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GeoQuiz

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.
posted by Miko on Dec 13, 2013 - 6 comments

Bears Bears Bears. Too many bears

Special Report: BEARS! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 13, 2013 - 31 comments

The archipelago of militarized space

The map of US military installations by artist Josh Begley uses the US military's list of bases (plus a few other sources) to provide satellite image maps of hundreds of military sites around the world. For similar efforts, see Radical Cartography and the always-amazing work of Trevor Paglen
posted by blahblahblah on Dec 12, 2013 - 10 comments

"the center of the Earth is off by about two meters"

What Happens To Google Maps When Tectonic Plates Move? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 11, 2013 - 19 comments

I regret that I only have so much wall space to fill.

There's a pretty good chance you've seen Ork Posters' city map posters celebrating the neighborhoods of San Francisco, Washington, DC, or Seattle, among others. But have you seen Archie Archambault's more conceptual letterpress circle maps? Or These Are Things' floating-text versions? How about Parts + Labour's batty view of Austin? Bored by uniform fonts? Check out some festive breakdowns of New York (by I Lost My Dog) and Madrid (by Helena Ecija). Not epic enough? Maybe you'll like Rodger Binyone's rock-tour style posters, like Baltimore or Chicago. Perhaps you'd rather check out neighborhoods in isolation? Not to worry, Meredith Miotke has Detroit covered. semi-previously
posted by psoas on Dec 4, 2013 - 18 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

All of this is Nebraska.

Here’s What Happens When You Ask People To Draw A Map Of The USA From Memory (single Buzzfeed link)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 14, 2013 - 131 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

Etymology maps: charting various words throughout Europe

Redditor sp07 started a Reddit trend: creating etymology maps of Europe, with more to be seen in r/etymologymaps.
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 10, 2013 - 48 comments

The eleven nations of America

"There’s never been an America, but rather several Americas—each a distinct nation. There are eleven nations today. Each looks at violence, as well as everything else, in its own way." " [more inside]
posted by aka burlap on Nov 7, 2013 - 83 comments

The Science of a Great Subway Map

Researchers at an MIT lab have devised a way to determine how well straphangers can comprehend a subway map in a single glance. Massimo Vignelli really DID know what he was doing.
posted by Chrysostom on Oct 30, 2013 - 91 comments

Welcome to Offal Pudding Lane

Take a fly-through tour of 17th century London! Six students from De Montfort University have created a 3D representation of London before the Great of Fire of 1666. The digital model is based on the area surrounding Thomas Farriner's bakery in Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire began. The project is the winning entry in the Off The Map competition, in which students were invited to build 3D models based on maps at the British Library.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Oct 27, 2013 - 40 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

All Tokyo trains in real time.

All Tokyo trains in real time.
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 15, 2013 - 47 comments

Humming Ashokan Farewell While Viewing Is Optional

The Civil War Trust's animated maps provides viewers with a bird's eye view of American Civil War battles.
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Oct 9, 2013 - 10 comments

Britain Built By Billions of Blocks

The Ordnance Survey (the national mapping authority for Great Britain) has a large amount of its mapping data available online for free use. Over the past few weeks, one of its summer interns has been using a few of its datasets to recreate the whole of mainland GB at 50:1 scale in Minecraft.
posted by ZsigE on Sep 24, 2013 - 22 comments

The map is not the story

The Book Globe has mapped the settings of all the 267 novels nominated for the Booker Prize since 1969.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 17, 2013 - 21 comments

A world of equal districts

World map divided into 665 equally populated districts
posted by allen.spaulding on Sep 16, 2013 - 64 comments

Infographic Maps

Where in the world are you most likely to be hit by lightening? Where's the best place to go to totally escape from the Internet? Which countries has Britain *not* invaded? [more inside]
posted by cairdeas on Sep 14, 2013 - 65 comments

A world in upheaval

A map of every protest everywhere since 1979 (some caveats are noted in the accompanying article).
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 26, 2013 - 18 comments

Hic Sunt Dracones

A collector has found what may be the oldest globe to depict the New World, dated 1504 and engraved two half ostrich eggs. The Hunt-Lenox Globe may be, according to analysis by Stefaan Missinne in The Portolan, designed after this new discovery. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Aug 26, 2013 - 5 comments

I paint my maps with a broad brush.

Which US State is the most overrated? Which would you like to see kicked out of America? Which has the weirdest accent? Which has the best food? Business Insider polls Americans across the country on important questions like these and maps the results. [more inside]
posted by Solon and Thanks on Aug 20, 2013 - 210 comments

How complex are corporate structures?

Visualisations of corporate ownership for six banks: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo.
posted by frimble on Aug 2, 2013 - 31 comments

Locals and Tourists

Some people interpreted the Geotaggers' World Atlas maps to be maps of tourism. This set is an attempt to figure out if that is really true. Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in places that tourists don't visit. Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Map of photosets (scroll through photo thumbnails to discover new cities in the photoset [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jul 26, 2013 - 10 comments

Mapping the Midwest

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.
posted by andrewesque on Jul 24, 2013 - 190 comments

"align the nation’s political landscape with its natural resource base"

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]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 15, 2013 - 14 comments

Reviews that mention hangover in San Francisco

The new Yelp Wordmap uses review keyword density to depict which big city neighborhoods are the most "sketchy", "yuppie", "hipster", "bacon" and much more.
posted by changeling on Jul 2, 2013 - 33 comments

Cartozia Tales

CARTOZIA IS A WORLD OF MANY STORIES Each issue of Cartozia Tales will feature stories by nine indy cartoonists. Each of us will be bringing his or her separate ideas, imagination, and drawing style to the world that we're sharing. Every issue will be full of surprises, and no one knows where the stories will wind up. [more inside]
posted by jillithd on Jun 21, 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

Maps of Tweets: locals v. tourists, languages, and mobile devices

Digital mapping startup MapBox teams up with social data warehouse Gnip to create some stunning visualizations of every geotagged tweet since September 2011. [more inside]
posted by Nelson on Jun 19, 2013 - 7 comments

3-D Mappa Mundi

Mapping The Newest Old Map Of The World: A full-sized, 3D plaster relief facsimile of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, the largest surviving medieval map of the world (Previously).
posted by homunculus on Jun 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Mischievous or Mischievious?

Interactive map of pronunciation and use of various words and phrases differs by region in the US. Based on Bert Vaux's online survey of English dialects, the program allows you to see results for individual cities, as well as nationwide (though inexplicably it does not include Alaska or Hawaii).
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 5, 2013 - 133 comments

Google Maps, Now Customized

For years, Google Maps has been the map of our world in a historically unprecedented way. The new Google Maps (announcement) will eschew the uniformity of the old Maps and instead customize the map experience based on a user's behavior. Some are concerned how this artificial narrowing will affect the way we experience places and relate to our urban spaces. Others believe the customization makes the new maps more honest. Most, however, will probably just want to comment on the huge overhaul to the interface.
posted by Defenestrator on May 29, 2013 - 104 comments

The Poetics & Politics of Picturing the World

The atlas is more than a cartographic genre. It is a way of thinking, of ordering, and experiencing the world... In the age of Google Earth, this online exhibition of maps from the 16th to 20th centuries is meant to stir public interest in the history of the atlas and cartography.
posted by spamandkimchi on May 18, 2013 - 13 comments

The many ways of showing how we get from A to B

Transit Maps. Designer Cameron Booth's blog and review of transit maps, diagrams, design and artwork from all over the world. [more inside]
posted by andrewesque on May 13, 2013 - 8 comments

I promise there's a pith helmet involved.

For the better entertainment of Reddit's What's In This Thing, a Glasgow lass offered to open up one of the trunks in her attic. Of course, when you grow up in a 700-year-old Scottish castle, you have considerably more interesting trunks in your attic than most people.... Video of opening the trunk [1], [2]. Or if you just want to cut to the chase, here's an extensive imgur gallery of some of the astonishingly well-preserved finds.
posted by Diablevert on May 1, 2013 - 62 comments

Likely named for merchant William Fell

How the streets of San Francisco got their names: a fun little history lesson, nicely formatted as a giant clickable map (with search if you just want to look up a specific street).
posted by mathowie on Apr 29, 2013 - 36 comments

Kenneth I. Appel (1932-2013)

Mathematician Kenneth Appel has died at the age of 80. He is best known for having proved, with Wolfgang Haken, the four-color theorem, which states that only four colors are needed to have a map in which no two adjacent countries have the same color. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 29, 2013 - 21 comments

Perry Van Arsdale's maps of US historic events

In 1960 or so, Professor Perry C. Van Arsdale was helping his 7-year-old granddaughter researching the Santa Fe trail. He found his granddaughter's textbook to have some number of errors. He set off to create a map of pioneer history (prior to the 1900's), using his own knowledge and information from judges, sheriffs, and descendants of historical figures. This was his start in creating the Pioneer New Mexico map, which would contain 300 towns that no longer exist, old trails of all sorts (including the three historic Santa Fe trails and various camel routes), locations of minor squabbles and major battles, and because he couldn't fit everything on the maps, he also included extensive notes in the corner of the map. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 27, 2013 - 17 comments

Material Poverty & Privilege in India

What would a poverty map of India look like?
posted by Gyan on Apr 14, 2013 - 10 comments

Open source pictures to liven up any website

The Dutch National Archive (Nationaal Archief) can trace its history back to 1802. It's main task is to maintain governmental archives of the Dutch rijksoverheid and its predecessors, as well as similar archives from the province of Zuid-Holland. It also maintains several other collections from non-governmental institutions like the Dutch football association and the Spaarnestad photo collection. Through its work it has amassed a vast pictorial database, parts of which have now been opened up to the public through its own website as well as their Flickr photostreams. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 1, 2013 - 2 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

You can't get there from here

It's nearly impossible to make consumer navigation technology work well in India. Western-style routing based on directions ("Turn left onto Woodrow Street") is impossible when streets often don't have names, not to mention the problems of using the local language. The solution? Landmark based navigation.
posted by overleaf on Mar 13, 2013 - 55 comments

The Daily Viz

Matt Stiles is a data journalist for NPR. He tries each day to create a data visualization, or post those he finds online. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Mar 12, 2013 - 21 comments

Uptown to the Bronx: Vignelli's standards

They found a copy of the New York City Transit Authority's Graphic Standards Manual in a locker covered with gym clothes. And decided to put it online. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Feb 15, 2013 - 14 comments

From Shag Point to Humptulips

Vaguely Rude Place Names of the World. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 10, 2013 - 58 comments

Is this the secret US Drone Base in Saudi Arabia?

Noah Shachtman of Wired has published Bing/Nokia satellite maps that shows what appears to be a previously unknown US drone airbase deep in the desert in Saudi Arabia. [more inside]
posted by Nelson on Feb 8, 2013 - 75 comments

All aboard!

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
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 5, 2013 - 85 comments

Maps of global telecommunications

telegeography.com has a nice gallery of zoomable maps of global telecommunications and IT infrastructure, such as submarine cables (1 2), and internet backbones.
posted by carter on Jan 31, 2013 - 9 comments

Pangaea um?

Just how badly does the Mercator projection distort our planet?
posted by special-k on Jan 30, 2013 - 49 comments

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