188 posts tagged with cartography.
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Start Your Week with a Map!

"Every Monday morning, we will post a new map on this site. The maps will be unlabeled, uncaptioned thematic maps with no scales or legends.... For each week’s map, your job is simple: figure out what data is being presented by the map. To solve the map, you have to find the clues on it and come up with an explanation that ties them all together." [more inside]
posted by DevilsAdvocate on Oct 13, 2016 - 34 comments

Globalization is ancient

Mapping the Mercantilist World Economy Our current globalized capitalist world economy was built on Mercantilist foundations, put in place in the first phase of global European expansion, the second phase being that of the formal European empires of the industrial age. In the case of the “New World” in the Americas, Europe’s Mercantilists were creating entirely new trade networks and hinterlands. In the Old World of Afro-Eurasia however, Europe was rearranging the existing, much older, world economy it had been part of since the Middle Ages. I wanted to illustrate this first phase of global capitalism with thematic maps.
posted by infini on Aug 22, 2016 - 13 comments

Map of Roads Leading to Rome

Explore the Peutinger Map is a website companion to Prof. Richard J. A. Talbert's Rome's World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered (Google Books, Amazon). It presents The Peutinger Map in different ways, including with overlays and lists of geographical features. But what's The Peutinger Map? Also known as Tabula Peutingeriana, it is a Medieval copy of highly stylized 4th Century map of the Roman road network, extending to India. Jacob Ford explains why it is often compared to modern public transit maps [pdf] and then redraws one section as a New York Metro map. Euratlas has scans of the Medieval manuscript stored at the Austrian National Library and Wikimedia Commons has a high quality scan of Konrad Miller's authoritative 1888 facsimile edition.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 14, 2016 - 22 comments

If I had to sum it up in a single word, I'd say "signs"

Dale Sanderson is a third generation map nerd (and professional cartographer) and the creator of USEnds.com an extensive site full of photos of and trivia about US highway endpoints. Submit your own!
posted by jessamyn on Jul 3, 2016 - 34 comments

fucking up his entire morning routine 2 get another look at the cute boy

I started thinking absently about Steve Rogers’ jogging route during my run today and then i couldn’t STOP thinking about it : an exegesis on the daily run of Steve Rogers (aka Cap) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
posted by Greg Nog on Jun 30, 2016 - 78 comments

Bill's Port Smaps

Hand-drawn maps of Negro League teams, defunct NFL teams, the first NHL league, Ukrainian FCs. More maps, hand-drawn and not.
posted by Krom Tatman on Jun 22, 2016 - 3 comments

What happened to Google Maps?

Justin O'Beirne compares the 2010 and 2016 editions of Google Maps and finds a lack of balance — especially after looking at a map printed in the 1960s. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry on May 28, 2016 - 129 comments

A New Map for America

Rethinking the Map: How the lower 48 could be realigned into seven mega-regions.
posted by standardasparagus on Apr 16, 2016 - 96 comments

Ziphius, rumored to slice boats in half with its dorsal fin

Toronto-based artist Bailey Henderson sculpts the fearsome sea creatures depicted on medieval and Renaissance-era maps. [more inside]
posted by Faint of Butt on Feb 8, 2016 - 13 comments

First X, Then Y, Now Z : Landmark Thematic Maps and Their Makers

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.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 11, 2016 - 2 comments

All Roads Lead to Rome(s)

Every cell of this grid contains the starting point to one of our journeys to Rome. Now that we have our 486,713 starting points we need to find out how we could reach Rome as our destination. For this we created a algorithm that calculates one route for every trip. The more often a single street segment is used, the stronger it is drawn on the map. The maps as outcome of this project is somewhere between information visualization and data art, unveiling mobility and a very large scale.
Some beautiful and interesting visualizations of transportation models for Europe and the world, including all the towns called "Rome" in the United States. Also: Urban Mobility Fingerprints and Create Your Own (Europe Only).
posted by Rumple on Dec 10, 2015 - 10 comments

“As though the New Jersey suburbs were grafted onto South Carolina”

10 ways to map Northern Virginia. 12 ways to map the midwest. Which states are in "The South?"
posted by schmod on Nov 24, 2015 - 89 comments

The Coast of Lake Michigan Looks Extra Oceanic in This New 'Linear Map'

When I visit Lake Michigan, I feel staggering incredulity: How is this not an ocean? Driving between cities around its 1,400 miles of shoreline—say, from Chicago to Grand Rapids—emphasizes the lake’s vast scroll, since the only way to go is around. A new map captures that experience.
posted by cthuljew on Oct 21, 2015 - 72 comments

True Tube Topography

Thanks to a Freedom of Information request, Transport for London have released a geogrphically-accurate map of the tube. [PDF] [more inside]
posted by schmod on Sep 18, 2015 - 22 comments


After sixty-eight years, Cooch-Behar is no more. At midnight on Friday the almost-fractal boundary between India and Bangladesh was rationalised, erasing 162 enclaves and counter-enclaves, including Dahala-Khagrabari, the world's only counter-counter-enclave as well as what was, at one time, the world's only part-time enclave. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 2, 2015 - 17 comments

Men died in the pursuit of better maps.

"Inside the crates were maps, thousands of them. In the top right corner of each one, printed in red, was the Russian word секрет. Secret" -- Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers by Greg Miller, WIRED
posted by The Whelk on Jul 18, 2015 - 21 comments

"More indigenous territory has been claimed by maps than by guns"

Jordan Engel's Decolonial Atlas project aims to restore indigenous place names to global maps overwritten by colonialism. On Tumblr too.
posted by Miko on May 29, 2015 - 36 comments

Anthropology, already read

Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Apr 18, 2015 - 4 comments

Bad Maps

Maps can illuminate our world; they can enlighten us and make us see things differently; they can show how demographics, history, or countless other factors interact with human and physical geography. But, sometimes, maps can be utter disasters, either because they're wrong or simply very dumb. Here are a collection of maps so hilariously bad that you may never trust the form again. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Mar 15, 2015 - 25 comments

"The accuracy of the sea came at the cost of the land."

That’s how I feel about the web these days. We have a map, but it’s not for me. So I am distanced. It feels like things are distorted. I am consistently confused. — Frank Chimero, on What Screens Want
posted by iamkimiam on Mar 5, 2015 - 31 comments

Mladjov's Historical Maps

Bronze Age maps. Maps of Ancient Greece and Rome, India and China. Maps of the Viking era, the Crusades, and the High Middle Ages. Maps of Asia after the Mongol conquest, of Mexico before the Spanish conquest—dozens upon dozens of intricate historical maps.
posted by Iridic on Feb 17, 2015 - 19 comments

Ordnance Survey Maps - England and Wales, 1842-1952

Ordnance Survey Maps - England and Wales, 1842-1952: ‘The most comprehensive, topographic mapping covering all of England and Wales from the 1840s to the 1950s,’ courtesy of the National Library of Scotland. You can browse the maps as individual sheets using a zoomable map of England and Wales; as a seamless zoomable overlay layer on modern Google and OS maps; or as a seamless zoomable layer side-by-side with modern Google and OS maps. Also, Maps of Scotland: ‘Access high-resolution zoomable images of over 91,000 maps of Scotland and beyond.’
posted by misteraitch on Jan 4, 2015 - 26 comments

Marie Tharp's map

How One Woman's Discovery Shook the Foundations of Geology "She crunched and re-crunched the numbers for weeks on end, double- and triple-checking her data. As she did, she became more convinced that the impossible was true: She was looking at evidence of a rift valley, a place where magma emerged from inside the earth, forming new crust and thrusting the land apart. If her calculations were right, the geosciences would never be the same."
posted by dhruva on Dec 9, 2014 - 25 comments

An Atlas Of Hyperreal Cities And Where To Find Them

On Umberto Eco's latest book of imaginary maps to legendary lands.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 12, 2014 - 11 comments

Where men are men and the plumbing is outside

Have a swell chuckle 1940s-style at Jolly Lindgren's "hysterical" tourist maps of the Grand Canyon, Grand Coulee Dam, Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone Park, Palm Springs, and Death Valley. And it's lookin' mighty low..
posted by theodolite on Sep 24, 2014 - 25 comments

Louisiana Loses Its Boot

"The boot-shaped state isn’t shaped like a boot anymore. That’s why we revised its iconic outline to reflect the truth about a sinking, disappearing place." Previously.
posted by brundlefly on Sep 8, 2014 - 39 comments

De Islanda Insvla

Íslandskort is a digital collection of historical maps of Iceland put online in high quality pdf-files and jpegs by the National Library of Iceland. Here are a few of my favorites: 1, 2, 3. You can either browse a timeline of all the maps or browse categories such as first maps of Iceland, Iceland on sea charts in the 17th and 18th centuries and other maps, which includes maps of Frisland (1, 2), a phantom island that bedeviled cartographers for centuries.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 12, 2014 - 3 comments

15 Maps That Don't Explain the Middle East at All

Violent upheaval in the Middle East has recently spawned all manner of maps purporting to explain how the region got this way. Here, instead, are 15 maps that don’t claim as much. Or rather, they do not seek, like many other maps, to capture some fixed set of core facts about the region. Instead, these maps provide a more fluid perspective on the Middle East, often by showing what didn’t happen as opposed to what did. But for all these maps don’t show, they do illustrate one thing: the sobering fact that no one map—or even set of maps—can ever explain the region’s complex history and politics.
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Aug 8, 2014 - 13 comments


In 1909, American architect and cartographer Bernerd J.S. Cahill published An Account Of A New Land Map Of The World (and at The Internet Archive), in which he described a novel way of projecting a map. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 18, 2014 - 5 comments

Canonical Comical Cartography; or, The Batcave is in New Jersey

The Cartographer Who Mapped Out Gotham City from Smithsonian Magazine. A look at a real-life map of a fictional city. Illustrator Eliot Brown "didn’t just design the city; he designed an implicit history that writers are still exploring."
posted by HonoriaGlossop on Jun 9, 2014 - 39 comments

Sphere Factory

Spherical Voronoi diagram of world airports [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on May 8, 2014 - 42 comments

40 Maps of the Middle East

Forty maps that explain the Middle East. Includes sections on Middle East history, the region today, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and oil, Iraq and Libya, and "points of light." [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack on May 6, 2014 - 8 comments

Nobody lives here.

Nik Freeman has created a map, based on census data, to illustrate the 47% of the United States where nobody lives.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 21, 2014 - 113 comments

Terrabyte Incognita

Africa Might Not Look Like You Think It Does
There is no such thing as an objective map. This was true of cave paintings, Roman tapestries, and colonialists' charts of Africa. It is also true of Google Maps.
posted by infini on Apr 2, 2014 - 58 comments

The NYPL's Open Maps Project adds 20,000 High Res Maps

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]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2014 - 11 comments

A cartographic history of why North, not East or South, is up

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]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 18, 2014 - 28 comments


mapschool [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola on Feb 4, 2014 - 15 comments

What four commonly used projections do, as shown on a human head

Maps can help make sense of the world, but they can also distory your sense of reality (Archive.org stream view, page 58 of Elements of Map Projection with Applications to Map and Chart Construction). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 13, 2014 - 26 comments

A spectacular historical atlas refashioned for the 21st century

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.
posted by cthuljew on Dec 28, 2013 - 8 comments

Westeros and beyond

Jonathan Roberts is a fantasy mapmaker, who produced the maps for the official Game of Thrones atlas. He talks about mapmaking to Wired here. He also has a website with lots of nifty maps, as well as tips on making your own.
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 3, 2013 - 22 comments

Places Are Made Of A Thousand Stories

"I want to see the world. Follow a map to its edges, and keep going. Forgo the plans. Trust my instincts. Let curiosity be my guide.
I want to change hemispheres and sleep with unfamiliar stars and let the journey unfold before me."

Maptia is on a mission to gather first-person stories from travelers, "to create the most inspirational map in the world." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 12, 2013 - 3 comments

Cartographic mash-ups

Tubism combines the London Tube (or metro map of choice) with any imaginable topic: wine, LGBT celebrities, or songs about Paris. "Tubists may create aesthetic experiences, but presenting information in unexpected ways is usually a higher priority."
posted by spamandkimchi on Oct 28, 2013 - 7 comments

A world of equal districts

World map divided into 665 equally populated districts
posted by allen.spaulding on Sep 16, 2013 - 64 comments

Be sure to zoom out....

Buildings in the Netherlands by year of construction is a map worth getting lost in.
posted by oulipian on Sep 1, 2013 - 19 comments

Mapping the Midwest

How do you define the Midwest? As part of their exhibit Reinvention in the Urban Midwest (in most-certainly-not-in-the-Midwest Boston) Sasaki has created an online tool for people to contribute what the boundaries of the Midwest are for them. Results can be sorted by respondents' percentage of time spent in the Midwest and state of birth. An Atlantic Cities article shows one writer's opinion, and also links to Bill Rankin's similar Midwest mapping project on his always-excellent Radical Cartography site. An excerpt from The Midwest: God's Gift to Planet Earth has a more irreverent take on mapping the region.
posted by andrewesque on Jul 24, 2013 - 190 comments

The Corporate States of America

Steve Lovelace created a map that shows the corporation that best represents each state of the US.
posted by reenum on Jun 30, 2013 - 96 comments

The Moon Doesn't Have A Bed, Bath and Beyond... Yet

Samuel Aston Williams shows maps of the spread of urban sprawl in several American and international cities over 30 years, as seen from space.
posted by reenum on Jun 25, 2013 - 36 comments

Subjective Cartography

If New York Were A Blank Slate, How Would You Fill It In? is a piece on Becky Cooper's book Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers both famous and not. Cooper's Map Your Memories tumblr. Found from Brain Pickings, which has much more. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 19, 2013 - 6 comments

3-D Mappa Mundi

Mapping The Newest Old Map Of The World: A full-sized, 3D plaster relief facsimile of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, the largest surviving medieval map of the world (Previously).
posted by homunculus on Jun 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Google Maps, Now Customized

For years, Google Maps has been the map of our world in a historically unprecedented way. The new Google Maps (announcement) will eschew the uniformity of the old Maps and instead customize the map experience based on a user's behavior. Some are concerned how this artificial narrowing will affect the way we experience places and relate to our urban spaces. Others believe the customization makes the new maps more honest. Most, however, will probably just want to comment on the huge overhaul to the interface.
posted by Defenestrator on May 29, 2013 - 104 comments

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