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Why we love Linguistic Maps

Why we love Linguistic Maps

There’s a lovely corner of Reddit called Map Porn. You can find more maps than you ever thought existed. Some are fantastical simulations based on video games, and others would be collecting dust in library storage if not for the internet. My favorite part about this collection of maps is what they can tell us about language.

Maps can put interesting facts into a spatial context.

New Orleans’ Hidden Etymologies

They reveal hidden barriers.

This map takes the common question of “What are you doing?” to show how widely it varies throughout the Arab World. Dialects transcend political and natural borders, therefore the areas presented should be viewed as a fluid and ever-changing approximation.

They help you explore linguistic trends.

Country genders in Portuguese

A simple map of the right data can help you scratch the surface of the varieties of the human experience.

Travel time to the nearest city in India
Travel time to the nearest city in Australia

Or see how the human experience has scratched the surface.

“I am here,” written by a million fingertips on a map in Times Square’s subway station.

 

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