Isochrone map of the world 2016!

Generally, it seems to have been a great year for isochrone maps.

This blog shared in the post What is an Isochrone Map?  probably the earliest isochrone map of the world by Francis Galton and an isochrone map of the Austro-Hungarian railway network.

Peter Kerpedjiev of Emptypipes.org created some wonderful isochrone maps of train travel time in Europe for a total of 33 cities.

An screenshot of Europe Isochrone Map for Vienna 2015 by Peter Kerpedjiev of emptypipes.org

Another world isochrone map published in 1914 (probably showing travel times in 1912) regained a widespread audience when it was discussed The Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine

The 1914 map inspired Rome2Rio to create a modern version. The Australian Rome2Rio has set itself the task to organise the world’s transport information, and offers a travel search engine that figures out time, fare and travel method options from any location. Below you can view it edited to match the 1912 isochrone map John G. Bartholomew’s “An Atlas of Economic Geography”.

2016 isochrone map
Two Isochrone maps showing travel times for 1912 and 2016 by Rome2Rio.

The 2016 isochrone map starts off not from a dock along the River Thames in London, but from Heathrow Airport and almost all of the connections begin with an air-plane flight instead of a ship voyage. The categories no longer show 5 day intervals but 1/2 day and 3/4 day intervals. The some 150 international destinations from Heathrow, erase the more prominent travel routes of the early 20th century. The Suez Canal, Nile River and North American transcontinental railways can not be traced anymore. The Trans-Siberian Railway can still be deduced but because of a string of Russian cities that straddle it.

There are areas of the world to which it takes a relatively long time to journey to but none which takes longer than 5 days, which encompassed the first category in 1912. Today it may take longer than 5 days to travel to some Arctic regions, which were not calculated or estimated. In the Amazon, the Sahara, interior Angola, Tibet, Mongolia, central Australia and some pacific islands are still all (relatively) isolated.

Travel wise, much has changed in a hundred years mainly due to the rise of air travel. But also due to a much larger global population, 7.3 billion versus 1.65 billion inhabitants, which makes transportation routes more viable to operate.

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