For anyone who’s a history buff and especially interested in European history (from about AD 1000 onward), this is an absolute must-see. The shifting borders of the European countries are mesmerizing, and the music doesn’t hurt the drama either.
I kept watching Poland come and go, and waiting for the Ottoman Empire to go and for the Soviet Union to appear. But really, every bit of this is fascinating.
Update: Apparently the original YouTube video posted below [and its even more fascinating slower, longer version] has been taken down. (I’ve minimized its size, but haven’t deleted it, because sometimes these taken-down videos reappear if problems get sorted out.) But the three-minute version, complete with dramatic music, is still around for the moment. It’s at the Huffington Post: Europe History Time Lapse Map Goes Viral.
That link goes to an article that describes how the map was created and what it does, while this is the site of the map itself. If you click on the map, you get to the interactive part. You’ll see that you can enter your start and end location, your mode of travel, and other details like the time of year you’re travelling and whether you want to go by the fastest route or the cheapest.
Once you “Calculate Route” (that little tab on the top left of the panel where you enter all your options), you get a pop-up window that says stuff like, “The cheapest journey from Roma to Luguvalium in July takes 32.5 days, covering 3502 kilometers. ” And it gives you the various prices and so on.