What the Supercontinent Pangea Looks Like With Modern Borders

Look at just about any world map and what do you see? Political borders. We’ve grown up seeing our world divided by lines, some with physical walls on the ground, others no more real than the line on the map and an agreement between people. Obviously the world hasn’t always looked this way. Not only have borders changed drastically over time, but the land masses themselves have moved… ever… so… slowly.

Massimo Pietrobon wondered how our current borders would have looked on Pangea, the supercontinent which existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras – or approximately 300 million years ago.

Watch: How the 5 Major Religions Spread Across the World

The 5 largest religions today are Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam–but it wasn’t always that way. In this video, Alex Kuzoian at Business Insider walks us through 5000 years of history, showing how the world’s religions initially took root in small geographic areas in southern Asia and the Middle East. They didn’t remain localized for long.

Make a Map Poster of Anywhere with Mapiful

Maps are one of our addictions here at VN, so when we found Mapiful we were completely floored. This company helps you print minimalist black and white street map posters using any location in the world. That’s great news for those of us who live outside major cities like London or San Francisco, who tend to miss most of the love from poster designers.

GeaCron: An Explorable Atlas of the World’s Past (Starting in 3000BC)

With the centennial of World War 1 upon us, it’s fascinating to look back at how different Europe was just 100 years ago. Then again, it was a lot different just 30 years ago too. GeoCron’s World History Atlas is an fascinating tool for peering back into the past and getting perspective on how different the world has been, even if the year you’re curious about is 2950BC. Although quite dated, the site makes it easy to travel anywhere from 3000BC up to the present day, watching the changes in civilizations as they rise and fall.

A True Picture of Population Density

Look up a city’s urban density on Wikipedia, and you know you’re only getting a small slice of the story. There’s no way exactly 27,857.9 people live in every square mile of New York City – some areas are far more packed, some are relatively empty (at least when it comes to living space). Perhaps the best way to get a true picture of where people live is to check out the residential density per square kilometer. That’s what these 3D maps from LSECities visualize, giving us a unique look at 9 world cities and their distribution of people. Each map here looks at a 100 x 100 kilometer square, and quickly reveals how factors like topography and the location of public transport have influenced the growth of these places.

Michael Pecirno’s Minimalist Maps Reveal the Hidden Landscapes of America

London-based designer Michael Pecirno creates minimalist maps in an ongoing project to understand the landscape of the world. His work is exploratory, using a decidedly narrow set of data to see the unique patterns it creates across the land. In each case, the map is drawn with data points, leaving traditional physical and political borders to our imagination.

Metal Subway Map Cuffs Are Perfect for the Stylish Traveler

Nothing says tourist like holding a giant map while you try to find your way around a new city. But Designhype wants you to look stylish and confident while you’re exploring the world. They have created a brilliant metal cuff that combines fashion with function. Featuring subway maps of major metro cities, it’s a collection that every traveler can appreciate.

Where Are the Most Popular NYC Filming Locations? This Map Has the Answer.

No matter how you slice it, New York City is one of the world’s most popular filming locations. From the top of the towering skyline, to the cab filled streets of Times Square, the city has featured in more than 517 films… and that’s just in the last 3 years. So where are the most popular areas to film? Metrocosm broke it down by visualizing all the film permit data from the “Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting” (every city should have one!), creating a street-centric heat map that quickly reveals some very hot filming locations (17,241 in 3 years to be exact).

Road Trip! Randy Olson Calculated The Optimal Trip to U.S. Landmarks in 48 States

Remember that viral story about the most efficient way to find Waldo? Well, Randy Olson is back with something that could save you more than time hunting for the right guy wearing red and white stripes – this one will save you fuel. With the help of Tracy Staedter from Discovery News, he’s created an interesting exercise in efficient road tripping, charting the optimal route around the 48 contiguous U.S. states stopping at national landmarks all along the way.

If The Moon and Mars Had Oceans, What Would They Look Like?

Humans have long dreamt of living on other planets, but last time we checked they weren’t too keen on setting up permanent residence on the red dusty plains of Mars or even on a Moon mountain. The climate on those two celestial bodies isn’t exactly inviting – but there are plenty of people who dream of changing that. Terraforming is the theoretical process of modifying a planet to make it more Earth-like, and these two fascinating maps from data scientist Seth Kadish show what it could look like on Mars and the Moon.