November 1, 2014
This animation distills hundreds of years of culture into just five minutes. A team of historians and scientists wanted to map cultural mobility, so they tracked the births and deaths of notable individuals like David, King of Israel, and Leonardo da Vinci, from 600 BC to the present day. Using them as a proxy for skills and ideas, their map reveals intellectual hotspots and tracks how empires rise and crumble
The information comes from Freebase, a Google-owned database of well-known people and places, and other catalogs of notable individuals. The visualization was created by Maximilian Schich (University of Texas at Dallas) and Mauro Martino (IBM).
Read Nature’s news story: http://www.nature.com/news/1.15650
Find the research paper in Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/science.1240064