Friday, July 29, 2022

Who Was Born Near You?

This morning I have been using Topi Tjukanov's new Notable People map to find out which famous people were born in my home town. As a result later today I shall be visiting the homes of Joseph Lister ('the father of modern surgery') and Alfred Hitchcock. Both of whom were born just a short walking distance from my home.

The Notable People map uses Wikidata and Wikipedia listings to show the birthplaces of 'notable' people around the world. On the map placenames have been replaced with the names of famous people who were born at that location. On the map people with a higher 'notability rank' are prioritised over those with lower rankings and those with higher rankings also have larger labels than those with lower rankings. 

The Notable People map was inspired by The Pudding's A People Map of the USA. In 2019 the Pudding created an interactive map which showed the most famous person from each town in America based on the amount of traffic on individual Wikipedia pages. 

The Pudding's map proved so popular that they later released A People Map of the UK. This in turn inspired other map developers to create The World Map of Greeks and the Most Popular Natives of Czech Towns. I even got in on the act myself with my own Map of English Literature (showing the birthplaces of some of English Literature's most famous writers). 

Topi Tjuknov's new Notable People map supercedes these earlier maps through the simple feat of using a database listing the birhplaces of famous people across the whole world.

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