Living in the big city has its perks, there’s no denying it, but sometimes it can become a bit to overwhelming. The constant noise, the clutter and the throngs of people everywhere can be too much sometimes. Today with over half the world’s population living in cities, more and more people are looking to escape from it all, if only for just a bit.
Now here are some maps of some of the most quiet, pristine and isolated places.
The map above, created by Benjamin Hennig, senior research fellow in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford and author of the blog www.viewsoftheworld.net, shows the vast areas of the world that remain mainly untouched by human civilization.
The size of each grid reflects the time it takes to travel to the nearest city of at least 50,000 people over land – the larger the grid, the longer it takes. The colors show land elevation in meters, with red being 8,000 meters. Greenland becomes gigantic, as does the Himalayas, while much of Europe, Asia and Central America disappear.
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities today. More than 95 percent of people around the world are concentrated into 10 percent of the world’s land area.
Every single road in the U.S., in mind-boggling detail
Here’s another view of that same idea by reddit user WestCoastBestCoast94. This gorgeous map shows all of the roads in the U.S. and nothing else. The Northeast corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. becomes one big mass of roads, while in very flat and/or less populated parts of the country, like the Midwest, the roads form clear grids. In the West you can see winding roads over the mountains and white spaces in the locations of Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, the Badlands, and other government-protected areas.
Where nobody lives
Nik Freeman created this map, with the U.S. Census blocks where the reported population is zero are marked in green. According to those figures, no one is living on 47 percent of the land in the U.S.
A minimalist map of America’s urban areas
Michael Pecirno created a series of beautiful minimalist maps of the U.S. based on classifications by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This map shows the parts of the country that the agriculture department marks as urban areas.
The states that have more cars than people
The noisiest and quietest places in America
America basically has a noisy half and a quiet half, new data from the National Park Service shows. Researchers carried out 1.5 million hours of acoustical monitoring to create the map below, of noise levels across the U.S. on an average summer day.
Where all the world’s people live
If you want to be alone, maybe avoid Asia. This map, created by André Christoffer Andersen using the ISLSCP II Global Population of the World dataset, shows the world’s population density by latitude and longitude. The vertical line at the right-hand side shows world population by latitude, while the line across the bottom shows population by longitude. You can visit the interactive version here.
The Pacific Ocean is a pretty great place to be alone
Islands of nowhere
Daydreaming of island living? This map by Seth Kadish shows the global distribution of small islands. The red spots — Scandinavia, SE Asia/Oceania, the Caribbean, Hudson Bay, or Dubai — have the highest density of small islands.