Spanning one-ninth of the earth's circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents. Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity. For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
"Net migration from Mexico to the United States has come to a statistical standstill, stalling one of the most significant demographic trends of the last four decades." The full report from Pew Research Center. This interactive map [NY Times] puts America's many historical immigration trends in perspective. (previously).
"The U.S. Geological Survey has just released more than 161,000 digitally scanned historical maps spanning in excess of 130 years and covering the lower 48 states. This Historical Topographic Map Collection provides a comprehensive repository of the landscape of our Nation..."
"This monster of a land, this mightiest of nations, this spawn of the future, turns out to be the macrocosm of microcosm me." ~ John Steinbeck
Language of the Land: Journeys into Literary America: The inspiration for this exhibition was the Library of Congress's collection of literary maps--maps that acknowledge the contributions of authors to a specific state or region as well as those that depict the geographical locations in works of fiction or fantasy. Throughout the exhibition, these colorful and varied maps reflect the contributions of authors to specific states or regions and locate their imagined people and places. Through these maps, authors' words, images, and characters, Language of the Land presents a tapestry of the impressions that endure in our collective imagination of the American land and its culture. [more inside]
The Media Map: Who's Reading What And Where: [Forbes] We worked with Bitly and its data on millions of Web clicks to find the most influential media outlets in the country. This map shows which news sources are read and shared at above-average levels by state. Roll over and click on the media outlets below to see where they influence readers and which stories were big hits. Updated monthly to reflect the latest trends. More about the map.
The United Stated Geological Survey has finished a six-year effort to map the surface of Jupiter's moon Io. [more inside]
An amazing piece of statistical analysis produced this zoomable (down to the block level) map of energy consumption for New York City, based on Spatial distribution of urban building energy consumption by end use. [via]
Running nearly 2000 kilometres through Western Australia, the Canning Stock Route is the longest stock route in the world. And since 2006, Indigenous Australians from WA's Mid-West, Pilbara, and Kimberley region have been sharing their stories about this region through the Canning Stock Route Project. [more inside]
The USDA has released an updated version of its plant hardiness zone map. Based on low temperatures from 1976 to 2005, it puts most US locations into a slightly warmer planting zone. While many headlines link the overall changes with global warming, the map also reflects factors such as urban heat, prevailing winds, and the slope of the land. The Washington Post has an interactive graphic showing the old and new zones.
Ultramapping - outstanding and cool maps of all types, collected at Sha Hwang's Pinterest pinboard.
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]
"Piloting London’s distinctive black cabs (taxis to everyone else) is no easy feat. To earn the privilege, drivers have to pass an intense intellectual ordeal, known charmingly as The Knowledge. Ever since 1865, they’ve had to memorise the location of every street within six miles of Charing Cross – all 25,000 of the capital’s arteries, veins and capillaries. They also need to know the locations of 20,000 landmarks – museums, police stations, theatres, clubs, and more – and 320 routes that connect everything up." Acquiring The Knowledge changes the brains of those who acquire it.
Over 40 million Americans move in a year, creating a huge amount of internal migration. In this wonderful interactive map you can see the flows of population by county and year in America. Four experts comment on the map ("The Human Capital Swap-meet," "Vibrant Flux," "Reversing Flows," and "New Patterns?"). In more detail, the Census has a report on the latest geographic flows, and the Migration Policy Institute has terrific data on the population flows of immigrants. And, for a more international view, the map of cities that attract the most outside residents is also really interesting.
Interactive info graphic: 100 years1 of western2 dance3 music, as it has grown and migrated around the world. [more inside]
Harold Cooper’s Extend New York takes New York City to extremes, by extrapolating every street and avenue of the Manhattan grid to whole planet. What subway line stops at your front door, wherever you are? Why do all Avenues terminate in Shaytankuduk?
Some Google Earth enthusiasts have found a strange and unexplainable grid pattern in the middle of China's Gobi Desert.
Since 1988, the Center for Reproductive Rights has compiled a visual map of the laws regulating abortion throughout the world. Earlier this month, they released their 2011 Map in pdf and updated their online World Abortion Laws Map in a new interactive format which allows country comparisons and provides text of abortion laws for certain countries. (Via Good: Can I get an Abortion Here? The Abortion Rights Map of the World)
Salve! Do you have trouble finding your way from Brindisium to Antium or planning a vacation at your villa in the Appenines because no one produces an online map with directions in good Latin these days? Well, be of good cheer, friend, OmnesViae has what you need. [more inside]
If you live in New Jersey, you can see what your home and the surrounding area looked like from above in the year 1930.
Info Dump - Data map of pot in the USA
Want to view weather fullscreen? Check out Weather Underground's Full Screen Weather Map. found via /r/boston [more inside]
Jerry's Map: a short film about the fictional world of Jerry Gretzinger, which he has been building for decades through a process of procedural cartography. His website.
Rorschmap slices and reflects images from Google Maps, creating kaleidoscopic cartography. [more inside]
GE has posted a searchable bird's-eye view of the 6,000 most popular airports in the world.
Languages of the World (Wide Web) — Google researchers graph cross-language links on the web, and "see a surprisingly clear map of Europe and Asia"
The Connected States of America is a supercool interactive map from the MIT Media Lab and IBM that lets you visualize how regions in the US are connected by cell phone calls and SMS messages. Instead of the familiar states, new patterns emerge, with New Jersey and California split in half, and Pittsburgh the new capital of West Virginia, among other changes.
MAP OF THE SQUARE AND STATIONARY EARTH. Send 25 Cents to the Author, Prof. Orlando Ferguson, for a book explaining this Square and Stationary Earth. It Knocks the Globe Theory Clean Out. It will Teach You How to Foretell Eclipses. It is Worth Its Weight in Gold.
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]
"The 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS) has catalogued more than 43,000 galaxies within 380 million light-years from Earth. In this projection, the plane of the Milky Way runs horizontally across the center of the image. 2MRS is notable for extending closer to the Galactic plane than previous surveys - a region that's generally obscured by dust." Hires image.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched a new interactive mapping tool for Community Planning and Development agencies, interested agency partners, and the public. [more inside]
How Manhattan’s Grid Grew. Interactive New York Times map comparing 1811 New York with present day, plus other cool historical stuff. Huzzah, as the kids say.
Inspired by Harry Beck's London Underground maps, Daniel Huffman designed a series of stylized river maps for Michigan, North and Central California, Southwest New England, The Colorado River, Columbia River, and The Mississippi River. He also writes about the process he used in creating them.
The official "StreetView" map of China is eerily reminiscent of SimCity, rendered in perfect isometric perspective without a pixel out of place: Shanghai, the Forbidden City, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. That hasn't stopped companies from trying to create a more true-to-life photographic alternative: there is coverage of Hong Kong and Macau in Google Street View; sanction to cover the rest of China appears to have been given to City8, which covers 40 cities. (The latter site is in Chinese, but Chrome or language plugins do a decent job of translating the content). [more inside]
The History Of Science Fiction: a submission for the 7th iteration of the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science Exhibit.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced the rollout of a searchable map, which also offers a nation-wide view of internet service providers with filters for various technologies. The map is based on information collected from broadband providers or other data sources. [more inside]
Interactive map of direct grants by U.S. grantmakers to non-U.S. recipients. Sort by country, grant organization, year, number of recipients, dollars and other ways. 2003-2011.
Crime maps have formally reached England and Wales, says The Spectator. Launched today, the crime map shows two mild anti-social orders for our sleepy UK villige. What's your crime level?
Adults With College Degrees in the United States, by County. Sort by available years (1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 200, 2005-2009), zoom in on counties, and sort the data by the available fields. Uses the U.S. Census Bureau as the primary data source.
The United States of Shame. Surprisingly, Florida is not the oldest state. Unsurprisingly, Utah uses the most internet porn.
Ever wondered how the Twelve Colonies of Battlestar Galatica fit around a single star? Then gaze upon a lovely map of star clusters that is the BSG universe, designed by writer Jane Espenson and science advisor Kevin Grazier