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Geography and Science Fiction
January 6, 2012 1:08 PM   Subscribe

GeoCurrents is blog dedicated to "map-illustrated analyses of current events and geographical issues", run by Martin W. Lewis, a Stanford senior lecturer. For the past week, they've been posting a series of articles on imaginary geography. See below for a list of the posts so far:

Part 1: Geography and Science Fiction: the Creation of Realistic Alternative Worlds
Part 2: The Elaborate and Curious Geographies of Frank Herbert and J. R. R. Tolkien
Part 3: Speculative fiction and language
Part 4: How to create an “exotic” language: Na’vi and Dothraki
posted by daniel_charms (8 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mapgasm!
posted by benito.strauss at 1:25 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yay, kind of! Though I love the idea, the actual maps are... lacking. Like this choropleth map? Come on, you don't have to do that, we have color brewer. Then the weak hack job on the mercator projection, which is followed by absurd combinations of arbitrary projections in other map output? Definite A+ on concept, B or lower on cartography execution.
posted by tmcw at 2:13 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, geography pedants in the house! Represent!
posted by desjardins at 2:39 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope Dr. Parker is proud.
posted by ES Mom at 3:07 PM on January 6, 2012


Fantastic! Thank you!
posted by claudius at 3:28 PM on January 6, 2012


Is something messed up with their RSS feed? I was subscribed to this excellent blog a while back and then this post reminded me of its existence, and I just looked in my Google Reader, even re-subscribed, and it still won't send anything to me.
posted by threeants at 7:38 PM on January 6, 2012


By the way, his book "The Myth of Continents", which led me to his blog in the first place, is terrific.
posted by threeants at 8:04 PM on January 6, 2012


They had an interesting series discussing the development of a "Demic Atlas", where, instead of countries, the world is grouped into regions of 100 million people, with similar levels of development. So instead of dozens of countries of various sizes, Europe is broken into 9 regions, like region 62, a developed northern area consisting of Scandinavia, Benelux and most of Germany; or 60, the less-developed southeast consisting primarily of Romania, Bulgaria, the Ukraine and the former Yugoslavian nations. On the other hand, large countries, like China and India, are divided into a number of regions.

It gives an interesting view of the world; the coastal parts of China and India are better off than their inland cousins, for instance. Sadly, the areas are pretty big, so some detail is lost -- Afghanistan's poverty disappears when it is merged with western Pakistan and the former Soviet 'stans, for instance -- and they insist on using percentiles to colour most of their maps, so the Demic and traditional nation-state approach can't be compared.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:50 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


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