February 14, 2018

Viral mapping by Sasha Trubetskoy

Filed under: Australia, Cancon, History, Media — Tags: — Nicholas @ 03:00

Have you seen this map by Sasha Trubetskoy?

Click to embiggen.

It wasn’t the first time one of his maps went viral, but it provided him a key insight into getting his maps in front of a large number of people:

I learned from Reddit that if a Canadian sees something that mentions Canada, they will upvote out of solidarity. You can game that. So I made a map of every Canadian province, if every Canadian province proposal had succeeded. Not many people know Jamaica was going to be part of Canada. That map got me on Huffington Post Canada.

I was like, Canada worked, let’s try Australia. Same idea, every Australian state proposal. That worked too.

A very popular recurring theme in viral maps is a fictional subway network of some sort. I can see why people like that. It’s cute, it’s bright colors, everything’s nice and organized, it’s fun to look at.

Somehow I stumbled upon the idea of representing the ancient Roman road network. I tried to make it look like a modern publication that the actual Roman Empire would have, like little leaflets at the train station. The map is in Latin. I don’t know Latin, but I have a knack for picking up little bits and pieces, maybe born out of necessity from my childhood. My parents come from Moscow, and at home we only spoke Russian. My grandma speaks French.

Latin has six cases, Russian has six cases, and they’re essentially the same. I had an intuition, like, how would I say this in Russian? Then replace the words with Latin. It turns out that’s a fantastic way of doing it.

H/T to Colby Cosh for the link.

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