Lonely Planet Writer

10 unique maps that gave us a different perspective on the world in 2016

As avid travellers, beautiful maps can often be a fantastic ornament to help us reminisce or get inspired for our next trip. Sometimes, maps can reveal some surprising information and give us a different perspective of the world we live in. Here are the 10 best maps we covered in 2016.

Where can you see South America from?
Where can you see South America from? Image by Andy Woodruff

1.  What’s over the horizon? Gorgeous maps show the surprising answers

The answer to the question ‘what lies over the ocean?’ is not as straightforward as you might believe. It changes constantly as you move along the crooked coast. Follow these beautiful maps to find out how you can swim directly from South America to Myanmar.

2. New map reveals inventive tourism slogans from all around the world

From the inspirational to the pun-tastic to the downright blunt, explore the varied ways your favourite countries market themselves. Do you like the direct Armenian offering: ‘Visit Armenia. It’s beautiful’? Or does Papua New Guinea draw you in with the promise of ‘A million different journeys’?

3. Find the cheapest beer in Paris with this new metro map
We all love Paris but the city doesn’t always love our budget. Now some ingenious beer lovers have mapped out where you can find the cheapest pint and which Metro station it’s nearest to. Use it via an app to get happy hour prices in real-time and you should be able to drink your way through central Paris for just €3 a pint.

They look like they're enjoying a bargain beer!
They look like they’re enjoying a bargain beer! Image by Alexandra Iakovleva

4. Colourful climate maps show the surprising similarities between countries
You don’t need to travel to Europe to experience the balmy climate of Naples, you could just head to south-east Australia. These colourful maps showed us the surprising similarities between the climates of the world. If you close your eyes in parts of China, you could imagine yourself to be in Namibia.

5. This new map will help you find the best fall foliage in the United States
One to save for next year, this prediction map allows leaf-peepers to chase the very best of the vibrant orange, red and yellow colours throughout the United States in the autumn.

The fall foliage in Vermont.
The fall foliage in Vermont. Image by Naphat Photography/Getty Images

6. Discover the most veggie-friendly countries in Europe
It can sometimes be tough travelling as a vegetarian, but just because you’re dedicated to a plant-based diet, doesn’t mean that you can’t still explore fantastic cuisine from around the world. This map measures the number of vegetarian restaurants per one million inhabitants, so vegetarian travellers will know how easy it is to dine out.

7. This new Spotify music map is the perfect soundtrack to your travels
This interactive map will help you hear the sounds of a city before you ever reach it. Updated weekly, it tracks the most disproportionately popular songs in each city, making it a great choice for a travel soundtrack or just to explore the world aurally.

8. Australia’s 1.3 million rivers and streams are mapped out in these beautiful images
These beautiful illustrations of Australia’s waterways give you a fresh perspective on the world’s driest continent. Compare the full map to the one with just the permanent waterways for a striking result.

North-West Queensland
North-West Queensland

9. This gigantic map helps you find nearly every hiking trail in California
Looking for inspiration for your next hike? Look no further than this gigantic map of every single hiking trail in the state of California. It’s the perfect way to plan – or keep track – of your outdoors adventures.

10. Explore the strangest Wi-Fi names in Berlin with this bizarre new map
If you truly want to experience a side of Berlin that tourists never get to see, explore this interactive map of the strangest Wi-Fi names in the city. And if you find out what the Penguin Rescue Club actually is, please let us know.

Screenshot from Federico Prandi's interactive map.
Screenshot from Federico Prandi’s interactive map. Image by Federico Prandi