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Picasso, Jesus, Hitler – an interactive map shows the most important people in a city

Created: 08/10/2022 5:39 p.m

There are many well-known people. A mapmaker from Helsinki has immortalized them in an interactive map showing where they came from.

Helsinki – In times of modern navigation systems, paper maps are used less and less. Digital maps – such as Google Maps – are becoming more and more important. But these do not always have to show only locations or the best route to the destination. Topi Tjukanov, a map maker from Helsinki (Finland), probably thought so too. He has developed a digital map that looks very similar to Google Maps, but has a completely different purpose.

Map shows the most important people in a city: there is a lot to discover

One looks in vain for the names of countries or cities on Topi Tyukanov’s interactive map – instead, the names of well-known people can be found on the world map. Thanks to the map, you can see who is the most important person in a city or region. The most notable people are displayed first; if you zoom in closer, the names of lesser-known personalities also appear.

A filter can be used to set whether you want to see all people or only those from a very specific area. You can choose between Culture, Discovery and Science, Domination or Sports and Games. If you click on the people’s names, the map shows detailed information – including a “notability rank”. This is also decisive for whether a person is immediately visible or only when you zoom in closer.

Map calculates the level of awareness for each person – including Adolf Hitler

The news portal The Verge reports that the basis for this awareness score of a person is their Wikipedia or Wikidata entries. According to t3n , the number of words in all biographies on the website and the page views also play an important role. For example, Angela Merkel is listed as the most famous person in Hamburg on Topi Tjukanov’s map. The former Chancellor has a notability rank (nr) of 113.

If you zoom far away from Germany on the map, the names Martin Luther (nr. 22), Karl Marx (nr. 16) and Adolf Hitler (nr. 4) are the most well-known people about Germany, alongside Merkel. The former Reich Chancellor was born near the German-Austrian border and is therefore probably still counted as part of Germany. Because the card always shows the respective place of birth, regardless of the place of work.

Der Screenshot zeigt einen Ausschnitt der interaktiven Karte von Topi Tjukanov.
According to the interactive map, in addition to Angela Merkel, Martin Luther, Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler are among the best-known people in Germany. © Screenshot: Mapbox/BW24

Interactive map shows names of famous people – since 3,500 BC!

So it is that Angela Merkel is listed as the most important person in Hamburg or Pope Benedict XVI. in Bavaria, since the emeritus pontiff was born in Marktl on April 16, 1927. If you click on the name of a person, you will be redirected to the respective Wikipedia or Wikidata page, where you can find more information about the person. According to t3n , the data that Topi Tyukanov fed into his map came from a database from .

According to its own statements, the database contains the data of all known people who lived in the period 3,500 BC to 2018 AD. An exact number of names is not known – but if you look at the map, you quickly realize that there have been or have been many remarkable people in human history since 3,500 BC. And speaking of Christ – Jesus can also be found on the map.

Interactive map without city names – known names help with orientation

With a notability rank of 204.5, the Christian Messiah is the most famous person on the map in the West Bank – ahead of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, the map has a few disadvantages: You cannot search for a specific person and it is also quite difficult to find your way around on the interactive map because the names of the countries and cities are missing. Small towns in particular are difficult to identify unequivocally.

But thanks to well-known personalities like Gottlieb Daimler, at least larger cities like Stuttgart can be found quite quickly. According to the card, Jürgen Klinsmann and Robert Bosch are among the most important people from Stuttgart. However, if you zoom out of the map a little, it is the names of Albert Einstein, Friedrich Schiller and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (philosopher) that stand above Baden-Württemberg.

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