"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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
Can't decide where to go trick or treating? Jonathan Hull has created an interactive map of all the places in the U.S. with words like Devil, Hell, or Satan in the name. [more inside]
"Have you ever dropped a stick in a river and wondered where it might go if it floated all the way downstream? Now you can trace its journey using Streamer." In addition to displaying the distance traveled, difference in elevation, and number of states, counties and cities the stick will pass through before reaching its outlet point, Streamer can do an upstream trace to show you which rivers and smaller streams fed into the spot where the stick was dropped. [more inside]
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. (more)
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.
Ultramapping - outstanding and cool maps of all types, collected at Sha Hwang's Pinterest pinboard.
Some Google Earth enthusiasts have found a strange and unexplainable grid pattern in the middle of China's Gobi Desert.
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]
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]
Lviv Interactive, a project of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, is mapping the history, architecture, and human landscape of the City of Lions - including locations no longer there. [more inside]
A map of the top 50 craft breweries in America by volume. State map of per capita beer consumption. [more inside]
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]
Strange maps: the start of a collection of curious cartography found online, be they historic, quirky, practical or fictional.