There are certain things every civilisation needs. These things have changed a whole lot in recent times.
For instance, everyone needs a hospital nearby. And a school. Probably a supermarket.
And a post office.
Derek Watkins visualised something rather unique but, actually, rather enlightening – the expansion of the US, using only Post Offices from 1700 until 1900.
You see the initial and sudden spark of activity down the East Coast throughout the mid-late 1700's, with the early 1800's showing that initial spark thicken out into densely populated areas… of post offices.
By 1850, the West Coast is suddenly alight with post office-focused magic – with central America becoming swamped by the 1900's and no major gaps really remaining.
It's a brilliant way to map the spread of the population – but I now want to see it for everything. Hospitals, hotels, mechanics, police stations.
All the things!
There is an interactive version - but the video is too much fun. Also it doesn't work.