Designers Set Out to Prove Whether All Roads Lead to Rome

Road to Rome
Moovel lab have created a series of interactive maps that shows the route from points around the world to Rome, Italy Moovel Lab

All roads lead to Rome, or do they?

That is the question designers Benedikt Groß, Philipp Schmitt and Raphael Reimann set out to answer, and they have done so in quite beautiful fashion through their project Roads to Rome.

The project uses a series of interactive maps to show the almost 500,000 routes you could take to reach the Italian capital across Europe.

12/15_Roads to Rome
Map of Europe showing routes to Rome from every data point Moovel Lab

Benedikt and his team used a set of grids to create 486,713 starting points across the whole of Europe before using an algorithm that calculates a route for every trip. The more often a route is used, the stronger it appears on the map.

London Road to Rome
A closeup look at all the ways you can travel to Rome, Italy from London. Moovel Lab

On their website, the designers say that the outcome of the project is "somewhere between information visualization and data art."

Unsatisfied with mapping out a route to Rome from every point in every city in Europe, the designers wondered whether it was possible to find journeys around the world leading to any place called Rome. Their subsequent research discovered a city called Rome on every continent.

Their map of the United States shows the route from every location to all 10 cities in America called 'Rome'

US Roads to Rome
Map showing all the routes to the 10 cities in the U.S. all called 'Rome' Moovel Lab

The researchers are members of moovel lab, an organisation dedicated to "exploring ideas and technologies related to what moves us in our urban setting."

The routes were navigated by GraphHopper, using data from OpenStreetMap.