A Delightful, Hand-Drawn Map of New York City

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Following 3-months of research and hard work, British illustrator Jenni Sparks has created a fantastic hand-drawn map featuring the lovely city of New York. The piece repeats the talents we saw in her earlier effort creating a map of London, with this version perhaps even surpassing that fine work. Bold lines trace her 3D renditions of the city’s famous architecture, from the Flat Iron building to the Empire State Building; and locations like Union Square to Central Park.

Taking The Subway From New York to Chicago

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Heading home for the holidays? Maybe your folks live back in Brooklyn, or maybe they live out in the sticks. Just how far and where could you get if the NYC subway lines were laid end-to-end in one direction?

One Hot Year: Visualizing US Fires in 2012

By just about any standard, 2012 was a massive year for U.S. wildfires. According to data from both the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and NASA, over 9.1 million acres burned this year… and that was only tracking until November 30th. That figure places 2012 as the 3rd most wildfire filled year since 1960, and with the total number of fires being 55,505 – a relatively low number – the year holds the current record for the largest average fire size.

Swedes Love Their Milk… and China is Allergic

This just in: swedes love their milk… big time. This map made a splash on Reddit recently when it was pointed out that there is some serious love for the white beverage in the northern european country, as well as its neighbor Finland, the Netherlands, Greece and Switzerland. Ranking low on this map: China.

Let’s Get Retro Happy: Illustrations by Lotta Nieminen

These illustrations from Helsinki Finland born illustrator Lotta Nieminen, have a positively refreshing happiness to them. Perhaps it’s the heavy dose of mid-century nostalgia in their retro aesthetic, or maybe it’s the often intoxicating world-travel themes which so often appear in her work. I wouldn’t be surprised if she could take the most un-appealing places and – using her highly textured minimalist style – distill them down into something desirable and charming.

A Campaign Map, Morphed By Money

Every 4 years, as Americans rush to the polls and cast their vote for a new president, we’re familiar with seeing the typical U.S. maps of red and blue denoting how states are favoring each candidate. But what information does this really give us? With the electoral college having only a portion of electors allotted to each state (based on that states population) the actual voting power of a state has little to do with its geographical size. How can we look at this differently and get a more informed look at what’s going on?

1000 European Breweries on One Map

The beer obsessed folks over at Pop Chart Labs have outdone themselves again, creating a thirst inducing poster of breweries and abbeys on the European continent. Featuring nearly 1,000 breweries, from craft to micro, the beautiful print seems to be designed specifically as an inspiration for future travels, tasty ones at that.

Vintage Infographic: Napoleon’s Tragic Russian March

When it comes to tragic military events, few would rate worse than the French invasion of Russia in 1812. A disastrous combination of situations resulted in the once powerful Grande Armée being reduced from nearly half a million strong, to a shockingly small 10,000 following their retreat. This vintage information graphic detailing the event was created by Charles Joseph Minard in 1869. It is an early masterpiece of good design.

Kids Build Map of Japan Made From 1.8 Million Legos

Before you write this project off as another example of the multitude of huge Lego projects around the web, consider the unique way this wildly vertical map of Japan was made. In celebration of the block-based building systems 50th year, the company’s Japanese subsidiary sponsored a nation wide building project which saw the participation of over 5000 kids in 6 different regions to create the piece.

Live Out Your Childhood Astronaut Dreams…Virtually

Almost all kids go through a phase in life where they think they want to be an astronaut when they grow up. What could be more amazing than riding on a rocket ship to outer space? Now you can walk in the shoes of an astronaut in virtual visits to Kennedy Space Center. NASA and Google Street View have collaborated, offering 6,000 panoramic views of the facilities, including the space shuttle launch pad, Vehicle Assembly Building, and Launch Firing Room #4. With this virtual tour, you can get up close and personal with the engine that has the power to generate 400,000lbs of thrust and see Space Shuttle Orbiters—the Atlantis and Endeavour from any angle you choose. You may not be able to taste the freeze dried ice cream from the gift shop, but this is an awesome project for space lovers and astronaut-wannabes of all ages!