Visualizing Viral Cartography with MapReverse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Social media provide a fast-moving ecosystem for the rapid dissemination of digital maps. Some maps become viral, reaching massive audiences across diverse networks. A new challenge for cartographers is to characterize the design and dissemination of viral maps in social media. Here, we present a prototype visualization tool called MapReverse which allows users to explore collections of map images that are similar to a given viral map. Similar maps are identified using a combination of reverse image search and machine learning image analysis. In some cases, we can identify original sources for maps; more commonly we can identify many modifications of the original viral maps. This system provides a glimpse into the evolution of cartographic design as found in viral social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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