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Photograph by Getty Images/Bettmann

In 1906, Teddy Roosevelt broke with 130 years of tradition when he left U.S. soil to see the Panama Canal under construction. No president had ever before gone abroad, but they have made more than 900 trips since.

Trends in presidential travel are newly visible in an interactive map called “The Executive Abroad” released by Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab. Users can toggle controls that highlight particular presidents or trips and search for particular destinations, whether Paris (27 trips, beginning with Woodrow Wilson in 1918) or Kampala, Uganda (four trips, three of them by George W. Bush). Trips by secretaries of state are included, too.

“Maps are a wonderful way to illustrate history,” said rhetoric and communication studies professor Tim Barney, who gathered the data for the map with 16 first-year students. “Our class discovered that beginning with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, foreign travel by presidents became the norm.”

One obvious contributor to the post-World War II shift was the development of the jet plane, Rob Nelson, the DSL’s director, told National Geographic. When Woodrow Wilson went to Paris in 1918 for the peace conference that ended World War I, he was gone six months.

“He was traveling by boat, so it was a huge time commitment,” Nelson said.