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ORBIS TERRARUM

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

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

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

A world of equal districts

World map divided into 665 equally populated districts
posted by allen.spaulding on Sep 16, 2013 - 64 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 Poetics & Politics of Picturing the World

The atlas is more than a cartographic genre. It is a way of thinking, of ordering, and experiencing the world... In the age of Google Earth, this online exhibition of maps from the 16th to 20th centuries is meant to stir public interest in the history of the atlas and cartography.
posted by spamandkimchi on May 18, 2013 - 13 comments

19th Century Maps Drawn By Children

The David Rumsey Map Collection presents 19th-century maps, drawn by children. Relics of an approach to the teaching of geography through the copying of existing maps and atlases, many of these maps are stunning in their detail and elegance--though not always in their accuracy. Also, I'll be damned if one of the teachers mentioned didn't create something that looks an awful lot like an infographic. [Via]
posted by Rykey on Apr 1, 2012 - 22 comments

Cartoo

Cartoo uses Google Maps to show you how far you could get by car, bike, or foot in a set amount of time.
posted by Paragon on Mar 8, 2012 - 38 comments

Mapping with time rather than distance.

Time Maps maps the Netherlands based on how long it takes to reach a given destination rather than how far away it is.
We can reach almost any destination by train easily and relatively quick. In our busy lives we now think in time rather than distance[...]From the perspective of Eindhoven, for instance, the Netherlands is relatively small because of the quick and easy connections to other cities. At the same time, seen from a more remote and small village such as Stavoren the Netherlands is much bigger[...]At night the map will expand because there are no night trains and in the morning it will shrink once trains will commence their schedules. Here is a video demonstration.
posted by OmieWise on Nov 17, 2011 - 28 comments

What Are These Mysterious Lines In China's Desert?

Some Google Earth enthusiasts have found a strange and unexplainable grid pattern in the middle of China's Gobi Desert.
posted by reenum on Nov 14, 2011 - 70 comments

I got the whole world in my hands...

The official Google Earth plugin is one free download that makes all sorts of cool stuff possible in your browser. There's a full screen version of the program (complete with underwater views and 3D buildings) which can be searched by entering queries at the end of the URL. There's a framed version with support for layers, historical imagery, day/night cycles, and the Google Sky starmap. Less useful but more fun are Google's collection of "experiments" demonstrating the possibilities of the Earth API, including a "Geo Whiz" geography quiz, an antipode locater, a 3D first-person view of San Francisco, a virtual route-follower, and MONSTER MILKTRUCK!, a crazy fun driving simulator that lets you careen a virtual milk truck through the Googleplex campus, ricochet off the Himalayas, or explore any other place you care to name. Lots more can be found in the Google Earth Gallery -- highlights include a look at mountaintop removal mining, a real-time flight tracker, a guide to trails and outdoor recreation, a 360 panorama catalog, geotagged Panoramio photos, and the comprehensive crowdsourced Google Earth Community Layer. And while it's too large to view online, don't miss loading the Metafilter user location map into a desktop version of Google Earth! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 9, 2011 - 15 comments

Make your own astronomical calendar

Several months ago, Bill Rankin of Radical Cartography (previously and previouslier) created an astronomical calendar of events for New Haven, Connecticut, where he lives, featuring all of the inexorable rhythms of the Solar System in one handy PNG file. Now you can create such a calendar for any location on the planet, with information as basic as the hours of daylight or as esoteric as the tilt of Saturn's rings, all lovingly rendered in soothing translucent pastels. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Feb 7, 2011 - 18 comments

Just another Saturday afternoon art post

Fernando Vicente creates his own Body Worlds*, shows what makes people tick, gets under their skin, and appeals to dignity and prurience. Also, he has a blog. Reminds me of Boris Artzybasheff and Yoshitomo Nara for different reasons. via strange maps [more inside]
posted by jtron on Jan 8, 2011 - 6 comments

Middle-Earth

An interactive map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. You can zoom and pan, search for or center a location, and link to a particular area. Place names are labeled in both English and Elvish. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 10, 2010 - 27 comments

geography geek blogs

50 Best Blogs for Geography Geeks. Among the picks are Geographicus- Rare & Antique Map Blog l Atlas Obscura l The Rural Blog l Geographic Travels l Climate Progress l Edible Geography l DIY Cartography and Geobabble with a list of some excellent geography sites that were not included.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 9, 2010 - 13 comments

Free Geography Tools

Free Geography Tools is Leszek Pawlowicz's invaluable collection of GIS links. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 23, 2010 - 13 comments

"Google has inadvertently waded into disputes from Israel to Cambodia to Iran"

The Agnostic Cartographer : How Google’s open-ended maps are embroiling the company in some of the world’s touchiest geopolitical disputes.
posted by desjardins on Jul 18, 2010 - 23 comments

No-place-land! No-place-land! No-place-land!

How America got its name: The suprising story of an obscure scholar, an adventurer’s letter, and a pun.
posted by homunculus on Jul 4, 2010 - 33 comments

Maps in proportion

MAPfrappe - a simple Google Maps mashup that lets you compare landmark sizes by outlining a part of the world and overlaying it on another. Iraq vs. Texas; Greenland vs. India; Tiananmen Square vs. Red Square; Devils Tower vs. White House.
posted by Paragon on Apr 12, 2010 - 38 comments

The notebook of cartographer Zachary Forest Johnson.

The notebook of cartographer Zachary Forest Johnson. There is lots of good stuff here. For example, political cartography: voting with our pocketbooks, or this biography of Wild Bill Bunge.
posted by chunking express on Mar 23, 2010 - 1 comment

Search the Bible with Google Maps

Biblemap.org is an interactive map system for the bible, which is great for visualising where certain biblical events are said to have occured. It's also great for people who don't subscribe to any kind of organised religion but do like looking at maps (like me!).
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 14, 2009 - 24 comments

The body of the city

Visualizing Early Washington. A project at the Imaging Research Center of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County has reconstructed the original landscape of Washington DC before its radical transformation into a modern capital city. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 2, 2008 - 21 comments

The Map-Happy Chaplain

John Henry Wilbrandt Stuckenberg emigrated from Germany to the United States, where he was eventually a Chaplain in the American Civil War. He also really liked maps; in the course of traveling over his lifetime, he collected hundreds of maps, some dating back to the 16th century. [Most maps in Latin]
posted by Rykey on Jul 26, 2008 - 6 comments

Mostly blue

Google to map the oceans.
posted by Artw on Apr 30, 2008 - 18 comments

Mapping Globalization

What does "globalization" look like? Princeton's searchable collection of historical maps and present-day analysis, including Artists' Travels in the Renaissance, an 1891 ethnographic chart, Telegraph Lines in 1869, Global Terrorism c. 1983, Oil reserves vs. consumption, a visualization of world development since 1960. (via)
posted by desjardins on Jan 6, 2008 - 13 comments

Crafty Cartography

Lost? Why not consult a map? Because, according to a past exhibit at the British Library, the mapmaker might have a political agenda.
posted by Rykey on Nov 12, 2007 - 14 comments

where

Maps new and old. Music maps - Find out who is listening to what and where l Cool Google Maps - Who knew maps could be fun? l Subway maps on five continents l Free printable world map and blank maps l Free Clustr Maps - Locate all site visitors. l Index of some users of WorldKit - Easy web mapping (including the excellent and previously mentioned, RSOE HAVARIA Emergency and Disaster Information Service) l Number of Inhabitants Per Doctor around the world l And some beautiful antique, old and vintage maps, such as this one of the names of the Mediterranean winds in five languages. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 4, 2007 - 17 comments

There may be maps for these territories.

Strange maps: the start of a collection of curious cartography found online, be they historic, quirky, practical or fictional.
posted by myopicman on Nov 6, 2006 - 19 comments

What's your position?

Do you know where you are? With Google Maps and Google Earth so commonplace now, GPS everywhere, and with websites such as our own Metafilter making use of latitude and longitude did you ever stop to think about how all this latitude, longitude and height above sea level works? The UK's Ordnance Survey explains it all in A Guide to Coordinate Systems in Great Britain. Discover that different coordinate systems might differ by as much as 200m, and that your house may be moving as much as 1m up and down each day relative to the centre of the Earth, and many other bits of geographical interest.[more inside]
posted by edd on Sep 6, 2006 - 4 comments

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