Data Visualization A visualization maps notable historic figures' birth and death locations to reveal migration patterns.

Published on August 6th, 2014 | by Travis Korte

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Mapping the World’s Changing Cultural Hubs

A map visualization from researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas shows human migration patterns over the last 2,600 years. Drawing from the Google-owned Freebase information repository, researchers took 120,000 notable individuals and mapped their birth and death locations. The resulting visualization, which is somewhat biased toward North America and Europe, shows how the hotspots of human culture changed during the rise of the Roman empire, the Renaissance, and the modern era. It wasn’t until 1789, for example, that Paris overtook Rome as the western world’s cultural hub. The researchers hope their work can help historians identify migratory patterns that might have had an influence on historical events.

Take a look.

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.



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