Our shrinking world, illustrated with travel data
01/08/2016|9:45:31 AM|Tnooz

Ever heard of an “isochronic map“? Nope, neither had we until this bit of number-crunching from Rome2Rio came our way.

The multi-modal travel search engine has worked out how long it takes a traveller to reach any point on the globe, flying or by rail from London.

The results are portrayed on an aforementioned isochronic map – essentially a heat map showing the distances from the UK capital within half a day, half to three-quarters of a day, under a day, one day to one and a half days, and over one and a half days.

To demonstrate how much smaller the world has become since the advent of commercial air travel, Rome2Rio’s chief operating officer Michael Cameron created a similar map for the year 1914.

Here is 1914 (click here or map for a larger version):

And here is the 2016 (click here or map for a larger version):

So, what are some of the things to note:

There is a ten-fold decrease in travel times in the dark pink zones.
In 1914, some destinations took as long as ten to 20 days to reach.
Western Canada and Alaska no longer take more than 30 days to reach, with many areas accessible within 18 hours.
Growth of airport hubs in the US has meant that many cities can now be reached with three quarters of a day.

Cameron notes that the 1914 maps would have actually changed rather quickly given that the first commercial flight took place in January of that year.

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