In 1998, Bruce Myren bought a portable GPS unit, and began a project he had been dreaming of since 1991: photographing each of the whole longitudinal degree intersections along the 40th parallel using an 8"x10" camera.
In June, 2012, he ran a successful Kickstarter campaign
to raise money to finish the project.
He completed it last December, 21 years after conception: The Fortieth Parallel [more inside]
posted by 1367
on May 10, 2013 -
First noticed by westerners in 1965, when the Gemini-4 spacecraft flew over northwest Africa
(alternate source, with link to uncompressed TIF
| in Earth photographs from Gemini III, IV, and V
on Archive.org), the Richat Structure
in the Sahara desert of west–central Mauritania
resembles an impact crater or a circular target (or a possible Atlantis
, or Plato's circular city
, or maybe an open-pit mine
), but is a naturally occurring 40-50 km (25-30 mi) geologic dome that has eroded over time
. It's large enough that, when seen in person
, the scale of the geography is hard to capture
. But it is quite impressive
when seen from space
posted by filthy light thief
on Feb 12, 2013 -
"Cheever wasn't the only one who found inspiration at the Writers' Project [NYT]
. Others included Conrad Aiken, Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Arna Bontemps, Malcolm Cowley, Edward Dahlberg, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Kenneth Patchen, Philip Rahv, Kenneth Rexroth, Harold Rosenberg, Studs Terkel, Margaret Walker, Richard Wright and Frank Yerby. These federal employees produced what would become the renowned American Guide Series, comprising volumes for each of the 48 states
that then existed, as well as Alaska."
posted by Iridic
on Feb 12, 2013 -
The Geography of Abortion Access
- Forty years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ushered in legal abortion for American women when it decided in Roe v. Wade. Today, states—particularly in the South and Midwest—are eroding that right by legislating hundreds of provisions intended to impede access with burdensome obstacles. To understand more fully the complex state of access to abortion services in America, The Daily Beast identified and confirmed the location of the country’s remaining 724 clinics and calculated the distance from every part of the country to its closest clinic.
posted by Artw
on Jan 24, 2013 -
"Every day a PHP script picks a random spot on the land mass of Earth. The nearest photo to that spot is posted here
posted by Iridic
on Jan 10, 2013 -
With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.
December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities
-- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino
. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan
, the explorer Marco Polo
describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities
, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes
, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 30, 2012 -
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.
posted by zamboni
on Dec 5, 2012 -
As Americans, we pick a place to live and then figure out how to get where we need to go. If no way exists, we build it. Roads, arterials, highways, Interstates, and so on. Flexible and distributed transportation networks are really the only solution compatible with that way of thinking. Trains, which rely on a strong central network, never had a chance. We were destined for the automobile all the way back in 1787, when we first decided to carve up the countryside into tidy squares. Town, Section, Range, and the Transportation Psychology of a Nation [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee
on Nov 30, 2012 -
“I stole this book from the library ages ago…”Behind the Curtain (AKA OMG Marvin K. Redpost is a girl!)
“Fourth grade” I say, watching them huddled together in the mirror.
“…one of those Marvin K. Redpost books. He kisses his elbow one day and when he wakes up the next morning he's a girl.”
“I meant to make you take it back but I bet we still have it.”
“My mom's cataloging fifteen years of gender-bending in one week.” She says, rolling her eyes.... “Seriously Mom, how did you NOT know?”
She will ask me this a hundred times. I will ask myself a hundred more and still never I didn't have a good answer then and I don't now. Perhaps we simply see what we expect to see and write off anything that doesn't fit into the little boxes we put people into. Or perhaps she'd learned to mask and over-correct, to hide so well that by the time those distinctions matter, I could not see her until she tore down that wall. I wish I'd known sooner.
is one of the funnier excerpts from The Complicated Geography of Alice
, a memoir in progress.
posted by carsonb
on Nov 25, 2012 -
Anyone familiar with the contemporary Russian humorous folklore (jokelore, or in Russian anekdoty) knows that one of the most popular series of such jokes revolves around the Chukchis, the native people of Chukotka, the most remote northeast corner of Russia. These jokes, especially popular in 1990s and 2000s, fit the international genre of ethnic stupidity jokes . . .
posted by jason's_planet
on Nov 10, 2012 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
It has been a bad week for contemporary Marxist scholarship [earlier this morning
]. This past Saturday
, the geography world lost Neil Smith, versatile theorist
, advocate for social justice
, LA Times Book Award winner
, and founder of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics
at CUNY. Best known for his theory of the uneven spatial development of capitalism
and for changing the way we think about gentrification
, his numerous contributions to the field of critical human geography include a sustained critique of neoliberalism
, a history of American empire
, and the declaration that there's no such thing as a natural disaster
. Here's Neil on Occupy Wall Street
, urban securitization
, deconstructing USA Today in 1984
, and singing the Socialist ABCs
posted by avocet
on Oct 1, 2012 -
WebGL, the 3D technology that's associated with HTML5, continues to make giant strides in diverse areas:
Exploration of human anatomy: Zygote Body, released yesterday, and BioDigital Human, the successors to Google Body (previously)
World Visualisation: WebGL Earth, Nokia's 3D Map of the entire earth (previously). WorldWeather and The WebGL Globe, a Google project that displays all kinds of data. Also: Where Does My Tweet Go?
Games: browser ports of Team Fortess 2, Quake 3 and Rage (a developer’s diary). SkidRacer, an entire game in WebGL. Mini Mass Effect (not yet playable, sadly).
Tools: 3Notes.js, a visual scene editor. Developer documentation. More resources. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul
on Mar 28, 2012 -
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 -
: US/Canada states, provinces, territories and minor possessions as CSV, SQL, HTML form elements, PHP arrays, and more. All the countries in the world, as a text list
, CSV and API
(from the very handy and open Factual
, including “how far can I travel from any point on the Earth in a certain time, using a form of ground transportation?”
, and “If I dug a tunnel straight through the planet, where should I emerge
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul
on Jan 27, 2012 -
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: [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms
on Jan 6, 2012 -
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 -