Been There

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If you’ve been searching for a simple way to keep track of your peregrinations, the free iOS app Been, created by Martin Johannesson, is an elegant way to record visits to U.S. states and nations around the world. The app provides graphic visualization, as well as lists and ratios of countries by continent. Download it here.

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Literary Map NYC

Inspired by some of the terrific literary maps of New York City that have been popping-up online, the Jewish Book Council created this super Jewish literary Map of New York City.

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Color Studies

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One of the joys of visiting the Netherlands during Spring time is the profusion of multicolored tulip fields throughout the nation. Rome-based photographer Simone Sbaraglia took to the air this April to capture the breathtaking hues and vibrant geometry of blooming fields.

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all images © Simone Sbaraglia

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Drone Day Tuesday

If you can’t travel this summer, you can at least take brief mini-vacations thanks to some very talented drone-operating videographers.

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Murakami’s Tokyo

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Regular visitors to TBTP are probably familiar with my fervent enthusiasm for the writings of Haruki Murakami. This month marked the much anticipated release of the English translation of his latest novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I won’t bore you with a review of the book. Instead, I’d rather direct you to the wonderful, Japan-based blog Randomwire, which celebrated the publication with a personal pilgrimage to sites around Tokyo that have featured in Murakami’s books over the years.

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If you are a fan, or you just want to take a vicarious trip around the city, checkout the fascinating three-part story right here.

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And Now Something Completely Different

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I have been accused of posting way too many maps on TBTP, but here’s a set of practical maps that may just save your life. These hilarious maps were created by Toronto-based designer Ryan McArthur and are all available for purchase as posters from his Design Different Studio website.

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Yeah, More Maps

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Once again the serendipitous randomness of the internet pointed me in the direction of an extraordinary artist/cartographer. Searching for local maps in the Canadian Yukon, I stumbled across the wonderful illustrated maps by London-based artist Katherine Baxter. You might opt for Google Maps when traveling, but you can’t top these aerial view, pictorial maps for shear fun. Take a look and be sure to visit Baxter’s website and Facebook page then consider purchasing a poster version here if you enjoy what you see.

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On Tour

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Lufthansa recently commissioned fourteen illustrators from around the world to capture the spirit and verve of specific destinations on their flight routes. For the “Passengers on Tour” campaign, each artist was required to use the format of the Wimmelbild , a popular form of illustration which captures a vignette with a “where’s Waldo”-like component. Each of the scenes includes a hidden passenger with a Lufthansa bag.

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Can You Trust Talking Statues

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Talking Statues is a new project from the non-profit group Sing London, which aims to lift public spirits by giving famous statues a voice. For the next year, thirty-five prominent bronze or stone statues in London and Manchester will be able to “speak” to passers-by through QR codes and near field communication chips. Each participating figure has been equipped with a plaque allowing visitors to swipe a mobile phone to hear a personal story. A number of actors, writers and media personalities have lent voice to the initiative, including Dr Who’s Jenna Coleman, Patrick Stewart, Anthony Horowitz and Jeremy Paxman.

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But What’s Second Best

You may not know the primary language spoken in a country that you’re visiting, but maybe you have a working knowledge of the most important second language spoken. Movehub has created this fascinating infographic highlighting the second most common language for many nations. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, when you visit Argentina you can get by with the Italian you picked up hanging out at your local pizzeria.

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