Mapbox has built a new kind of map.
Recently, we’ve been thinking of a visualization that cuts directly to the way in which people make decisions about where to go: what would a map look like if we swept the physical world away completely, in favor of the time needed to move around it?
In this time map, we preserve the direction of each point, relative to the user. But the visual distance from that center point is determined by the time it takes to get there, whether driving, biking, or on foot.
This map requires quite a lot of magic to create: geolocation, destination lookup, and mapping via all available modes of transport. Once the data is pulled together, you get a singularly useful way to answer the question “Where should we go to lunch?”
There is a gif version of the entire feature towards the bottom of the article that I highly recommend checking out.