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.
The world's most complex borders
. Bonus: a closer look at Baarle
, the Belgian Dutch Belgian enclave in the south of the Netherlands.
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]
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 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
, 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.
How do you define the Midwest?
As part of their exhibit Reinvention in the Urban Midwest
(in most-certainly-not-in-the-Midwest Boston) Sasaki has created an online tool for people to contribute what the boundaries of the Midwest are for them. Results
can be sorted by respondents' percentage of time spent in the Midwest and state of birth. An Atlantic Cities
article shows one writer's opinion, and also links to Bill Rankin's similar Midwest mapping
project on his always-excellent Radical Cartography site. An excerpt
from The Midwest: God's Gift to Planet Earth
has a more irreverent take on mapping the region.
our highly speculative proposal for the reconfiguration of the political geography of the United States to better conform to the spatial distribution of various water resources, such as rivers, aquifers, and man-made infrastructures. [more inside]
By the creator
of the California Rail Map
, and inspired by ideas from various agencies and advocacy groups: A Map of the US High Speed Rail System
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.
How the World Was Imagined: Early Maps and Atlases
— Depictions of the world from the Iron Age to the Age of Discovery and the emergence of modern geography. From Socks Studio
, who have been producing great feature
uses Google Maps to show you how far you could get by car, bike, or foot in a set amount of time.
went live: A central repository of maps held by institutions across the globe. Over 60,000 maps. oldmapsonline.org
: 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
Ultramapping - outstanding and cool maps
of all types, collected at Sha Hwang's Pinterest pinboard.
"Countries are defined by the lines that divide them. But how are those lines decided — and why are some of them so strange? Borderlines
[a New York Times
column by Frank Jacobs of Strange Maps
] explores the stories behind the global map, one line at a time." The latest in the series: "The Loneliness of the Guyanas
," and the inaugural essay, "In Praise of Borders
Maps of Biblical Prophecy and History.
Also Protestant distribution, oil pipelines, Mars
, and more.
Architectural theorist David Gissen
has recently been travelling through France to learn about wine. His dedicated Twitter account @100aocs
has attracted the attention of sommeliers, importers, and winemakers. Edible Geography
caught up with Gissen to discuss wine, wine culture, geography, and Gissen's re-thought wine map of France
based on Metro maps such as London's Tube map
How Wine Became Metropolitan: An Interview with David Gissen.
"Many Wikipedia articles are tagged with geographic coordinates. Many have references to historic events. Cross referencing these two subsets and plotting them year on year adds up to a dynamic visualization of Wikipedia's view of world history
." Via curiosity counts
Several months ago, Bill Rankin of Radical Cartography (previously and previouslier)
created an astronomical calendar of events for New Haven, Connecticut
, where he lives, featuring all of the inexorable rhythms of the Solar System in one handy PNG file. Now you can create such a calendar
for any location on the planet, with information as basic as the hours of daylight or as esoteric as the tilt of Saturn's rings, all lovingly rendered in soothing translucent pastels. [more inside]
Europe according to...
is a project to map stereotypes of European countries according to other countries and groups of people. [more inside]
How segregated is your city?
Eric Fischer maps the top 40 US cities by race, using 2000 census data. Each color-coded dot represents 25 people: Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, and Orange is Hispanic. The maps are oddly pretty, and revealing. Compare, for example, Detroit
and San Antonio
. via [more inside]
The BBC's Dimensions
site lets you view a range of phenomena overlaid on different parts of the Earth. What if the moon was sitting on Alice Springs
? What do the Pakistan floods look like if placed on England
? What would the walls of Beijing look like around London
? Much more to explore.
The Agnostic Cartographer
: How Google’s open-ended maps are embroiling the company in some of the world’s touchiest geopolitical disputes.
- a simple Google Maps mashup that lets you compare landmark sizes by outlining a part of the world and overlaying it on another. Iraq vs. Texas
; Greenland vs. India
; Tiananmen Square vs. Red Square
; Devils Tower vs. White House
Jo Guldi writes a fascinating entry
about social engineering and geography in the 1970's. "The geographers located answers in American zones of isolation and hopelessness. Bill Bunge organized his fellow professors into the Detroit Geographical Expedition, leading frequent trips to document the slums of Detroit and later Toronto. Their findings were equally provocative. In 1968, the Society published a map entitled “Where Commuters Run Over Black Children on the Pointes-Downtown Track.
” Life and death, they argued, were not merely the commodities available to any hard-working American, but hung upon the thread of a special kind of privilege, the privilege of safe territory." Guldi
is a historian at the Harvard Society of Fellows. [more inside]
A piano has 88 keys; Ohio has 88 counties.
Cartographer Andy Woodruff
noticed this fact while driving through Ohio to complete his Counties Visited Map
, and decided
, despite knowing nothing about music, to make a map based on this coincidence.
is an interactive map system for the bible, which is great for visualising where certain biblical events are said to have occured. It's also great for people who don't subscribe to any kind of organised religion but do like looking at maps (like me!).
"We can have all the applications and Internet connectivity [...] but that still won't get at issues of lack of electricity and cartographic literacy and suppression of geospatial information by the state and their complicit corporations"
reads a recent post on Geowanking
, a mailing list for GIS nerds. [SLMLP] [more inside]
Visualizing Early Washington.
A project at the Imaging Research Center
of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County has reconstructed the original landscape
of Washington DC before its radical transformation into a modern capital city
. [more inside]
― Try to solve this Google map quiz. In the upper part of the page you see a satellite picture. Drag and zoom the map in the lower part of the page until it shows the same location as the upper map. Here's how.
John Henry Wilbrandt Stuckenberg
emigrated from Germany to the United States, where he was eventually a Chaplain in the American Civil War. He also really liked maps; in the course of traveling over his lifetime, he collected hundreds of maps
, some dating back to the 16th century. [Most maps in Latin]
Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour of Rome
is a rich and innovative geographic database that projects Vasi's 18th century engravings of Roman architecture onto the contemporary map of Giambattista Nolli [previously]
with supplementary modern satellite, photographic and mapping overlays together with copious background detail. The work was undertaken by researchers at the University of Oregon