"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]
Australia's GPS coordinates will be moved 4.9 feet by the end of the year. The shift is not because old measurements were wrong, but because our smallest continent rests on a particularly fast-moving tectonic plate (relatively speaking, that is -- it's only about 2.7 inches per year). This is the fourth such adjustment for Australia over the last half-century; the last such adjustment in 1994 was a whopping 656 feet.
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.
The Burial Database of Enslaved African Americans is a project of the Periwinkle Initiative to identify and document often-unmarked cemeteries where the remains of enslaved people are interred. Now "in its infancy," it will aggregate submissions nationwide. People who know of a site can submit it online - an important task given that many are threatened by development and identified by local lore and memory alone.
". . .the airplane seat is sort of a planetarium for the Earth,” she says. “It’s a great way to inspire people to learn about the sciences.”Flyover Country is a free app that correlates geo/paleo databases, maps, and other data sources with your phone's GPS to provide information and identification about the landscape below as you fly over it - no wi-fi necessary. [more inside]
Grid corrections : places where North American roads deviate from their otherwise logical grid lines in order to account for the curvature of the Earth. You could drive out there your whole life, de Ruijter realized, and not realize that certain stop signs and intersections exist not because of eccentric real estate deals, but because they are mathematical devices used to help planners wrap a rectilinear planning scheme onto the surface of a spherical planet.
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).
In search of trifinia Even for geographical completists, visiting all of the United States' trifinia, or places where three states meet, is an often overlooked pleasure. [more inside]
Thanks to a Freedom of Information request, Transport for London have released a geogrphically-accurate map of the tube. [PDF] [more inside]
Ripple - a short film by Connor Griffith. "It's a flurry of frame-by-frame images, mostly from Google Earth and Wikipedia, that depict the many developed and undeveloped surfaces on the planet." - the Atlantic.
Millennials of New York. True stories from real millennials living in New York City.
If you live outside New England, you've probably seen some ridiculously oversexualized fast-food commercials from Hardee's, Carl's Jr., or both. This isn't some weird cooperation between chains -- the two are owned by the same parent corporation, CKE Restaurants. CKE was originally just Carl's Jr., but bought Hardee's in 1999, and decided not to rename the nearly 2,000 Hardee's locations, instead gradually merging menus and changing the Hardee's logo to the Carl's Jr. star. And so, there is a distinct northwest-southeast line between the two chains, with a surprisingly interesting story behind where the two franchises tend to cluster.
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]
Lizardpoint [PREVIOUSLY] used to host a decent amount of geography quizzes. If you haven't visited in a while, though, they've vastly expanded. So yeah, you can still
kick yourself for not knowing where "Asia" is improve your knowledge of our great planet — but now you can also: quiz yourself on how to distinguish a stick figure from a the Vitruvian Man about the world of Art; learn to tell one crook from another identify world leaders and historical figures; become an expert in ugly dress patterns vexillologist. There's also weekly Geography trivia, study guides and timelines, and games for those of us who've had enough of being made to feel dumb kids. So prepare to boast about how smart you are in the comments section expand your worldly horizons!
Cabbies’ Street Knowledge Takes Back Seat [New York Times]
New York cabbies have long had to face a rigorous set of geography questions on the test they must pass to get a license. Now those questions have disappeared.Related: Who Needs a GPS? A New York Geography Quiz
New research examines the spread (or not) of local dialectical terms on Twitter. [PDF] [more inside]
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.
Mitch Hedberg and GIS Disproving “La Quinta” is Spanish for “next to Denny’s.”
Maps of street layouts, coloured based on their orientation. Includes San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Chicago, Berlin, Boston and London.
Political geographer Phil Steinberg reacts to marine ecologist Jon Copley's piece on the new gravity model of the ocean floor from David Sandwell and others at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. "Instead of understanding the ocean as something to see through as one seeks to map the seabed, water is reframed as something to see with. Volume, rather than being understood as a barrier to vision, becomes a means for achieving that vision." Copley asks: "Philosophically, when it comes to exploring anywhere on our dynamic world, how and when do we decide that somewhere has 'been explored'?" (via)
The NYT, following up previous maps examining the relationship between geography and baseball and basketball fandom, has released a college football fandom map. Like the previous maps, it's based on Facebook Likes and zip code data, so its accuracy may be a little suspect. But it's still fun, especially when it supports your preconceived opinion of a rival school! We discussed the baseball map previously.
19 U.S. Maps that Will Blow your Mind Or, um, not. If you love beautiful infodata, you'll really something this.
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]
A dynamic map of world history since 3000 BC. Link starts at 338 BCE, the year before the first conquests of Alexander.
Building a plausible world: a step-by-step tutorial, from plate tectonics to trade winds. [more inside]
TravelByDrone is a site that lets anyone upload videos and add the corresponding location, which is then pinned onto a map for you to choose from. [more inside]
The SmartMime whale tracker lets you know where Hawaii's diverse population of whales are right now (not actually in real time, but based on migration data).
The world's most complex borders. Bonus: a closer look at Baarle, the Belgian Dutch Belgian enclave in the south of the Netherlands.
A Geologic Map for Game of Thrones BASED ON CHARACTER OBSERVATIONS, OFFICIAL MAPS, AND EARTH PRINCIPLES OF THE GEOLOGIC SCIENCE [more inside]
The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene Mark Twain once said that "God created war so that Americans would learn geography." "On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force." [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]
"In the mid-20th century, in response to the United States’ rapidly expanding telephone network, executives at the Bell System introduced a new way of dialing the phone. Until then, for the most part, it was human operators — mostly women — who had directed calls to their destinations." The new system, which eliminated letters from phone numbers and set the stage for an automated national (and eventually international) dialing system. was met with a minor rebellion against "creeping numeralism." The Atlantic examines "Our Numbered Days: The Evolution of the Area Code." [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]
Pronbably to no one's surprise, Southern California leads the nation in the number of pleasant days per year (mean temperature between 55° F and 75° F, no precipitation). How does your city stack up?
Americans Try To Place European Countries On A Map, Brits have similar results attempting to place US States on a map.
Ever been to Johnsburg, Illinois? Have you received a Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis? Maybe you left Waukegan at the slamming of the door? Or perhaps you were simply full of wonder when you left Murfreesboro. If so, the Tom Waits map is for you.
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]
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.
"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.[more inside]
531 of the most interesting articles on Wikipedia covering everything from the linguistic (self-contradicting words in English) to the philosophical (The Ultimate 747 Gambit); from the only German military landing in the Americas (Weather Station Kurt) to the world's only Bigfoot Trap; to oddities both geometric (Gömböc ) and mathematical (Tupper's self-referential formula); great lists of various things (Bible errata, unsolved problems, camouflage patterns, blurred spots on Google Maps, lost art, the last monarchs of the Americas) to things that will make great band names (Orbiting Frog Otolith). [prev, shorter lists]
Can you name a firth in Scotland where the dolphins have individual names? The destination of Haiti's Kita Nago parade? A Sami Village in Lapland where tourists go to see the Northern Lights? A former "city of pirates" on the Adriatic Coast? Every weekday, listeners of PRI's international-news radio show The World are treated to the serendipity of a brief journey to a distant point on the globe. It's part of the daily GeoQuiz, a challenging geographical trivia game enhanced with ambient audio, imagery, mapping, and revealing details of history and landscape. You can play along via Twitter or subscribe to the podcast - either way, this 5 minute vacation will make you a little bit smarter about this incredible planet.
Twelve Mile Circle: a collection of geographical oddities and unusual places. The site is chock-full of short, well-written pieces on fascinating geographical phenomena around the globe, ranging from time zone oddities to islands joining the mainland to trap streets to roads with unusually low clearance. Among the many categories are borders, time, international oddities, roads, elevation, water, weather, US counties and states, Canada, terrain, history, government, etc. You can view all articles (there are a lot!) on a map as well.