Geolocation technology has given much to talk about in recent months. The ‘Google Maps’ of various themes have been becoming popular both in Spain and in the rest of the world, either to follow the war between Ukraine and Russia or to follow the forest fires that devastate the world. Other maps, like that of ‘Notable People’, They have a different interest.
[Cómo Google Maps sirvió para detener en Madrid a uno de los mafiosos más buscados de Italia]
Created by Topi Tjukanov on the Github platform, ‘Notable People’ seeks something very simple: find out which characters, whether current or historical They are the most important in your city. And not only from your city, but from the rest of the world.
To do this, it has created a complete, fully interactive political map, which, practically by city, decides which character is the best known or at least the most important in that area. In addition, the map will allow you not only to see historical figures, but also to filter them by the ‘category’ to which they belong.
This map is developed with Mapbox technology, and can be consulted through this simple link. The interface is minimalist, since it only integrates a small menu in the upper left part and the globe itself, completely virtual. The user can navigate this map in the simplest way possible, like a Google Earth.
But how reliable is this map? Tjukanov explains on his Twitter profile that ‘Notable People’ makes use of data from a study published in the journal Nature. This study tries to settle the level of importance of public and historical figures in different geographical areas, based on certain data. The characters included in the map cover practically all the existing figures from 3,500 a. C to AD 2018
The database used has been compiled by researchers from universities around the world, including Columbia University or the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies in France. Because the celebrity arc is so incredibly broad, you can see the most disparate characters both current and historical.
Be careful, importance should not be confused with popularity, since in some parts, for obvious reasons, there are problematic names such as Adolf Hitler.
For example, the number of words in the biographies of these characters on Wikipedia is taken into account, including whether they have a Wikipedia entry or not. The number of visits to said biographies in periods between 2015 and 2018 are also taken into account, and all editions available, as well as their number.
The notoriety index that is established in this database, in short, is determined by these details and other additional ones, such as the non-missing elements specified in the Wikipedia biographies, the documentation carried out in these biographies and the references, as well as the external links.
The Google Maps ‘influencer’
‘Notable People’ makes use of a very ingenious system to divide the characters by their rank of popularity. The most famous people in the world They are the ones that appear in larger size on the map, and they are the ones that predominate when the view is as far away as possible. It is when we get closer when we see which characters have marked different communities and cities.
Did you know Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar and Barack Obama in Honolulu? Who is the most famous person from your hometown?
I made a map of the most notable people around the world. Built with @Mapbox.
Check it out here: https://t.co/NR0J7nqTn1
— Topi Tjukanov (@tjukanov) July 28, 2022
For example, a general view of Spain returns names like that of Miguel de Cervantes in Madrid, Pep Guardiola and Salvador Dalí in the area of Catalonia and Pablo Picasso or Diego Velázquez in Andalusia. In this same region, zooming in reveals many more names, but some still stand out, such as Seneca or Federico García Lorca.
The side menu allows you to discern by certain categories and also allows you to see, in small, the names of the places since by default only the lines of the political map are denoted. The operation itself is like that of Google Earth; you simply drag with the mouse and use the wheel to zoom in and out.
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