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Maps represent the world, but they can also change how you look at it. And changing the way you see the world is a great thing.

Today Cool Websites and Apps continues its fascination with maps, bringing you five more sites that can help you see the world in different ways. We’ll look at weather, history, news and even YouTube videos. I promise you: you’ll find something new.

Wind Maps: Realtime Wind, Animated

Let’s start with something completely mesmerizing, shall we? Wind Maps doesn’t sound fascinating, until you open it, and then you just can’t stop looking at it. It’s an animation of current wind movements around the country.

wind-map

Seriously, just open this one. You won’t regret it from an aesthetic point of view, but it’s also fascinating to see how much variation there is across the United States at any given moment. Pay attention to how oceans and mountain ranges affect things.

While we’re talking about weather patterns: if you’re planning a trip, check out Wunderground’s road trip weather maps Wunderground Road Trip Maps The Weather Throughout Your Route [US Only] Wunderground Road Trip Maps The Weather Throughout Your Route [US Only] Read More .

YouTube Map Explorer: Find YouTube Videos from Anywhere

We’ve shown you maps that let you watch the web happen 5 Mind-Blowing Maps That Let You Watch The Web Happen 5 Mind-Blowing Maps That Let You Watch The Web Happen The Internet is happening; let's watch. Read More , but the connection between the real world and the web never ceases to fascinate. For more proof, check out this map, which lets you see YouTube videos from anywhere on the planet.

tokyo

Japan has some…interesting videos about prairie dogs. I’ll leave it at that. Let me know if you find anything particularly fascinating, okay?

OmnesViae: Interactive Map of Ancient Rome

roman-empire-map

2000 years ago the Roman Empire spread across Europe, Africa and even into Asia – to this day that ancient empire shapes these regions and many civilizations. It’s one thing to know that: it’s quite another to see it. OmnesViae gives you a chance to explore ancient Roman cities, overlaid on a modern map.

roman-empire-zoom-in

You’ll see roads and settlements, complete with Latin names and more details. It’s quite the way to explore history, and is particularly fascinating if you know the areas in question well.

There are many ways to find free historical maps online The 3 Best Places To Find Free Historical Maps Online The 3 Best Places To Find Free Historical Maps Online Many old records, such as maps, are not hosted in many locations. There are a few online resources that provide a decent selection of historical maps. They’re great for amateur researchers and anyone interested in... Read More , but I’ve seen relatively few that are this interactive. Check it out, especially if you’re from the old empire: you might learn something about your hometown.

TodaysNewsMap: See Which Stories Are Happening Where

Reading the news can feel very abstract – things are happening, somewhere. TodaysNewsMap aims to make things just a touch more concrete, and connected to the real world, by showing you top stories on a map. Explore to see what’s happening where.

news-map-global

The site, which pulls in headlines mainly from The New York Times, helps you explore headlines on a map. Zoom in to any location and you’ll see stories from there.

news-map-zoom-in

There are some ways in which this isn’t ideal: Washington DC is heavily represented, for example, because so much US news happens there. But it’s still an interesting way to see the news differently. We’ve shown you map-based news aggregators Catch the News on a World Map With These 7 Map-Based News Aggregators Catch the News on a World Map With These 7 Map-Based News Aggregators Read More a few years ago, sure, but it’s always worth checking out something new.

MapTab (Chrome): Beautiful Maps with Every New Tab

Can’t get enough of maps? Consider installing MapTab, which shows you a new beautiful map with every new tab. When I tried it for the first time, this extension showed me a map close to my new home:

portland-map-new-tab

But it has got more colorful maps than this up its sleeve.

maps-new-tab

You’ll see something new every time you open a tab, along with the current time. What else could you want?

There are other ways to revamp the new tab pages for Chrome Revamp Chrome's Default Tab Page With One Of These 4 Start Screens Revamp Chrome's Default Tab Page With One Of These 4 Start Screens A good start screen can transform the way you browse and work. It's time you got one. Use one of these alternatives for the New Tab page, to ensure that you're browsing effectively. Read More  (and MapTab reminds me of a Chrome extension called Momentum). But if you love maps, MapTab just might be your new favorite.

Maps Are Amazing

There are sites that will change how you see the world 5 Sites That Will Change How You See The World 5 Sites That Will Change How You See The World The Internet is making the world smaller every day, but only if you're paying attention. Take the time to reach out to the planet with these fun websites. Read More out there, and I recommend you try to find all of them. Because the more you manage to look at the world from different perspectives, the more complete your understanding of it will be.

Plus, it’s fun.

I want to know: what are the most fascinating maps you’ve ever found online? Let’s compile more in the comments below, because I will seriously never get sick of finding these.

  1. Rob Hindle
    September 8, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    An alternative to the Roman route planner:

    A Stanford University project has created a map with route finding capabilities using routes and means of transport available in about AD300, essentially the Roman Empire transport network.

    Although it has fewer locations and less information about each, it does add sea and river routes and offers more choices about the journey like means of transport and time of year. Also it makes an attempt at estimating travel time and cost.

    So for example, Eburacum (York) to Londinium by ox cart would have taken a month, whereas if you chose to walk, it's just 11 days.

    http://orbis.stanford.edu/orbis2012/#mapping
    There is a newer version but doesn't work on all browsers and it may still be under development.

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