man into space is pretty easy, if you follow a few steps. » 8/07/14 11:09am 8/07/14 11:09am

History visualized through the life of the most important humans

Art historian Maximilian Schich put together this pretty visualization that records humanity's cultural history over 2,600 years. The blue and red dots you see above are the birthplaces and deaths for over 120,000 people who were "notable enough" to have their births and deaths recorded. » 8/01/14 10:18pm 8/01/14 10:18pm

World map created by plotting out each terrorist attack since 1970

It's incredibly sad that we can basically paint the map of our world just by using the locations of all terrorism acts since 1970. The brightest parts of the map show the areas of the world that have to deal with so much tragedy. The darkest parts are 'safe' because so few people live there. » 7/25/14 9:16pm 7/25/14 9:16pm

Google Maps App Now Gives Suggestions Based on Weather and Time of Day

The Google Maps app has proved invaluable for the intrepid urban explorer in navigating the city. Now a new update for iOS and Android can provide specific contextual details about what's around you depending on your location, time of day, and even the weather. So if it's raining (or about to), it will warn against… » 7/23/14 7:46pm 7/23/14 7:46pm

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

Explore New York City According to the Music It Inspired

New York City has not only provided the backdrop for a countless songs, but it's also birthed entire genres of music. So when you start to plot where each of these moments happened, you're soon left with a pretty exciting guided tour of one of the world's biggest cultural capitals. YouTube links make it even better. » 7/14/14 2:10pm 7/14/14 2:10pm

This Topographic Calendar Turns Your To-Do List Into an Actual Mountain

If you're finding yourself overwhelmed with all the work on your plate, it's probably a bad idea to keep track of it all on this lovely calendar Land Rover has made. Using the topography elevation lines you'd find on a 2D map as inspiration, this calendar ends up looking like a genuine miniature mountain on your desk,… » 7/11/14 5:20pm 7/11/14 5:20pm

The World's Offensive Place Names, Mapped

We've all sat in the passenger seat, notionally giving directions to a driver, but instead giggling at the slightly rudely named towns on the map. Fortunately, now you can find all those amusingly offensive place names, across the entire world, on one wonderfully juvenile interactive map. Maybe, perhaps, possibly a… » 7/11/14 7:30am 7/11/14 7:30am

Google Maps Update Lets You Measure Distances (or Aimlessly Doodle)

Ever try measuring the straight-line distance between two points on Google Maps? You had to hold some object or appendage up to the little scale, then eyeball-measure the distance on your screen. What a mess. No more—a new update puts the task a right-click away. Also, you can doodle with it. » 7/09/14 12:10pm 7/09/14 12:10pm

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