A team of researchers at Yale University recently completed a study on urban centres from 3700 B.C. to 2000 A.D. They explored the global distribution of cities, their populations, and how they influenced their local and regional environments. Using population and archaeological records collected by historian, Tertius Chandler, and political scientist, George Modelski, the team digitized, transcribed, and geocoded over 6,000 years of urban datasets. As “the first spatially explicit archive of the location and size of urban populations”, they published their research in a new paper in Scientific Data. Their hope is for this research to contribute to an “improved understanding of contemporary and historical urbanization trends”.
Max Galka of Metrocosm recently created a captivating video illustrating their digitized and geocoded dataset. It clearly animates the rise and spread of cities over time. It also demonstrates the power of data visualizations in communicating complex information and engaging the public. Check out our previous blog post featuring a viral gif that animates the rapid nature of global warming. Also, check out our newly published article on the subject.