Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mapping the Approaching Apocalypse

Magyarország Húszezer év Múlva (Hungary in 20,000 Years) is a collection of four interactive maps which imagine what a post-apocalyptic Hungary might look like. I have no idea why living under the rule of Viktor Orbán would make Hungarians think about the end of the world, but the pessimistic developers of these maps have imagined four different scenarios that could lead to the end of human existence and then mapped out how these scenarios might change the way the world will look.

The Mad Max scenario (pictured above) imagines a Hungary which has succumbed to desertification after global warming or a nuclear war. The Water World scenario maps Hungary after some really dramatic rising sea levels. The Holnaputan scenario pictures Hungary in a future ice age. Finally the Jurassic Park scenario imagines a world which has returned to nature after the disappearance of man.

Each of these four Hungarian maps were created using Mapbox Studio which makes it very easy to change the colors of different base-map layers. Another example of changing different map features is Hans Hack's Green Berlin. This map changes the roads of Berlin into canals and footpaths. Every single piece of concrete in the city seems to have been replaced with grass on the Green Berlin map.

Another glimpse into the post-apocalyptic future can be found on Frequency 2156. Frequency 2156 is a radio station and Google Map that has been transmitted back through time from the year 2156. In the year 2156 the world is suffering from a twenty year long nuclear war.

Frequency 2156 appears to be gathering data about survivors of this global nuclear war. The map allows you to listen to the messages sent into the station from survivors around the world. You can really mess with the heads of those survivors by recording your own message on the map. Your message will then be transmitted forward through time to this future dystopian world.

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