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The Miura fold: art and mathematics of origami

The Miura fold, a type of rigid origami that works by folding flat, rigid sheets with hinges, has a number of uses. For instance, It's great for folding a map, because Interdependence of folds means that it is very difficult to reverse them and the amount of stress place on the map, and can be used on solar panels that need to be folded and unfolded by automation, as deployment only requires one motor, and to transport materials for telescope lenses that originally would be too big to fly into space. Here's one schematic for duplicating the Miura fold (PNG), and a simplified version (YouTube). More information and fun with scientific origami at Robert J. Lang's origami website.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 19, 2014 - 15 comments

ORBIS TERRARUM

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]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 18, 2014 - 5 comments

Canonical Comical Cartography; or, The Batcave is in New Jersey

The Cartographer Who Mapped Out Gotham City from Smithsonian Magazine. A look at a real-life map of a fictional city. Illustrator Eliot Brown "didn’t just design the city; he designed an implicit history that writers are still exploring."
posted by HonoriaGlossop on Jun 9, 2014 - 39 comments

The third-most spoken language in the U.S. overall? Chinese.

What language does your state speak?
posted by and they trembled before her fury on May 14, 2014 - 119 comments

The NYPL's Open Maps Project adds 20,000 High Res Maps

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]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2014 - 11 comments

Grateful Dead vs. Phish and Other Distinctions

Music Machinery presents a map of each U.S. state's most distinct favorite band or recording artist, as well as an app for playing with the data.
posted by Navelgazer on Feb 26, 2014 - 75 comments

A cartographic history of why North, not East or South, is up

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]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 18, 2014 - 28 comments

mapschool

mapschool [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola on Feb 4, 2014 - 15 comments

What four commonly used projections do, as shown on a human head

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]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 13, 2014 - 26 comments

A spectacular historical atlas refashioned for the 21st century

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.
posted by cthuljew on Dec 28, 2013 - 8 comments

Maps

Open data from balloon and kite photography
posted by aniola on Dec 26, 2013 - 12 comments

1854 Map of the world's tallest mountains and longest rivers

Behold, a 1854 Map of the world's tallest mountains and longest rivers (alt. link), as understood at that point in time, when Dhaulagiri was thought to be the tallest mountain in the world. This is taken from the General Atlas Of The World: Containing Upwards Of Seventy Maps, which can be read (awkwardly) on Archive.org as scanned from black and white microform, or go straight for the good stuff and browse the full color maps in David Rumsey's collection of high-resolution scans of historic maps (via Dark Roasted Blend and io9).
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 21, 2013 - 17 comments

Places Are Made Of A Thousand Stories

"I want to see the world. Follow a map to its edges, and keep going. Forgo the plans. Trust my instincts. Let curiosity be my guide.
I want to change hemispheres and sleep with unfamiliar stars and let the journey unfold before me."

Maptia is on a mission to gather first-person stories from travelers, "to create the most inspirational map in the world." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 12, 2013 - 3 comments

The Map Is Not The Territory

Maps by Shannon Rankin [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 26, 2013 - 3 comments

Subjective Cartography

If New York Were A Blank Slate, How Would You Fill It In? is a piece on Becky Cooper's book Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers both famous and not. Cooper's Map Your Memories tumblr. Found from Brain Pickings, which has much more. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 19, 2013 - 6 comments

All this energy calling me, back where it comes from....

The Cleveland Memory Project is an archive of photos, postcards, videos, recordings, clippings, ebooks, personal papers, maps and other historical "goodies" about the city. "It's a collaborative endeavor of many local historical societies, public libraries and government agencies who have mounted their own local history." On Flickr. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2013 - 5 comments

Octopus Maps

Need quick visual shorthand for an aggressively encroaching political entity? You want an Cartographic Land Octopus! It's a subcategory of satirical maps. More octopus maps here, here, here.
posted by Miko on Jan 23, 2013 - 9 comments

Our long international nightmare is over.

Google Maps App by Google for Apple's iOS is now available. It features turn-by-turn voice navigation and streetview. It's a welcome end to "Map-gate". [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Dec 13, 2012 - 130 comments

Paleographic Maps

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.

posted by zamboni on Dec 5, 2012 - 14 comments

indecision + vulgarity + location-aware browsing = om nom nom nom

Where the fuck should I go to eat? [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 9, 2012 - 115 comments

"There's none so blind as they that won't see."

Atlas for the Blind, 1837: "From the spectacular David Rumsey Map Collection, the 1837 “Atlas of the United States Printed for the Use of the Blind“, embossed heavy paper featuring lines, letters and geographical symbols, destined to help blind children to visualise geography. Here’s the whole book with zoomable pages." [Via: Socks-Studio]
posted by Fizz on Jul 12, 2012 - 19 comments

How satnav maps are made

"Flawed satnav instructions are the scapegoat for ridiculous round-trips, buses wedged under bridges, and ambulances taking life-threatening diversions. But few understand or appreciate how far mapping companies go to ensure the accuracy of the data they’re providing."
posted by vidur on Jul 1, 2012 - 29 comments

The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World

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.
posted by Blasdelb on May 11, 2012 - 57 comments

The National Map (US)

"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..."
posted by Miko on Apr 20, 2012 - 19 comments

Yiwarra Kuju / One Road

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]
posted by barnacles on Jan 31, 2012 - 14 comments

Ultramapping pinterest blog collects great maps

Ultramapping - outstanding and cool maps of all types, collected at Sha Hwang's Pinterest pinboard.
posted by LobsterMitten on Jan 25, 2012 - 12 comments

See you at the corner of West 15,903rd and South 14,437th St.

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?
posted by migurski on Nov 14, 2011 - 19 comments

What Are These Mysterious Lines In China's Desert?

Some Google Earth enthusiasts have found a strange and unexplainable grid pattern in the middle of China's Gobi Desert.
posted by reenum on Nov 14, 2011 - 70 comments

Jerry's Map

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.
posted by avocet on Aug 24, 2011 - 20 comments

Map Kaleidoscope

Rorschmap slices and reflects images from Google Maps, creating kaleidoscopic cartography. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Jul 30, 2011 - 19 comments

Africa: History, Cartography and Exploration

Evolution of the Map of Africa [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 7, 2011 - 15 comments

Time Cube, 1893

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.
posted by Faint of Butt on Jun 27, 2011 - 48 comments

Map of Metal

An interactive overview of Metal history, in map form. Flash.
posted by zamboni on Dec 3, 2010 - 43 comments

You're gonna go up the street 12 pixels, hang a left, then straight 44 pixels to 77th street...

8bit Cities: Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - Detroit - London - New York - Paris - San Francisco - Seattle - Washington, D.C.
posted by BeerFilter on Jul 9, 2010 - 17 comments

Charting Imaginary Worlds

Comic Book Cartography is more than maps of make-believe lands. It also covers cutaways ga-lore, robot schematics, and diagrams of Batman's utility belt. In the same vein, there was The Marvel Atlas Project (M.A.P.), and though it is now offline, some pictures have survived. There is also the two-part Marvel Atlas, a subset of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The Atlast of the DC Universe is limited to Earth, (sourced from the DC Heros RPG book and Secret Files & Origins Guide to the DC Universe 2000), and Mapping Gotham is a single blog post which collects some maps from Batman's world, as found from a variety of sources. The Map Room collected a few more, some which require some digging into the archives. [more, previously]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 15, 2010 - 28 comments

OASIS

The New York City Open Accessible Space Information System Cooperative (OASIS) is an online, interactive mapping and data analysis application that gives an incredibly detailed view of New York City's open spaces and how they are used. The map enables overlays of information like: transit; parks, playgrounds and open space; zoning and landmarks; current and historical land use; social services; demographics; and environmental characteristics.(via The Ministry of Type, who like OASIS mainly for its pretty map possibilities.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 15, 2009 - 5 comments

It's a small world after all

"Less than 10% of the world's land is more than 48 hours of ground-based travel from the nearest city." In August, archeologists discovered what may be the oldest map in the world. Years ago, MetaFilter introduced us to the concept of the "upside-down map". But a new map released Friday attempts to illustrate how our improved transportation network has managed to consolidate distances on earth.
posted by jefficator on Oct 26, 2009 - 48 comments

underground designs

The World's Best Alternative Subway Maps, including Eddie Jabbour's NYC Kick Map.
posted by nickyskye on Aug 7, 2009 - 48 comments

Largest microbreweries in America

A map of the top 50 craft breweries in America by volume. State map of per capita beer consumption. [more inside]
posted by baphomet on Mar 29, 2009 - 119 comments

Powhatan's map of Virginia

Powhatan's Mantle was the emblem of kingship worn by Wahunsenacawh, also known as Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas. A deerskin cloak ornamented with shell beadwork, it may at first appear to be only clothing but in fact it is also a map of the Powhatan Confederacy, which ruled most of eastern Virginia when the English first settled there. The mantle was acquired by one of the John Tradescants whose collection was the foundation of Oxford University's Ashmolean Collection and the mantle resides there still today. The first linked article is a fascination article about the mantle as well as a gallery of images of and related to Powhatan's Mantle.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 12, 2009 - 5 comments

National Geographic Map of the Day

National Geographic Map of the Day. Previously featuring maps that run the gamut from automotive discovery and exploration; through literary, witchhunts and imaginary; to historical and Olympic.
posted by Mitheral on Aug 15, 2008 - 9 comments

I have a boot in my eye! And I am shaped like a boot! To boot!

Satirical maps of Europe from 1914-15.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 6, 2008 - 25 comments

Amazing map exhibition

Maps: Finding our place in the world is an exhibit at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, and it runs until this Sunday June 8. That page contains images of a few of the maps. One of the many great things included is an animated map of the US Civil War in 4 minutes (one week per second, timeline noted at bottom, casualty counter rolling in bottom right corner - info about this animation) The exhibition book was previously linked here; that site includes higher-resolution versions of some more of the maps. I was floored by all the stuff they have; in terms of the rarity of the stuff in it, and the geek-delight factor, I think it's probably the best gallery show I've ever seen. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Jun 4, 2008 - 24 comments

Kadath in the Cold Waste

Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica UK and US researchers peice together the most detailed map of Antarctica yet, searching through years of data to find cloud free images.
posted by Artw on Nov 27, 2007 - 17 comments

where

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]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 4, 2007 - 17 comments

Mapping Canada

Canada at scale: Exploration, colonization and development. And a pop-up menu. Go, eh!
posted by St Urbain's Horseman on Sep 25, 2007 - 30 comments

I think I can see my house from here...

Trulia Hindsight merges real estate data showing the year properties were built with animated maps (US Only). Search for your town by name; here's mine.
posted by oneirodynia on May 29, 2007 - 10 comments

The Objective Orbiting Eye in the Sky

Live, From Outer Space: rural fires [1, 2], The Haze in China [1 ,2, 3] and its movement, aerosols, and the brothers carbon monoxide [a photochemical smog agent] and carbon dioxide.
posted by trinarian on Apr 14, 2007 - 10 comments

Google Maps to include NYC subway stops and building outlines

a Google Maps view of NYC, centered on Central Park Google Maps has started displaying subway stops (with the names of the lines that serve each each stop) in New York City. Clearly this is a work in progress (full building outlines are available only in some parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and some subway stops currently list only one of the multiple trains that serve the stop). Still, this is excellent news not only for natives but also for tourists (whose only subway-map reference may be the significantly, sometimes radically "not to scale" version put out by the MTA).
posted by allterrainbrain on Feb 9, 2007 - 46 comments

Your statistics, on your terms!

Ever wondered how your state stacks up? Well, with this nifty tool, you can decide how the next revision should read! Also check out the state-by-state version!
posted by TheNewWazoo on Oct 23, 2006 - 19 comments

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