Maps: Where would we be without them? This was banner year for beautiful, information-dense cartography, which provided a moment of self-reflection like a giant, geographic mirror. Here are our favorite maps from 2013 that helped us find our place in the world.
Why's your internet so slow? We mapped relative download speeds by congressional district across the contiguous U.S. in 5,600 cities and towns. Sadly, most of the country is far below the country's average of 18.2 megabits per second.
I love maps that tackle the great unanswered questions in our lives. Like what is the closest pizza chain within a 10-mile radius?
One of the coolest mapping tools we saw this year was Richard Saul Wurman's Urban Observatory, a site that lets you compare maps of cities using various datasets.
The New Yorker (who we've never really thought of as Budweiser people anyway) provide interactive proof that independent craft beers are marching across the country.
This incredibly ambitious project used satellite maps, real estate data, clipping farms, and Amazon's Mechanical Turk to count all the pools in L.A. The resulting "map" is a 2,700-page book.
Gorgeous and deadly, this map by the Visualization Lab at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charts the 11,967 tropical cyclones that have occurred on Earth since they began keeping a record in 1842.
This simple map shows countries with their landmass size adjusted according to their population: One grid square represents one million people.
This interactive map lets you not only see what counties Americans moving to and from, you can also make charts using census data for the past five decades.
Be prepared to spend the rest of your day here: Smithsonian takes 150,000 historic maps overlaid with current-day satellite maps to give us a real then-and-now perspective of changing American cities.
Mary, Lisa, Ashley, Emily, Emma, Isabella, Sophia: This seemingly infinite GIF from Jezebel was one of the most mesmerizing maps of all time. Who could forget the Great Jennifer-Jessica Era, or the Lost Amanda Years?
Besides being a real beauty, this map can tell you the age of any of New York City's 1,053,713 buildings, using the city's tax data.
Which states are book smart? The Atlantic examined educational achievement by county. The darker the region, the higher the graduation rate. Colorado, we salute you.
Be honest, where would you rather live? With a bunch of apricots or where you're mostly likely to get killed by lawnmowers? The answer, provided by The Doghouse Diaries, is clear.