Using slime mold to find the best motorway routes

Posted to Maps  |  Nathan Yau

This is all sorts of neat. Researchers Andrew Adamatzky and Ramon Alonso-Sanz are using a slime mold, P polycephalum, to find the most efficient road routes to provide guidance on how to rework them. P polycephalum is a single-celled organism that forages for food through various branches, and when it finds the most efficient food source, backs away from the others. The video above is a sped up version of it in action. Adamatzky and Alonso-Sanz put a map underneath.

We cut agar plates in a shape of Iberian peninsula, place oat flakes at the sites of major urban areas and analyse the foraging network developed. We compare the plasmodial network with principle motorways and also analyse man-made and plasmodium networks in a framework of planar proximity graphs.

[via infosthetics]

Favorites

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.