23/12/2015

Roads to Rome: Testing the idiom with data

 

Do all roads really lead to Rome? Benedikt Groß, Philipp Schmitt, and Raphael Reimann from the moovel lab used data visualization to find out.

In exploring this question, the team broke down geolocation data to the continent and country levels. Europe was broken down into a 26.503.452 km² grid, which included a starting point in every cell from which a trip to Rome would be mapped.

"For this we created a algorithm that calculates one route for every trip," they explain, "the more often a single street segment is used, the stronger it is drawn on the map."

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Image: Roads to Rome, Benedikt Groß, Philipp Schmitt, and Raphael Reimann (moovel lab).

At the country level, the project provides fresh social-historical insights into Italian migration patterns in the United States, by mapping all roads to American cities named 'Rome'. Following the same methodology as the Europe visualization, the team found 312.719 routes to ten American Romes.

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Image: Roads to Rome, Benedikt Groß, Philipp Schmitt, and Raphael Reimann (moovel lab).

Throughout the project, the team used the following tools and software:

So, do all roads lead to Rome? Find out for yourself on the project's webpage.

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