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The Obsessively Detailed Map of American Literature's Most Epic Road Trips

Richard Kreitner and Steven Melendez have created an interactive map of literary road trips, complete with quotes about specific places from the books. If you are so inclined, you could recreate those trips in your own car, making all the pertinent stops along the way. or you could sit at your computer and make it a virtual tour.

The above map is the result of a painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature. It includes every place-name reference in 12 books about cross-country travel, from Mark Twain’s Roughing It (1872) to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (2012), and maps the authors’ routes on top of one another. You can track an individual writer’s descriptions of the landscape as they traveled across it, or you can zoom in to see how different authors have written about the same place at different times.

And if you haven’t read all twelve of the books, you might want to pick up a new one to enjoy the scenic route. The interactive (and bigger) version of the map is at Atlas Obscura.

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