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  • 12.21.15

7 Of The Most Interesting Maps Of 2015

Climate change, violence, stress–and even every single job in America.

In 2015, one of the biggest stories told in maps was that of climate change: A series of maps showed which states are most at risk of wildfires, drought, flooding, and extreme heat–and how prepared they are (or not, ahem, Florida) for those risks.

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While maps can make bigger trends clear–which countries are most violent, or how the population of the U.S. will dramatically change in the next decade and a half–they’re equally interesting as a way to understand inner life. One startup made a gadget that measures stress, and then maps out where you’re most likely to be stressed out in your daily life. And one artist questioned the whole concept of the traditional map: If GPS devices are helping us lose the ability to navigate, he argues, maybe sketching cities differently can help us gain it back.

1. These States Are The Most (And Least) At Risk From Climate Change
If there is one state that is especially screwed, it’s Florida.

2. These Beautiful Maps Show How Much Of The U.S. Is Paved Over
Take away the mountains, rivers, and lakes, and you’re left with 4 million miles of road—and a surprisingly recognizable U.S. map.

3. These Beautiful “Mental Maps” Of Cities Help Your Brain Regain What It Has Lost To GPS
We’re getting to a point where we can’t navigate even our own neighborhoods without the help of smartphones. Here’s an antidote.

4. Mapping The Most Stressful Places In Life To Figure Out How Stress Is Killing Us
A new wearable device aims to pinpoint exactly when and where our stress is ruining our lives.

5. This Incredibly Detailed Map Shows Every Single Job In America
Where are all the jobs going? This map will show you.

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6. The World’s Most And Least Violent Countries, Mapped
About half the world is becoming more peaceful—and leaving the unlucky half behind.

7. Mapping How America’s Population Will Change By 2030
The coming demographic changes are enormous—as the population gets older and more diverse.

About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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