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Interactive map of the birthplaces of famous people
Image: Topi Tjukanov / Mapbox

This cool map shows the most famous people from every town on earth

Who’s the most famous person from your hometown? An interactive map reveals all

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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Everyone’s got a hometown hero… or villain. And if you love nothing more than getting lost down Wikipedia holes looking up which famous people are from where, then do we have the perfect tool for you.

A new interactive map shows you the most famous person from every single city, town and suburb around the world, revealing the birthplaces of some of the most famous human beings to have ever lived.

Made by map designer Topi Tjukanov and built on Mapbox, the map shows names ranging from politicians and sportspeople to musicians and authors. You can view them all, or filter according to four themes: ‘culture’, ‘discovery and science’, ‘leadership’ and ‘sports and games’. Amazingly, you can also zoom in on wider areas and get really specific with which famous people hail from individual suburbs and neighbourhoods.

The results highlight an enormous range of famous individuals, from Barack Obama (born in Honolulu, Hawaii) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Funchal, Madeira) to Björk (Reykjavik, Iceland) and Malala Yousafzai (Mingora, Pakistan). It’s a fascinating tool, full of facts you probably didn’t know –  even about your own hometown.

Here’s how the map works. The data is based on this study of notable people, which gave a ‘notability ranking’ to a whole load of famous peeps who lived between 3500BC and 2018. Tjukanov then built a map to visualise that data: the bolder the name on the map, the more notable they are.

For example, here’s what Europe looks like on the map.

Interactive map of the birthplaces of famous people
Image: Topi Tjukanov / Mapbox

And mainland USA.

Interactive map of the birthplaces of famous people
Image: Topi Tjukanov / Mapbox

Here’s London.

Interactive map of the birthplaces of famous people
Image: Topi Tjukanov / Mapbox

And Paris.

Interactive map of the birthplaces of famous people
Image: Topi Tjukanov / Mapbox

Sure, the map isn’t a totally accurate view – mainly because even Wikipedia isn’t 100 percent correct. But, in all, it’s pretty cool and a fascinating thing to explore. Who knew they grew up down the road?

If you’d like to scroll the map for yourself, you can do so here.  

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