In Zanzibar, life moves pole pole. Tunis does not rock the casbah. Barcelona is a gin and tonic town. Maps are worthless in Ulaanbaatar. Altitude is a bastard in Ganzi. Eating local in Hargeisa means devouring "a metric shit-ton of gamey, tough, and greasy camel meat." And nothing can prepare you for platzkart on the Trans-Mongolian Railroad. These are some of the many things you can learn from Roads and Kingdoms' regular feature, Know Before You Go.
Windyty is a very pretty way of visualising current and forecast weather data from around the globe.
Jordan Engel's Decolonial Atlas project aims to restore indigenous place names to global maps overwritten by colonialism. On Tumblr too.
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]
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]
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.
The Sound of the Earth is sound artist Yuri Suzuki's spherical record project, modeled after a topographic globe of the Earth. The grooves represent the outlines of each geographic landmass. Each country on the disc is engraved with a different sound. As the needle passes over, it plays field recordings collected by Suzuki from around the world over the course of four years: traditional folk music, national anthems, popular music and spoken word broadcasts. [more inside]
January 13, 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The Magazine is celebrating by taking a yearlong look at the past and future of exploration. [more inside]
Kelly Beatty of Sky & Telescope magazine has introduced the first entirely new Moon globe in 40 years using high-resolution data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). You may know LROC as the satellite that showed us the remains of the Apollo missions (previously). One nice detail is that they got the Moon's asphalt-like color correct.
The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of Earth, taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on December 7th 1972, as they traveled to the moon. On January 23th, 2012, the Suomi NPP satellite snapped a similar, high definition photo, called Blue Marble 2012. By sure to check out the other side of the Marble, how the photos were taken and a PDF that describes the NPP project.
This amazing image of a map refracted in a drop of water as it forms a globe, was captured by Markus Reugels, using a custom rig he built for photographing liquids. [via]
"Looking at the world through via Google Earth offers striking images of the diversity of our planet and the impact that humans have had on it. Today's entry is a puzzle. We're challenging you to figure out where in the world each of the images below is taken. (You'll find answers and links at the bottom of the entry.) North is not always up in these pictures, and, apart from a bit of contrast, they are unaltered images provided by Google and its mapping partners. So I invite you to open up Google Earth (or Google Maps), have a look at the images below, and dive in. Good luck!"
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]
Pontypool is Canadian director's Bruce McDonald zombie (?) flick about language virus. In real life, Toronto's Global News Mark McAllister suffers a bizarre on-air episode on Wednesday, reminiscent of the CBS Serene Branson.
What would happen if the earth stopped spinning? ArcGIS was used to perform complex raster analysis and volumetric computations and generate maps that visualize these results.
Make a Map is a website that lets you create your own maps of the US and areas thereof using various demographics data. It's still in beta stage but it's got all of the US (at least everywhere I've thought to look) and so far has datasets for median household income, population change 2000-9, population density, median home value, unemployment rate, average household size and median age. It's fun to use and taught me a great deal about my home city. The sitemaker, ESRI, also has a pretty good free globe map software, ArcGIS Explorer, for which you download map layers and add-ins.
Do Our Brains Change When We Travel in Outer Space? A book of compiled accounts of astronauts and cosmonauts called The Overview Effect puts forth anecdotal evidence towards that end. The Overview Institute declares it as fact and aims to induce the change in as many people as possible. One space tourist has volunteered to be a human guinea pig in 2009.
Plan your trip to a far away spot on the globe. You might wish to walk in a straight line or maybe just take the shortest route (other than, perhaps, digging). Take your camera in case you pass one of these. [more inside]
The Map of Humanity [large .jpg] created by illustrator James Turner is an effort to describe the human condition in an incredibly detailed map containing thousands of names from history and fiction arranged in a theoretical geography that encompasses islands of Abandonment and Wisdom and regions of Abomination and Courage.
Get to know the real Mitt Romney. "Every man has a natural, and, in our country, a constitutional right to be a false prophet, as well as a true prophet," said Joseph Smith, and Romney is hedging his bets. Today, the Massachusetts Democratic Party launched a site to help you get better perspective on Mitt.
Oh, Inverted World. As we’ve all learned in school, 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only 30% is solid ground. What if everything was reversed? What if every land mass was a body of water, and vice versa?
"Eternal Sunset continuously tunes into different webcams, chasing the sunset around the globe [...] complementing the increased efficiency and productivity associated with the internet." [via WMMNA]
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.
That hole in the backyard would not have gone to China. In fact, most of MeFi's readers would have ended up causing quite a leak. With so many 2d projections out there, who can blame us? There is always this introduction to map projections. You can then make your own projection or your own globe. At least it's not as hard as a 2d spacetime map of the universe (with relativity!).
World Sunlight Map. A neat little map showing the encroaching blob of darkness as parts of the world slip in and out of nighttime.
How on Earth was this image made? Here is an opportunity for you to play image detective. How on Earth was this image made? Is it a painting, or a map? Is it a photograph? If so, was it taken from a high-flying aircraft, or from outer space? Is it a satellite image, or possibly even something else? Click to read the feature article when you’re ready to check your answer. (cheers, lagado)
The World at Night. This amazing image (warning 500K) is actually a composite of hundreds of pictures made by the orbiting DMSP satellites over regions of the world at night. You can clearly see the Nile river, Hong Kong, Hawaii and probably, if you look close enough, the town you are in right now. From Astronomy Picture of the Day