The man who mapped the world


While some bleary-eyed New Yorkers stumbled home from bars and graveyard shifts, Elliot Cohen walked the streets of Manhattan taking names. Not the names of drunks or suspicious individuals, but the names on storefronts

For six months in 2011, Cohen would step out of his apartment at 4am and go block by block, jotting down details about every retail location he came across. Coffee shops. Pharmacies. Department stores. Then, after three or four hours, he would stop and head to his day job.

"My girlfriend thought I was nuts," Cohen, now 39, says with a laugh. But his bizarre early morning routine had a purpose: Cohen needed data. Lots of it. He wanted to build a better, interactive map to visualize the world in — even if that meant walking every block of it himself. Read more...

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