In April, the New Scientist ran a gallery of maps produced as part of a research project by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the World Bank. The aim was to show travel time to a major city (defined as a city of 50,000 or more people as of the year 2000). This is the final product:
The brightest areas represent areas within an hour’s travel time of a major city (by ground or sea). The darkest areas, found in Tibet and Greenland, represent more than 10 days travel from the nearest major city. The blue lines represent the major shipping lanes.
One of the major findings of the report was that less than 10% of the Earth’s land surface is more than 48 hours travel from a major city, an impressive feat of human engineering.
To see the map in its full glory, go here.