Last year, we published a map that showed just how long travel took in 1914. Now, there’s a similar map which shows how dramatically things have improved.
The map, shown above and created by Rome2rio, shows how long it takes to get anywhere on the planet from London right now. It’s pretty thorough, bringing together data about 750,000 different travel routes from over 4800 operators in 144 countries.
While the 1914 map, below, showed that it was possible to travel as far west as the Azores and as far east as the Russian city of Perm within five days from London, in 2016 the situation is a little different. For instance, Seattle and Vancouver once took more than 10 days to travel to from London; now they can be reached in under 12 hours. And the journey to the coldest city on Earth, Yakutsk, no longer takes 40 days — instead, you can get there in a mere three quarters of a day.
While travel times had been slashed in certain parts of the world by 1914 thanks to the train, in 2016 we can obviously thank the aeroplane. That’s perhaps most obvious in journey times to Asia — where a trip to Beijing or Tokyo took 40 days in 1914, it now takes less than a day.
Still, some places do remain hard to reach. It’s still impossible to get from London to, say, Greenland or innermost Africa and Australia in less than 36 hours. But honestly, simply looking at the scales used on these heat maps, we have a hell of a lot to be thankful for.