Maps show how transport shrinks the world

 

New Scientist has published some beautiful maps exploring which are the remotest places on earth – given how much international transport we have available to us.

“The maps are based on a model which calculated how long it would take to travel to the nearest city of 50,000 or more people by land or water. The model combines information on terrain and access to road, rail and river networks. It also considers how factors like altitude, steepness of terrain and hold-ups like border crossings slow travel.

Plotted onto a map, the results throw up surprises. First, less than 10% of the world’s land is more than 48 hours of ground-based travel from the nearest city. What’s more, many areas considered remote and inaccessible are not as far from civilisation as you might think. In the Amazon, for example, extensive river networks and an increasing number of roads mean that only 20% of the land is more than two days from a city – around the same proportion as Canada’s Quebec province.

This one shows roads around the world:

This one shows shipping routes:

And this one shows rivers:

More lovely maps here. H/T to Cliff Kuang at Fast Company.