[A superimposition of 23 significant journeys. (click to view large)]

Stumbling upon a map produced by GOOD magazine (and executed by the reliable graphics of Graham Roberts), suggests the power of historic routes to mark the very teritory in which they navigate - whether it be land, water, or air. Some chartered in open territories are literally exploratory while others are massive infrastructures intended to cheat time-space relationships, or geographic hurdles.

One interesting trend here is the fact that 20 out of the 23 routes highlighted predominately move horizontally. Leaving only three routes - De Soto's Expedition, Pan-American Highway, and Pizzaro's travels in Peru - with longitudinal aspirations. The radical climatological differences of a longitudinal route providing a deterrent. Additionally, the Equator forms a natural mean center to all of these travels, while the size of South America and Africa as a barrier to maritime travel becomes overtly evident.

The Pan-American Highway is unique piece of infrastructure extending from Prudhoe, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. The highway charts the dominant habitable climates and ecologies on the globe. One obstruction prevents it from being an entirely continuous system: The Darien Gap, a 87 km stretch of rainforest.

[The Pan-American Highway is a road network approximately 48,000 km long of (almost) uninterrupted vehicular infrastructure.]
[The Pan-Am Highway in Peru near the Nasca Lines. (photo by Liam Quinn)]

The search for the source of the Yangtze in 1985, led explorer / photographer Wong How Man on a calculated navigation through the Tanggula mountains using satellite data.

[The ancient Yangtze River only recently had it source officially located by Wong How Man.]
[Orginiating in a glacier in Geladandong, the Yangtze drains into the East China Sea in Shanghai.]


Originally designed at Open, NY actually. Graham Roberts developed the interaction for the web.

atleykins added these pithy words on Aug 17 08 at 1:02 pm

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

sandrar added these pithy words on Sep 10 09 at 8:48 am

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