All Roads Lead to Rome(s)
December 10, 2015 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Every cell of this grid contains the starting point to one of our journeys to Rome. Now that we have our 486,713 starting points we need to find out how we could reach Rome as our destination. For this we created a algorithm that calculates one route for every trip. The more often a single street segment is used, the stronger it is drawn on the map. The maps as outcome of this project is somewhere between information visualization and data art, unveiling mobility and a very large scale.
Some beautiful and interesting visualizations of transportation models for Europe and the world, including all the towns called "Rome" in the United States. Also: Urban Mobility Fingerprints and Create Your Own (Europe Only).
posted by Rumple (10 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
"There's a saying that all roads lead to Ankh-Morpork. And it's wrong. All roads lead away from Ankh-Morpork, but sometimes people just walk along them the wrong way."
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:50 PM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

I saw this earlier and it's so neat!

One thing that jumped out at me from the European capitals map --- not only is it quicker to get to Dublin than London from anywhere in Scotland, this is also true for the Faroe Islands? Would have thought they'd have some link to Copenhagen. Unless those are just the Outer Herbrides?
posted by Diablevert at 1:20 PM on December 10, 2015

These are lovely visualizations and a clever idea for how to produce a particular view of road networks. I did a doubletake when I first saw this today because the branching structure reminded me so much of my own river map. But in retrospect it's entirely obvious why; we're both showing networks that start somewhere small and then converge on a central destination. And we both chose a similar way to show the size of the flow with line thickness.

It's buried in the About page, they got the routes by applying GraphHopper to OpenStreetMap data. Nicely done!
posted by Nelson at 1:33 PM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Not correct. All roads roam to Leeds.
posted by vbfg at 2:00 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

> quicker to get to Dublin than London from anywhere in Scotland

Yeah, they didn't quite get the countries within the UK right ...
posted by scruss at 2:38 PM on December 10, 2015

Yeah, they didn't quite get the countries within the UK right ...

It seems more like The Act of Union didn't, if I understand their maps correctly. They timed out how long it takes to get from X point to the nearest national capitol. So it might make sense if there's places in say Western Spain where it's a two hour travel time to Lisbon but a four hour one to Madrid. The idea that taking a ferry to Dublin is quicker than driving to London from pretty much anywhere north of Hadrian's wall is weird to me, though....
posted by Diablevert at 3:05 PM on December 10, 2015

This looks neat, but some of their conclusions are profoundly dumb (even ignoring the wrongheaded application of periods):

Some countries stay more or less the same, like Turkey, the UK, Denmark, Spain and Portugal. While tiny states like Andorra, Lichtenstein, Vatican and Monaco experience huge spatial growth. Showing the importance of their infrastructural inclusion.

No, what this shows is that they're small countries, so that their capitals per definition will be the closest capital to a lot of territory not inside the country, as long as their neighbors are larger countries that don't happen to have their own capitals located very close to the border with these small countries. Nothing to do with infrastructure at all beyond the fact that there's a reasonably short road that leads there from the neighboring countries.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:37 PM on December 10, 2015

I was thinking it would be more useful to put in a city and have it show you the quickest modern route to Rome. And then I remembered Google Maps. /facepalm
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:41 PM on December 10, 2015

I took the left at Lyons.

Dam it!
posted by clavdivs at 5:39 PM on December 10, 2015

Glasgow to London via M6, 412 miles
7 h 7 min (6 h 15 min without traffic)

Glasgow to Dublin via A77, 245 miles
6 h 34 min (6 h 7 min without traffic)

But wait, there's another way to get there. Via railROAD:

Glasgow to London via TrainVirgin Trains
4 h 33 min from Glasgow Central

posted by Autumn Leaf at 1:06 AM on December 11, 2015

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