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the great Renaissance artist
Leonardo DaVinci was born near
Florence known throughout Europe
he was employed by the King of
France late in his life he died
in on was in the LA
davinci is one of over a hundred
thousand notable people whose
birth places and death beds have
been mapped in this animation is
the work of a team led by
maximilian she based at the
University of Texas the team
wanted to chart hundreds of
years of culture births of blue
deaths are red
let's start in the Far East
this is 17th century Japan just
opening up to the west
many of these names are
Christian missionaries to the
country some persecuted here for
their faith
in nineteenth-century Australia
migration from Europe increases
the traffic
if you watch this full screen
you might make out some names
among them the infamous
bushranger Ned Kelly born in the
eighteen fifties
his father was Irish transported
to Australia stealing pigs back
in time now to the Roman Empire
there goes Galen physician and
surgeon on his way from Greece
to settle in Rome the powerful
Roman Empire drew learned people
in from all over Europe and
Beyond cultural sub centers
began to emerge like Cordoba in
Spain and Paris and avenue in
from the 12th century onwards
all roads no longer lead to Rome
migration between other places
are common
it's a little like a map of
budget airline destinations
as time goes on we can see that
Paris attracts far more cultural
migrants than other French
cities where is in Germany
several centers compete evenly
for migrants attention even
small towns can be attractive
cultural centers
look at the code desert in
southern France popular since
the late 19th century
these data are from freebase .
com a catalog of well-known
people in places owned by Google
in the sixteen hundreds many
European born explorers looked
West striking out to the
among them a fur trader
originally from the English
countryside governor's from
Spain and France looking after
islands in the West Indies and
military men
these are early settlers and
military folk
you might recognize some of
these names on the left there
goes John Washington
great-grandfather of George
Washington the first president
of the United States john was
born in essex england the trend
was to move from the rural
european country side to the
burgeoning cities of the u.s.
boston new york washington
post's two more deaths in red
than births in blue
but that starts to change look
at all the blue now as people
build communities and the
population on the East Coast
most often people move into and
along river valleys
from the 18th century onwards
look how people are starting to
move to the west coast and
living out their days there
that little cluster on the coast
is San Francisco
transport links make it easier
to get from one coast to the
other first trains and then
affordable Carl's
around the nineteen twenties
there are still more births and
deaths in the East Coast
notable people begin to flock to
meckel's like hollywood in los
this depiction makes clear the
pull of the west coast cultural
centers where people move during
their lifetimes
and many well-known names look
for a haven for their twilight
next the team would like to look
at how enlightenment thinking
and the religious landscape
overlap with their cultural maps

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This animation distils hundreds of years of culture into just five minutes. A team of historians and scientists wanted to map cultural mobility, so they tracked the births and deaths of notable individuals like David, King of Israel, and Leonardo da Vinci, from 600 BC to the present day. Using them as a proxy for skills and ideas, their map reveals intellectual hotspots and tracks how empires rise and crumble

The information comes from Freebase, a Google-owned database of well-known people and places, and other catalogues of notable individuals. The visualization was created by Maximilian Schich (University of Texas at Dallas) and Mauro Martino (IBM).

Read Nature's news story:

Find the research paper in Science: