Tech

Our Favorite Maps of 2013

These impressed us for both what they illustrated and how they did it.

Frederick Dennstedt/Flickr

Wi-Fi Doesn't Just Enhance Amtrak — It May Actually Encourage New Riders

But merely providing the service isn't enough. It needs to work well, too.

ESURANCE

Will This Tiny Tool Stop Teens From Texting While Driving?

At the very least, it gives parents god-like knowledge of their teen's driving habits. 

SERIES

City Makers: Global Stories

The people and ideas reshaping urban life

SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

America's Fastest-Growing Crime Problem Barely Even Registers as 'Crime' for Most People

We seldom treat identity theft the way we do other crimes. 

Maps
MIT Senseable City Lab

The Lingering Power of Geography Over How We Communicate

Even in an era of cheap, digital communication, most of us are still talking to our neighbors.

NASA

The World's Newest Island, Niijima

Where there once was no land, now there is.

Most People Would Let a 'Smart Toilet' Share Their Personal Data

In a new survey, 70 percent said they would share personal information online if it lowered their healthcare costs.

Maps
Cameron Beccario

A Trance-Inducing Simulation of All the Winds In the World

"Earth" relies on supercomputers to paint an almost real-time picture of the atmosphere's feverish churning.

An App for Making Friends on the Subway

Playdope connects people whose paths through the city overlap.

Wikimedia Commons

The Most Instagrammed Place in the World Is a Mall in Bangkok

And the city's airport falls from the top spot to the ninth.

Reuters

On Admitting That Homeless People Make You Uncomfortable

A San Francisco CEO says that in a perfect city, the homeless wouldn't be so visible. He's only mostly wrong.

Reuters

The Surveillance City of Camden, New Jersey

A community beset by crime, and the intrusive tools they're using in hopes of stopping it.

Jacobs School/UCSD

Computers Can Now Automatically Stereotype 'Hipsters' and 'Bikers'

Scientists have trained algorithms to determine your "urban tribe" from your online photos.

NASA

China's Air Pollution Is So Awful You Can See It From Space

NASA captures a 750-mile trail of haze on camera.

HLS Research

The Oceans Are Vibrating With Humanity's 'Background Hum'

These maps show how shipping vessels are creating loud neighborhoods for oceans and the animals that live there.

Shutterstock

How Instagram Alters Your Memory

A cautionary note about constant digital photography.

Maps

Now You Can Make Your Own Street View Scenes

Google opens up its mapping functionality to allow for DIY imagery.

Maps

The World's Top Facebook Check-In Locations Include 4 Disneylands

And a red-light district.