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Thursday 24 July  
Travel time to major cities: a global map of accessibility

Earth Beat - Remote

On air: 14 October 2011 3:00 (Graphic: Joint Research Centre)

More about:

Earth Beat, 14 October 2011. We cut our ties to civilisation and get out there: from the loneliest island in the world, to living in a cave, or discovering the unknown wild spaces in a megacity. Remote locations: our impact on them, and their impact on us.



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Travel time to major cities: a global map of accessibility
Travel time to major cities: a global map of accessibility
Remote mapping

Alan Belward’s office is located in a tiny little town at the foothills of the Italian Alps – which is appropriate for someone who’s created a map of remoteness, shown left.

It charts the regions of the world which are the most cut-off: dark brown indicates the places which are hardest to get to, gold is used for cities full of millions of people.

Defining remoteness

Only 10 percent of the land area in the world is remote – defined as more than 48 hours of ground-based travel from a large city.

95 percent of the world's people live on just 10 percent of the land (source: Global Environment Monitoring).

The remotest place in the world is the Tibetan Plateau. It takes 20 days of walking and a day's drive to get to the nearest big town.

Tristan da Cunha is the main island in a volcanic group of islands in the south Atlantic Ocean. It's the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying 2,816 kilometres from the nearest land, South Africa, and 3,360 kilometres from South America (source: Wikipedia).

 

Alan told host Marnie Chesterton how he’s using the map to encourage better protection for the planet’s isolated areas.

More on the map from New Scientist.


An isolated island

Some people dream of retiring on a remote island, others are born on one.

Anne Green lives on Tristan da Cunha, slap bang in the middle of the South Atlantic.

In fact it was one of her ancestors, Corporal William Glass, who founded the settlement at the beginning of the 1800s.

Nowadays 262 people live there and she tells Marnie about what life’s like in such a far-flung corner of the world (more photos below).
 
 
Map - zoom out to see how remote Tristan de Cunha is:
View Larger Map


Denis in the garden at Marble Bar tree farm with granddaughter Claudia
Denis in the garden at Marble Bar tree farm with granddaughter Claudia
Finding shade

Mining prospector Denis O’Meara first arrived in Marble Bar fifty years ago. It's located about 1,500km north of Perth with summer temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius.

What struck him about this remote town in Western Australia was the complete absence of trees. He’s now changed all that.

With an amateur botanist’s energy and a generous spirit he’s now helped transform it into a little oasis on the edge of the desert (more photos below).


The Untamed London map series
The Untamed London map series
Untamed London

London might be a big busy capital city, but it’s also full of wild spaces where you can feel surprisingly isolated.

Ben Olins has created a map charting these pockets of green amongst the grey in a bid to show people the (semi) wildernesses on their doorsteps.

Producer Marijke Peters met him and together they went in search of some peace and quiet… (more photos below).

Read more about Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park


Marguerite van Geldermalsen
Marguerite van Geldermalsen
Living in a cave

The ancient city of Petra may be one of the world’s great wonders nowadays, but in the 70s it was off the radar for all but the most intrepid travellers.

One of them was New Zealander Marguerite van Geldermalsen who visited, fell in love with a Bedouin, then moved into his cave (more photos below).

She tells Marnie that this simple existence in a cut-off community actually brought people much closer together. Marguerite's book is called Married to a Bedouin.


Walk on the wildside

Technology and social media can have the uncanny ability to make us feel both connected and intimate with others, but also isolated and disconnected. Psychologist David Strayer worries about what this is doing to our relationships.

He decided to take groups of undergrad students away from their gadgets and into the wilderness with the hope of reconnecting them with each other and nature and to discover what makes them human again. He describes to Marnie how the experiment worked out. Download a PDF of the course syllabus.


Click image for slideshow - use arrows to scroll

  • Anne Green (far right) with teachers and children of St. Mary&#039;s School<br>&copy; Photo: Anne Green - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Aerial view of Tristan da Cunha<br>&copy; Photo: Tristan da Cunha Website - http://www.tristandc.com/
  • View of the Tristan Settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas with SA Agulhas at anchor<br>&copy; Photo: Tristan da Cunha Website - http://www.tristandc.com/
  • Remotest Island sign, Tristan da Cunha<br>&copy; Photo: Tristan da Cunha Website - http://www.tristandc.com/
  • Sheep Shearing Day on Tristan da Cunha<br>&copy; Photo: Tristan da Cunha Website - http://www.tristandc.com/
  • Marble Bar tree farm, Pilbara region, Australia<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • The Marble Bar<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Desert flowers in Marble Bar<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Desert flowers in Marble Bar<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • In the garden at Marble Bar<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • In the garden at Marble Bar<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Denis O’Meara at the Great Sandy Desert site<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • In and around the Great Sandy Desert site<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • In and around the Great Sandy Desert site<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Denis O&#039;Meara - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Marijke Peters - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Marijke Peters - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • View from Marguerite&#039;s cave looking down towards ancient paved street and the largest freestanding Nabataean temple that remains<br>&copy; Photo: Marguerite van Geldermalsen - http://marriedtoabedouin.com/
  • It is the men&#039;s job to cook the goat or sheep for the traditional mensef<br>&copy; Photo: Marguerite van Geldermalsen - http://marriedtoabedouin.com/
  • Bedouin men dancing at a wedding, circa 1979<br>&copy; Photo: Marguerite van Geldermalsen - http://marriedtoabedouin.com/
  • Marguerite&#039;s father-in-law Abdallah Othman roasting coffee beans in front of a tent woven from goat hair<br>&copy; Photo: Marguerite van Geldermalsen - http://marriedtoabedouin.com/
  • Marguerite&#039;s cave after living in it for seven years - a real home with plants and even a glass window<br>&copy; Photo: Marguerite van Geldermalsen - http://marriedtoabedouin.com/
  • Marguerite and her son run this shop in Petra selling locally-made jewellery<br>&copy; Photo: Marguerite van Geldermalsen - http://marriedtoabedouin.com/

Discussion

neroto 4 July 2014 - 4:16am / rokore

The article gives insight. I like this. failure is a common, but not worth crying over it. you need to do is keep trying until it works. manfaat crystal x such as health are things that need to be prioritized manfaat crystal x good job admin and thank for information

user avatar
Marnie Chesterton 2 December 2011 - 12:36pm / amsterdam

Hey Mary-Ann,

EB team receive compliments in any medium going. We even get the occasional physical letter/postcard; soo last century but very welcome in the office!

Marnie

Anonymous 2 December 2011 - 4:56am / canada

coming to you from the edge of Remote :>) Won't use Facebook and not fond of Twitter, so have no way of telling you "like it" except this way. I REALLY like your programme and I'm glad I discovered it. Mary Ann

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