This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.


Video of the week: The history of urbanization in under four minutes

  • Jun 17, 2016
  • 178 words
  • 1 minutes
Expand Image

More than 50 per cent of the world’s current population lives in cities and rapid urbanization is expected to continue throughout the mid-21st century. How did we get here?

Created by Max Galka of the urban cartography blog Metrocosm, the animated map above uses data from a new report out of Yale University to plot some 6,000 years of urbanization, starting with the founding of Eridu by the Sumerians in 3700 BC, through the expansion and decline of the Roman Empire, the colonization of North and South America and the explosive worldwide growth triggered by the Industrial Revolution.

Subtitles highlighting major historical events provide context as the world’s cities are born, conquered, re-established and renamed. It’s a fascinating watch that feels a bit like a sped-up version of the popular empire-building game Civilization.

The first Canadian city doesn’t appear until the three-minute mark in the video, around AD 1700. Without skipping ahead, do you know what it was?


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

Assassin's Creed Odyssey landscape


Inside the intricate world of video game cartography

Maps have long played a critical role in video games, whether as the main user interface, a reference guide, or both. As games become more sophisticated, so too does the cartography that underpins them. 

  • 2569 words
  • 11 minutes
Banana slug, video of the week, time-lapse, British Columbia, Canada, wildlife


Video of the week: B.C. slug captivates millions with mealtime time-lapse

This video of a Pacific banana slug dispatching a dandelion is the surprise "cute" viral nature video of the week 

  • 319 words
  • 2 minutes

People & Culture

With old traditions and new tech, young Inuit chart their changing landscape

For generations, hunting, and the deep connection to the land it creates, has been a mainstay of Inuit culture. As the coastline changes rapidly—reshaping the marine landscape and jeopardizing the hunt—Inuit youth are charting ways to preserve the hunt, and their identity. 

  • 5346 words
  • 22 minutes
Aerial view of Vancouver, B.C. at sunset


Nine amazing 360-degree videos of Canada

New camera technology makes these immersive photos and videos almost as good as being there 

  • 479 words
  • 2 minutes