Twister Sifter is carrying a great compilation of maps with some extra information on them. Several of them have been featured on this blog before, but not even close to all of them. I particularly like the map above, showing the most common surnames by country in Europe, and the one below, which shows where different writing systems are used around the world. For both, click to embiggen.
40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World [TwisterSifter]
[click to embiggen]
I really like this map that shows beers from every nation in the world – even the ones where alcohol is illegal.
The shortlist of winners for the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards is out, and there are some brilliant ones. Above is a piece entitled Tradition, by Reza Nezamdust of Iran. Below, is Return to Childhood Landscapes, taken by Hajdu Tamas on the train from Bucharest to Baia Mare in Romania.
The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards [TheAtlantic]
New research is suggesting that the layout of subway systems around the world is converging on some sort of ideal pattern:
After decades of urban evolution, the world’s major subway systems appear to be converging on an ideal form.
On the surface, these core-and-branch systems — evident in New York City, Tokyo, London or most any large metropolitan subway — may seem intuitively optimal. But in the absence of top-down central planning, their movement over decades toward a common mathematical space may hint at universal principles of human self-organization.
Understand those principles, and one might “make urbanism a quantitative science, and understand with data and numbers the construction of a city,” said statistical physicist Marc Barthelemy of France’s National Center for Scientific Research.
World’s Subways Converging on Ideal Form [Wired Science]
Nike asked filmmaker Casey Neistat to make a movie about what it means to ‘Make It Count’. Instead of making the movie (per se) he spent then entire budget travelling around the world with his friend Max.
To honour the world-renowned natural history narrators final program with the BBC, Sir David Attenborough recites the words to “What a Wonderful World” over appropriately wonderful footage.
Hans Rosling with a brilliant statistical breakdown of living conditions around the world over the past 200 years.
This chart shows the current consumption of coffee per capita around the world, according to the World Resources Institute.
Wheat farmer Udham Singh inspects a sample of his crop in Amritsar, India, on March 9, 2010. Part of a slideshow about farming around the world which I stared at with mouth agape.
An Ode to Farming [Foreign Policy]