CyberSquirrels, Billion Dollar Companies & Subway Map of Calories: Our Top 5

The global spread of billion-dollar companies over the last decade, shown by Atomico (Source: created a New York Subway Map of Calories (Source: The beauty and potentials of simple lines (Source: New York Citi Bikes on their way, animated by Todd W. Schneider (Source:


Do you want to know how many calories you burn by walking instead of taking the subway? Did you know that 2007 was the best year to found a billion-dollar company? And what about cyberattacks by squirrels – not very likely?

The magic of lines

Sometimes it is helpful to rethink common things. Geraldine Sarmiento, a cartographic designer and part of the Tangram team at Mapzen, likes to take a step back before starting new projects. For example: Lines. Are you aware of the potential of lines? On the Mapzen blog she shows you, what lines can describe – a simple route from A to B, lines can give forms a dimension like contour lines or a certain texture. Read the article to find more surprising examples.

New York Citi Bikes on their way

This is a simple and nice example for data visualization: Showing City Bike rides in a certain area and time frame. This Citi Bike map counts each trip as a series of line segments, from the trip’s starting point to its finish. If you look a bit closer you can understand some patterns. In the mornings there are more rides from Brooklyn to Manhattan than vice versa. And in the evenings people go back from Manhattan to Brooklyn by Citi Bikes. As the map and animation assume people follow Google Maps cycling directions, it is not certain, that everyone took the way as shown. But you can see tendencies and it contains helpful information for the operator – like where to increase or decrease the numbers of bikes.

Billion Dollar Software Companies around the globe

Rotate the globe and see at a glance, where billion dollar software companies were founded during the past 12 years. This visualization gives a clear answer: 2007 was the best year for founding a company – worldwide. In North America was a boom between 2007 and 2009 with 18 to 20 new companies per year, whereas there was just one founded in 2014.

New York Subway Map of Calories

Take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride your bike instead of your car: These advices are well-known – and often neglected. The better arguments are calories you lose, a tangible added value. an online healthcare network aims to motivate people to take the sidewalk to work. So they designed a subway map of New York that displays the calories you burn when you walk instead of taking the tube. The result: If you replace one part of your subway journey with a 10 minute walk, you will burn about 450 calories in a week – as much as you would spent for one gym session.

Cybersquirrels – disrupting at the highest levels

Do you fear cyberattacks that paralyze the electric grid? This website shows: These fears are unfounded. Real problems are come from nature – from animals, in the first place: squirrels. This map lists all “unclassified Cyber Squirrel Operations that have been released to the public”. Get an overview how many squirrels and other animals cause power outage every year.