Every town on the planet has a really notable person who originally lived there. If only there was a way to see all of those people on a single map. Well, now that you mention it, there is. It was built by geographer Topi Tjukanov, who also works at a company called Mapbox.
Did you know Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar and Barack Obama in Honolulu? Who is the most famous person from your home town?
I made a map of the most notable people around the world. Built with @Mapbox.
Check it out here: https://t.co/NR0J7nqTn1
— Topi Tjukanov (@tjukanov) July 28, 2022
The map itself is easy enough to use. Scrolling through it is about as tricky as navigating Google Maps. There are some larger names in sections, like Nelson Mandela’s name in our header image above. He’s the most famous person to come from the Eastern Cape. Zoom the map out far enough and you’ll see he’s also the most famous person to come from Africa. He’s closely followed by Freddie Mercury and Kofi Annan. Clicking on each name gives a brief rundown of who they are and why they’re famous.
If you’re from a particular town, you might well disagree with how Tjukanov’s map ranks fame in your area. That’s because it’s only broadly accurate. The information for an area uses Wikipedia data (to locate the famous person’s hometown), as well as Wikidata information.
This information was used in a study of fame that ranked people over a range of metrics. The length of a Wikipedia entry, the number of links to a Wikidata page, and a few other factors are taken into account. But the map only uses data available between 2015 and 2018. If your hometown spawned a particularly nasty serial killer after 2018, they probably won’t have made the list.