Ever wonder how fast you're spinning around the imaginary rod connecting the North and South Poles? Wonder no more. By finding your location on this map and searching for where your line of latitude intersects with the bold, black curve, you can determine the speed at which you're currently zipping around Earth's axis.

"I was initially going to make the graphic for Mars," planetary geologist Seth Kadish tells io9, " but people always enjoy a data visualization more when they can relate it to themselves. As no one lives on Mars (yet), I opted to use the Earth."

The result was the visualization you see above – a graph that depicts the speed of a point on Earth's surface for a given latitude due to the rotation of the Earth about its axis. Note that this visualization does not take our rotation around the Sun into account (those interested can factor in our roughly 67,000-mph orbital speed, if they're so inclined).

The speed at which you circle the Earth's axis, of course, depends upon your location on the planet's surface. An object on the Earth's equator travels once around the Earth's circumference (about 40,075 kilometers, or 24,901 miles) each day. Divide that distance by 24 hours (or 23 hours 56 minutes, if you're going by sidereal days – which we'll get to shortly) and you get a speed of about 1,670 km/h, or roughly 1,040 mph. After that, all you need to do to calculated speed due to rotation at any other point on the Earth is multiply the speed at the equator by the cosine (remember trigonometry?) of the latitude at the point. [Trigonometric diagram via]

But hang on a second. If we're going to bring simple trig into this calculation, it helps to assume that the Earth is a perfect spherebut it's not. You'd never know it from images like this one, but our planet is actually an oblate spheroid (a sphere that's been smooshed a little bit). It's also not perfectly smooth; the radius of the Earth measured to the base of Mount Everest is smaller than it is measured to the mountain's peak. And what about the fact that a full rotation of the Earth doesn't actually take 24 hours, but roughly 23 hours and 56 minutes – wouldn't that affect our calculations, as well? Well... yes and no. As Kadish explains: