Previously, 6sqft featured an interactive map from Esri that showed how the world’s population boomed over the course of 2,000 years. Now comes a new paper and visualization (h/t CityLab) from Scientific Data that takes population and archeological records from as far back as 2250 B.C. and transforms them into a fascinating map that reveals the world’s first recorded urban centers, and how they’ve distributed themselves over 6,000 years.
While we all like to think of New York City as the center of the universe, our little metropolis really only started to pulsate in the last couple hundred years. Way, way before this (think 1 A.D.) ancient civilizations like the Mayans experienced “urban booms” of their own. This mind-boggling interactive map made by Esri puts thousands of years of global population growth into perspective, ultimately showing us that NYC is kind of just a blip on the radar—or in this case, the 2,000-year timeline of life.