playlist

Adventures in mapping

Maps don’t just tell you which street to turn left on. Maps convey information that shapes our lives, deepen our understanding of problems and our ability to create solutions, and whisk our imaginations to new lands. See what we mean, below.

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  1. 16:36
    Aris Venetikidis Making sense of maps

    Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city — less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places. How can we learn from these mental maps to make better real ones? As a test case, he remakes the notorious Dublin bus map.

  2. 7:20
    Daniele Quercia Happy maps

    Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.

  3. 2:54
    Lalitesh Katragadda Making maps to fight disaster, build economies

    As of 2005, only 15 percent of the world was mapped. This slows the delivery of aid after a disaster — and hides the economic potential of unused lands and unknown roads. In this short talk, Google's Lalitesh Katragadda demos Map Maker, a group map-making tool that people around the globe are using to map their world.

  4. 10:03
    Steven Johnson How the "ghost map" helped end a killer disease

    Author Steven Johnson takes us on a 10-minute tour of The Ghost Map, his book about a cholera outbreak in 1854 London and the impact it had on science, cities and modern society.

  5. 21:05
    Laurie Garrett Lessons from the 1918 flu

    In 2007, as the world worried about a possible avian flu epidemic, Laurie Garrett, author of "The Coming Plague," gave this powerful talk to a small TED University audience. Her insights from past pandemics are suddenly more relevant than ever.

  6. 10:20
    Frederic Kaplan How to build an information time machine

    Imagine if you could surf Facebook ... from the Middle Ages. Well, it may not be as far off as it sounds. In a fun and interesting talk, Frederic Kaplan shows off the Venice Time Machine, a project to digitize 80 kilometers of books to create a historical and geographical simulation of Venice across 1,000 years.

  7. 16:09
    Eric Sanderson New York — before the City

    400 years after Hudson found New York harbor, Eric Sanderson shares how he made a 3D map of Mannahatta's fascinating pre-city ecology of hills, rivers, wildlife — accurate down to the block — when Times Square was a wetland and you couldn't get delivery.

  8. 7:45
    Blaise Agüera y Arcas Augmented-reality maps

    In a demo that drew gasps at TED2010, Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos new augmented-reality mapping technology from Microsoft.

  9. 20:34
    Parag Khanna How megacities are changing the map of the world

    "I want you to reimagine how life is organized on earth," says global strategist Parag Khanna. As our expanding cities grow ever more connected through transportation, energy and communications networks, we evolve from geography to what he calls "connectography." This emerging global network civilization holds the promise of reducing pollution and inequality — and even overcoming geopolitical rivalries. In this talk, Khanna asks us to embrace a new maxim for the future: "Connectivity is destiny."

  10. 6:10
    Stephen Lawler Tour Microsoft's Virtual Earth

    Microsoft's Stephen Lawler gives a whirlwind tour of Virtual Earth, moving up, down and through its hyper-real cityscapes with dazzlingly fluidity, a remarkable feat that requires staggering amounts of data to bring into focus.

  11. 7:55
    Eric Berlow and Sean Gourley Mapping ideas worth spreading

    What do 24,000 ideas look like? Ecologist Eric Berlow and physicist Sean Gourley apply algorithms to the entire archive of TEDx Talks, taking us on a stimulating visual tour to show how ideas connect globally.

  12. 21:56
    Paula Scher Great design is serious, not solemn

    Paula Scher looks back at a life in design (she's done album covers, books, the Citibank logo ...) and pinpoints the moment when she started really having fun. Look for gorgeous designs and images from her legendary career.