Illustrating Landscapes for Happy People

It’s no secret that here at Visual News we are real suckers for maps and clever illustrations, so when we found these designs by Belgium based design studio Khuan + Ktron we were floored. Each of their designs, whether representing some real location or a conceptual idea, playfully illustrates a world of large landmarks, curving roads, and happy people.

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Interactive: Learn Good French Wines Like a Pro

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Have you ever been at a fancy hobb-nobbing party and said something like:

“Today most wines are fully mature. It has proved to be a delicious vintage but perhaps just short of the density, complexity and ultimate longevity for greatness. The whites were probably under-rated because they appeared, on tasting, to have little acidity. In fact it was there, but masked by the tannins from thick skins. This phenomenon, curiously enough, was repeated in both 1995 and 2005. Even so, 1985 whites will now be past their best.”

Ok… neither have I, but if you have ever wanted to sound like a fancy-shmancy wine snob, there has never been an easier time.

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A Family Tree of Creative Business Neighbors

When you work among nearly 70 creative businesses, individuals and organizations — from a BBC office to a playhouse and even a life drawing school — what do you do to introduce everyone? Create a beautiful infographic of course! Split recently produced a family tree of their very creative neighbors for the first ever Quarry Hill Social, an event designed to not only raise public awareness but also foster relationships between the many highly crafty and cultural businesses tucked into Quarry Hill in Leeds U.K.

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A Growing Ink Blot Map of World Population Density

Most of our world maps are created with geographic and legal boundaries dictating how they are drawn… it’s highly useful for getting around the block, but hardly tells the whole tale of what is going on. What really matters much of the time? It’s all about where the people are… and this map shows only that.

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Locating a Winner: March Madness Mapped

Where is that team from? It’s a question I often ask myself during March Madness. Marquette… isn’t that in Michigan? Nope, Wisconsin. Where the heck is Xavier? Oh yeah, in Ohio. Chances are that university you’re a little fuzzy on is in basketball country.

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The World Gets Swirly: Tracking Wind Data in Real-Time

It’s hard to imaging a visualization more beautiful than this new animated map of wind speeds across the continental U.S. Individual lines delicately weave their way across the land in Vincent van Gogh like fashion, tracing near real-time wind forecasts around the nation and giving us a mesmerizing view of everything from breezes to gales.

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Stopping Traffic: The Busiest NYC Subway Stops?

New York City, where half the population doesn’t own a car, is synonymous with Mass Transit. The MTA pegs subway and bus ridership at approximately seven million a day; and each year puts out a ridership report for subway and bus stations.

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Tracking Energy Consumption For Each Building in NYC

Just how much does energy does that building across the way use? Unless a buildings lights are on all night, every night, it’s probably hard to see just how much it consumes. For the lucky residents of the Big Apple, however, a new and fascinating map has appeared on the web to help solve the mystery. From the Flat Iron building to individual buildings in Crown Heights, the map takes an astoundingly detailed look at each and every block in the five boroughs, giving it an energy consumption estimate. Not surprisingly, the gleaming Manhattan skyline easily tops the list as the biggest energy hog.

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A User-Generated Collection of Google Earth Imagery

There are many beautiful places in the world, but we often miss a lot of that beauty until we look at it from “up above.” Stratocam, a program developed by former Google and Dreamworks employee Paul Rademacher, allows visitors to take their own aerial snaps with the help of Google Earth and later vote for their favorite photographs from the community of images.

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Stamen’s New Web App Draws Watercolor Maps

Some people just see the world in a more colorful way… and this new web app from Stamen proves it. Working much like any other web based mapping system, users simply type in what town or city they want to see and swish… the page is populated with a beautifully rendered watercolor-like map. Towns appear awash in colorful blues, greens and reds that neatly bleed into their neighbors in gradient pools. Lines appear sometimes wide and sometimes narrow in the organic, rounded style of the wet art form.

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