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Strange Maps

393 - The Unevenness of Space-Time Convergence

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How long does it take to travel from London to elsewhere? The answer is provided by this map, showing a set of expanding circles centered on the British capital, each bigger one delineating two extra hours of travel time.

The familiar shape of the world is morphed into grotesque, contorted shapes as these isotemporal lines replace the usual lines of longitude and latitude for frame of reference. Not surprisingly, as different modes of transport must have been taken into account: fast transatlantic jet to New York, slower ground-based transport (car or train) to Penzance. This makes the difference in travel time to both cities from London less than 2.5 hours, while the actual distance between both is a formidable 3,264 miles (5,253 km).

This map predates the opening of the Eurotunnel, which has allowed faster connections between London and Paris (about 2 hours) than shown on this map. Travel time distances from London are:

Under 2 hours

  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Southampton

Under 4 hours

  • Norwich
  • Manchester
  • Amsterdam
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Paris
  • Dublin
  • Dusseldorf
  • Swansea
  • Hull
  • Milan
  • Aberdeen

Under 6 hours

  • Newcastle
  • Madrid
  • Inverness
  • Burnley
  • Holyhead
  • Fishguard

Under 8 hours

  • Penzance
  • Workington
  • Pwllheli

Under 10 hours

  • New York
  • Stranraer
  • Montreal

Many thanks to blogfok for sending in this map, found here on Erik Laakso‘s website.

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