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Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

What the U.S.-Mexico Border Looks Like, in Timelapse

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

When most people talk about international borders, they’re being somewhat metaphorical. Rare is the person who’s actually traveled the full border between two countries and has a real idea of how they are separated by geography and political history. You may have crossed through one border checkpoint, but you may not have climbed the middle-of-nowhere mountain that forms the border a few hundred miles away.

In light of the political discussion around border walls, The Intercept and Field of Vision created a timelapse of some 200,000 images showing each of the 1954 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. All the images were downloaded from Google Maps according to the geographic coordinates of the international boundary line. Some of the images show urban stretches, with only roads and fences to separate one city from the other across the border; other parts are simply a stretch of flat desert; and still other parts of the border contain very real geographical obstacles like mountains and rivers.

“The southern border is a space that has been almost entirely reduced to metaphor. It is not even a geography. Part of my intention with this film is to insist on that geography,” writes data artist Josh Begley on The Intercept. He wrote the code that downloaded and stitched together all 200,000 images. “By focusing on the physical landscape, I hope viewers might gain a sense of the enormity of it all, and perhaps imagine what it would mean to be a political subject of that terrain.”

The whole thing is almost seven minutes long and pretty dizzying, both in the metaphorical and physiological sense. You can watch it here.

[h/t The Intercept]

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Henrik Djärv, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
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It's So Cold In One Part of Russia That People's Eyelashes Are Freezing
Henrik Djärv, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Henrik Djärv, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Oymyakon, a rural village in the eastern Russian region of Yakutia, is one of the coldest inhabited spots in the world. While some schools in the U.S. cancel classes as temperatures approach zero, schools in Oymyakon remain open in -40°F weather. But recently temperatures in the region have dropped too low even for seasoned locals to handle. As AP reports, the chill, which hit -88.6°F on January 16, is cold enough to break thermometers and freeze eyelashes.

Photos shared by residents on social media show the mercury in thermometers hovering at -70°F, the lowest temperature some are built to measure. When thermometers fail, people Oymyakon have other ways of gauging the cold. Their uncovered eyelashes can freeze upon stepping outside. Hot water tossed in the air will also turn to snow before hitting the ground.

To Oymyakon's 500-odd citizens, the most recent cold snap is nothing out of the ordinary. Temperatures are perpetually below freezing there from late October to mid-May, and average temperatures for the winter months frequently reach −58 °F. On Tuesday, residents were advised to stay inside and stay as warm as possible. Of course, that directive wasn't enough to stop some adventurous locals from sneaking outside for selfies.

[h/t AP]

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David Rumsey Historical Map Collection // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
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The Largest Known Map of the 16th-Century World Has Been Digitized
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

The challenge of designing an accurate, detailed world map has stumped cartographers for centuries, but Urbano Monte got pretty close to achieving perfection in 1587. Now, for the first time, his full 10-by-10-foot world map has been assembled and digitized, Co.Design reports.

There are only two copies of the map: one in Milan, Italy and the second, digitized one at the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection at Stanford University. The massive, extremely detailed illustration, which comprises 60 hand-drawn sheets, is the largest known early map in the world. The Italian cartographer drew it using the azimuthal equidistant projection, which depicts the flattened globe with the North Pole at its center. According to Monte, this gave a more accurate view of the Earth than the Mercator Projection, which was published just two decades earlier in 1569.

The map's depth of detail becomes more apparent the longer you look at it. In addition to country names and geographical landmarks, Monte took the time to note information on weather, meteorological events, length of days at different latitudes, world leaders, and significant countries and places.

Map details.
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

To view the completed map in all its glory, you can download the 3D image through Google Earth or view it through Apple’s augmented reality app AR Globe.

[h/t Co.Design]

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