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

The Changing American Diet

See what we ate on an average day, for the past several decades.

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?