To create these maps, data visualization specialist Olivier H. Beauchesne took to Wikipedia. Taking advantage of the site’s optional geotagging feature, which allows you to associate a specific latitude and longitude to any article–the New Museum’s entry could be linked to the Bowery, for example–Beauchesne first mapped every article on Wikipedia, then did searches for specific types of information, then plotted where those articles were tagged.
In the above example, the blue dots are all Wikipedia articles, and the red dots are entries about railways, trains, and train stations. Perhaps not surprisingly, the red dots make up a rudimentary map of the world’s railroads. Beauchnesne used a similar process to map all sorts of data, some of which we’ve highlighted above.
“I was a bit taken aback of the granularity of the geocoding,” he told Co.Design. “It seems that everywhere on earth (except jungles, deserts, oceans, etc.) is documented.”