Are zombies a problem in your everyday life? If you spend much time on the internet, you might think so. After all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has devoted a website to preparing for the zombie apocalypse, and Subaru has declared itself the official vehicle for escaping zombie hordes. And if you can't afford a Subaru, City of Epic will help you train for the task (and get fit in the process).
We aren't sure what sparked their interest, but Mark Graham and the others at Oxford University's Oxford Internet Institute decided that what the world really needed was a map of the frequency of the word "zombie" in internet searches around the world. So they combined Google Maps with a keyword search for zombies, and came up with a visual representation of the absolute concentration of references to the word.
What they found, not surprisingly, is that almost all the references occurred in English-speaking countries. As the website explains, "The results either provide a rough proxy for the amount of English-language content indexed over our planet, or offer an early warning into the geographies of the impending zombie apocalypse." Apparently the midsection of the United States is in pretty good shape, but if you live on the east or west coasts, in southeast Texas, or in Europe, you might be in trouble. We're going to go find a baseball bat just in case.
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