Welcome to WorldPopulationHistory.org, an interactive site that lets you explore the peopling of our planet from multiple perspectives – historical, environmental, social and political. It is about the 2,000-year journey of human civilization and the possible paths ahead to the middle of this century.
This section reads as would a biblical genealogy of sorts: Alexander von Humboldt (wiki) taught Heinrich Berghaus (short wiki bio)and influenced Alexander Keith Johnston; Berghaus taught August Petermann (wiki); and Petermann collaborated with Berghaus and Johnston. More accurately, it reflects the passing on of the thematic torch lit by Humboldt. There were isolated “ignitions” throughout Europe before him—he, of course, was not the first to construct a thematic map or even to think of how one might do it—but every science needs a founding figure. More than anyone who preceded him, Humboldt provided that role.Landmark Thematic Atlases, from Princeton University Library's Historic Maps Collection website of Landmark Thematic Maps.
The entirety of Greene Street in SoHo is pretty short, as New York City streets go -- just five blocks long. Walk along it today between Houston and Prince Streets and you’ll pass an Apple Store, a Ralph Lauren store, and a variety of other high-end retailers. A hundred and forty years ago, you’d be walking by brothels. A new website, The Greene Street Project: A Long History of a Short Block, covers more than four hundred years of that one block section -- just 486 feet long -- illustrated with photographs, maps, newspaper clippings, survey data, and charts. [more inside]
This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of 1890s Washington, D.C., naming and locating “saloons” and “bawdy-houses” in the so-called Murder Bay neighborhood, located east of the White House. The Library of Congress, which holds the map, tells us that it’s a newspaper clipping from the 1890s, without a known author or publisher. (Slate.com)
In seven minutes, you can see the evolution of London, as seen in its road network, from the Roman port city of Londonium through the Anglo-Saxon, Tudor, Stuart, Early Georgian and Late Georgian, Early Victorian and Late Victorian, Early 20th Century and Postwar London, set to the scale of the 600 square miles of modern London, though the original city core is a very dense square mile. [more inside]
The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
How the north ended up on top of the map is an article by Nick Danforth, author/curator of (The/Mid) Afternoon Map blog, detailing how the north-up orientation came to be the default orientation, looking beyond Eurocentrism to Byzantine monks and Majorcan Jews who set the path for modern cartography. If you want more information, you might enjoy the Wikipedia article on the history of cartography, or you can really dig deep with the three-volume text, The History of Cartography, which is available in full from the University of Chicago Press online, split into individual PDFs for each chapter. [more inside]
An interactive version of Olaus Magnus’ 1539 Carta Marina, a map of the sea filled with the usual ( and unusual) monsters and creatures. (Slate)
Here you will find one of the greatest historical atlases: Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. This digital edition reproduces all of the atlas's nearly 700 maps. Many of these beautiful maps are enhanced here in ways impossible in print, animated to show change over time or made clickable to view the underlying data—remarkable maps produced eight decades ago with the functionality of the twenty-first century.
Youtube user EmperorTigerstar draws animated maps. Like this one, plotting the Franco-Prussian War, this one, depicting World War I, or this one, showing every day of World War 2 in Europe. Previously, previously.
The Cleveland Memory Project is an archive of photos, postcards, videos, recordings, clippings, ebooks, personal papers, maps and other historical "goodies" about the city. "It's a collaborative endeavor of many local historical societies, public libraries and government agencies who have mounted their own local history." On Flickr. [more inside]
Ron Blakey makes paleogeographic maps of the ancient world.
The paleogeographic maps show the varied landscapes of the ancient Earth through hundreds of millions of years of geologic time, including distribution of ancient shallow seas, deep ocean basins, mountain ranges, coastal plains, and continental interiors. Tectonic features shown include subduction zones, island arcs, mid-ocean ridges and accreting terranes.
Springsteen in the USA: 40 years of Touring as a Study in Spatial Diffusion "As a geographer, 1500+ shows over 40 years is an opportunity to map...how phenomenons such as innovation, fashion, or disease spread geographically. Except in this case the contagion is rock ‘n roll."
"The U.S. Geological Survey has just released more than 161,000 digitally scanned historical maps spanning in excess of 130 years and covering the lower 48 states. This Historical Topographic Map Collection provides a comprehensive repository of the landscape of our Nation..."
MAP OF THE SQUARE AND STATIONARY EARTH. Send 25 Cents to the Author, Prof. Orlando Ferguson, for a book explaining this Square and Stationary Earth. It Knocks the Globe Theory Clean Out. It will Teach You How to Foretell Eclipses. It is Worth Its Weight in Gold.
How Manhattan’s Grid Grew. Interactive New York Times map comparing 1811 New York with present day, plus other cool historical stuff. Huzzah, as the kids say.
Lviv Interactive, a project of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, is mapping the history, architecture, and human landscape of the City of Lions - including locations no longer there. [more inside]
Digital Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World is a three volume, drill down* cornucopia of information (some sections not published yet - but often with hover over info) for you to get lost in. [more inside]
Peacay of BibliOdyessey highlights some stunning examples of Victorian Infographics from the Rumsey Map Collection(previously). (Direct Flickr link)
Preserved in the cave excavations of Mogao and listing 1,339 stars the Dunhuang Star Chart is the oldest graphical star atlas known to exist. Dated to between 649 and 684 AD, it features two sections. The first consists of 26 diagrams of asterisms (including a recognizable Big Dipper and Orion) and the second contains 12 star maps each showing a 30 degree east-west section of sky in cylindrical projection plus an azimuthal projection circumpolar map. Star positions are accurate to within 1.5 degrees and it includes some stars in the southern sky. [more inside]
The Atlas of Early Printing. A visualization of fifteenth-century printing presses in Europe. Click around, look at the book-learnin' blossom!
National Geographic Map of the Day. Previously featuring maps that run the gamut from automotive discovery and exploration; through literary, witchhunts and imaginary; to historical and Olympic.
Canada at scale: Exploration, colonization and development. And a pop-up menu. Go, eh!
Trulia Hindsight merges real estate data showing the year properties were built with animated maps (US Only). Search for your town by name; here's mine.
The Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography Maps, mappers, and the history of mapping, with slide shows, online exhibitions (e.g. The French Empire in North America, popular cartography), and journal articles. Part of the Newberry Library, Chicago.
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich has some excellent online collections related to maritime history and technology, including telescopes, marine chronometers, sundials, and a whole lot more. Some stuff I've been looking at: John Harrison's chronometers (described in Dava Sobel's book Longitude), polyhedral sundials, and pocket globes.
Piri Reis Map I am a sucker for those books that hypothesize that Earth was visited by extra-terrestrials in the distant pass. One artifact that is brought up in nearly all of them is The Piri Reis Map, a document that seems to be a map includes parts of the world (such as Antarctica's ice-covered mountains) that were thought to be very recent discoveries. But, are they a hoax?