PHOTO: Good luck conquering this massive map endeavor. (Photo via Flickr/David Winer)
If you have 50 years and don’t want to mess with the tedium of doing anything else in your life, consider this awesome map that shows the most efficient way to tour the United States' National Register of Historic Places.
The Washington Post caught up with University of Waterloo’s William Cook who, along with colleagues from Chile and Denmark, mapped out an itinerary that nearly takes a lifetime.
There are over 90,000 U.S. locations recognized as historic—although only about 50,000 are used in this study. Normally, seeing each and every one would take several lifetimes and some very understanding family members.
Cook and his cohorts have whittled down the arduous task to mere decades:
The Post, which spotlights the impressive map, also spoke with Cook about his previous cartological endeavors:
“We computed a route of all 24,727 pubs in the United Kingdom. We also solved several small examples just for fun, such as the shortest way to tour all 647 campuses on Forbes’s list of America’s top colleges and the best way to play Pokémon Go.”
Impressive stuff, sure, but that all pales in comparison to Cook's map of Historic Places.
As he explains: “The tour lists the stops one after the other, in the order that they should be visited to travel the shortest possible distance. In viewing the map, the blue line indicates the route you should take. If you click on a marker, you will see its position on the tour.”
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“The route was created with Google walking directions. One caveat is that Google uses ferryboat connections, so it is not always possible to travel by foot. Walking the full route would be quite a feat. The U.S. history tour is roughly 100 times longer than the Appalachian Trail. Hikers generally take around six months to complete the trail. So, better plan on about 50 years if you would like to walk the entire tour.”
Thankfully, you don’t need decades to cross a sizable chunk of sites off your list, however. Cook continues, “In October, I walked a portion of the tour in D.C. and visited 49 sites in 4 1 /2 hours.”
So don’t think of the above map as a full task too daunting to conquer. Consider it a series of partial gauntlets offering a wealth of customizable opportunity.
One at a time.