History fans will love this map showing the birth of cities across nearly 6,000 years

In 2016, some 54 percent of the world’s population lives in cities, with that figure expected to rise to 75 percent by 2030.

Curious about how urbanization has developed over thousands of years and how cities have affected local and regional environments, a team of Yale University researchers recently created a comprehensive dataset of urban settlements from 3700 BC to the present day by digitizing, transcribing, and geocoding historical research linked to urban populations around the world.

Using the researchers’ publicly available data, New York-based entrepreneur Max Galka has just created a fascinating digital map showing where and when population clusters have emerged over the last 5,700 years.

We’ve embedded a video of Galka’s map above, though for a more interactive experience, check out the Mapbox version on his website which allows you to drag a slider back and forth to see more clearly the trends and speed of urbanization over countless generations. Push it to around 1900 for a real surprise.

Galka notes, “For each city, the map shows the date of the earliest recorded population figure, which is not necessarily the date when the city was founded.” He adds that the size of each dot corresponds to its population at that time, while the colors redden over time to indicate when the urban centers emerged.

Speaking about his map to CityLab, self-confessed history buff Galka said the dataset caught his attention because it went back so far. “This is the first one I’ve seen that covers six millennia … I thought it would be interesting to visualize the data and see if it offers some perspective.”

He added, “What I found most surprising was how early some of the Mesoamerican cities formed, several hundred years before the first cities in Europe.”

Emerging Tech

Facebook builds virtual homes to train A.I. agents in realistic environments

Researchers at Facebook have created Habitat, which is a platform that enables rapid training for A.I. agents. They will receive thousands of hours of training in just a few minutes in the virtual homes.
Movies & TV

Prime-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite TV series currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Who needs sunshine? Stay inside and watch the best movies on Netflix instead

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (June 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

The grainy texture of Saturn’s rings reveals clues to their origins

New analysis of data from Cassini shows that Saturn's rings are not smooth, but rather are grainy in texture. Scientists believe that tiny moons within the rings cause materials to cluster and form clumps and straw-like patterns.
Emerging Tech

The Very Large Telescope gets upgrade to aid its hunt for habitable exoplanets

The Very Large Telescope is growing even bigger. The latest addition to the telescope's suite of instruments is a tool called NEAR (Near Earths in the AlphaCen Region) which will hunt for exoplanets in the nearby Alpha Centauri star…
Emerging Tech

Your smartphone could be the key to predicting natural disasters

A challenge for atmospheric scientists is gathering enough data to understand the complex, planet-wide weather system. Now a scientist has come up with a clever idea to gather more data using smartphones and Internet of Things devices.
Emerging Tech

Tormented robot pulls a gun on its creators in latest Boston Dynamics spoof

Boston Dynamics' remarkable robots often receive a good few shoves in its videos, and the eager mistreatment recently inspired a team of L.A.-based video artists to give its rather amusing take on the matter.
Smart Home

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.
Emerging Tech

Live long and prosper? Experimental compound could slow down the aging process

Want to extend your natural lifespan beyond its current limits? A metabolite of biomolecules — found in pomegranates of all places — could help slow the aging process. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Airbus’ new single-aisle jet has longest range in its class and a fancy cabin

Airbus has unveiled the design of its new A321XLR jet, an aircraft that it says will be capable of trips of around 5,400 miles, making it the world's longest range single-aisle airliner when it takes to the skies in 2023.

Google Calendar is back online. Here’s the latest on the outage

Google Calendar is down, and that means that instead of a day packed with back-to-back meetings and timely reminders, users are instead being treated to an error message. Here's the latest on the worldwide outage.
Emerging Tech

A tiny magnet accomplishes enormous feat, sets a new world record

A magnet housed in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has set a record for the strongest continuous DC magnetic field ever recorded. Here's why that matters to our future.

Brush up on your makeup skills with YouTube’s new augmented reality feature

YouTube will soon let users try on makeup while watching popular makeup tutorials through augmented reality. Viewers will be able to actually try on the makeup products the online tutorials are showcasing and promoting.