Discoveries made using satellite imagery, particularly via Google Earth, have made headlines in the blue and green before. Increasingly high-resolution photos, combined with obsessive interest, have lead inevitably to the next step: interpretation and analysis of spots on the Earth's surface for which information is restricted, censored, or classified, such as the preparedness of military defenses in North Korea and Iran, or the viability of Saudi Arabia's next big oil play. Of course, not all mapping is benevolent.
Physicist Howard Wiseman has a hobby, history. On his website he has three history subsites, filled with lots of information: 1) Ruin and Conquest of Britain 2) 18 Centuries of Roman Empire 3) Twenty Centuries of "British" "Empires". Especially informative are his many maps. As he says himself: "Drawing historical maps of all sorts has been a hobby of mine since my mid teens. Now I can do it digitally, and inflict it upon the world!"
The Beer Mapping Project is a Google Maps mashup with brewery and pub locations. So far, they cover eight countries, including Belgium, the UK, Australia, and, well, Italy. There are of course multiple regions of the US.
The of Battlefields and Bibliophiles blog has a fun quiz. Check your knowledge of American Civil War battlefields by guessing which battleground is featured in the Google Earth images. Answers here. [more inside]
Plan your trip to a far away spot on the globe. You might wish to walk in a straight line or maybe just take the shortest route (other than, perhaps, digging). Take your camera in case you pass one of these. [more inside]
"An obsessively detailed alternate-history map, imagining how Manhattan might have looked had the Nazis conquered it in World War II." A project by artist Melissa Gould. The neighborhoods (Charlottenburg, Neukölln, etc.) are named for corresponding Berlin ones. Schrecklich fun. Via strange maps.
What does "globalization" look like? Princeton's searchable collection of historical maps and present-day analysis, including Artists' Travels in the Renaissance, an 1891 ethnographic chart, Telegraph Lines in 1869, Global Terrorism c. 1983, Oil reserves vs. consumption, a visualization of world development since 1960. (via)
A collection of unusual maps from Maps: Finding Our Place in the World by James Akerman and Robert Karrow, including slavery maps of the US from the 19th Century, maps of the voyage of the Pequod from Moby Dick and a mappe of Fairyland. All the maps are available in high resolutions with zoom functioning. [via The Edge of the American West]
The Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae A collection of over 900 zoomable print engravings, organized around the work of Antonio Lafreri and other Italian publishers, whose documentation of Roman ruins and statues helped fuel the Renaissance. The itineraries are a good place to start for detailed discussion, or just browse away. [via the wonderful Bouphonia]
The blonde map of Europe. According to this map at least 80% of the population is fair-haired, in the central parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland. So make your reservations to see the blondes now, as the BBC reports that we'll be out of blondes by 2202. Though, Snopes calls BS on this. [more inside]
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.
Map Paintings by Paula Scher: “These are absolutely, one hundred percent inaccurate,” Paula Scher declares of her colossal map paintings. Then, after a pause: “But not on purpose.” Another pause: they’re actually “sort of right.” [via]
Lost? Why not consult a map? Because, according to a past exhibit at the British Library, the mapmaker might have a political agenda.
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]
EveryScape launched this morning. It's a ground-level mapping service similar to Google's "Street View", only it offers you an "autodrive" feature that automatically moves you through a city or down a ski slope. There are links to information about stores and restaurants in the view and the ability to go inside buildings and look around. It currently features views from Aspen, New York, Boston, and Miami. And of course the obligatory view of a colorful mime with a man-bag. [via]
Antique Maps of China A database of 230 maps, charts, pictures, books and atlases from the Special Collections of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library. You can browse thumbnails of maps dating back to the 15th century, then download a splendid colour PDF, for example, the 1923 map Carte des environs de Peking. There are also some world maps and ones of a few other places.
Do you know the way to San Jose? I found this googling for map images for an animated title sequence I am doing. Wow. A treasure trove of antique maps of every age, description and location.
Brazilian Ethnomapping: Inside a thatched-roof schoolhouse in a village deep in Brazil's Amazon rain forest, Surui Indians and former military cartographers huddle over the newest weapons in the tribe's fight for survival: laptop computers, satellite maps and hand-held global positioning systems. Some of the resulting maps.
Canada at scale: Exploration, colonization and development. And a pop-up menu. Go, eh!
Is the world flat? The great minds of The View explore the age old question. As we've recently and painfully learned, the children of America need maps. [more inside]
Rents are up in San Francisco. CraigStatsSF can tell you by how much over the last year. (coming soon: NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and more. What neighborhoods are hot? (Heatmaps are cool). Firefox is your friend.
If you like looking at maps of imaginary places, you should take a peek at the Fantasy Atlas, a German-language collection of maps of literary fantasy and sci-fi worlds. For a more obsessive (but just as interesting) take on maps of imaginary places, you can check out the work of Adrian Leskiw, who's been creating road maps of non-existent places since the age of 3. (Previously on Metafilter.)
Macrohistory. Prehistory to yesterday. This site describes humanity from prehistory to the 21st century - stories about ideas and events. Maps. Timelines index. Country profiles.
The maps of the London Underground and the Washington Metro are iconic in their cities and a favorite of experts on information graphics. They share a similar philosophy: sacrifice geographical accuracy in order to clearly illustrate the system. What if the New York Subway map were drawn the same way? What about the Interstate system?
The IDIOM Media Watch on Climate Change aggregates web content from 150 sources, accessible in the form of semantic maps, on which the topology of the Earth is redrawn as mountains and valleys according to the density of available information, or a three-dimensional 'knowledge planet' viewable in NASA World Wind. [Via Information Aesthetics.]
Bugaboo Daytrips is a gorgeous site featuring 22 strollable daytrips in major cities worldwide (not just US Only), all laid out on beautiful artistic (yet still helpful) maps with downloadable PDFs for taking with you on your wanderings. For those terrified of being marketed to, it should be noted that Bugaboo is a baby stroller company, although the site is by no means of restricted interest to parents only, and bugbaoo's presence on the site seems confined to the URL. Also note that unfortunately for those alergic to it, the site is designed entirely in Flash. On the other hand, the maps & art are really awesome, so you should do yourself a favor & get over it this time. Via.
Northwestern University hosts a fine collection of historic East African photographs, viewable as sample sets or in their original photo-albums (requires flash). But the real prize is their wonderful collection of 113 historic maps of Africa, which are zoomable to incredible detail, also 1, 2, 3. via
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.
The most amazing Google thing in awhile launched today. Walk the streets of New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, and Miami using Google's new Street View. You can look and move in any direction, and the detail is good enough to read license plates. It is getting lots of attention, though it makes some people a little afraid and has others scrambling. [Requires Flash. Click on the city names, really, it is worth it.]
Waymarking.com provides tools for you to catalog, mark and visit interesting and useful locations around the world. It's a fun site, packed with photographs, information and maps; a useful resource and tool for GeoCaching and other interests. Among the various categories included is Oddball Museums: The Glore Psychiatric Museum, Musee Mechanique, The National Plastics Museum with lots of great pics and links to other sites, Museum of Burlesque [nsfw], The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, Orange Show, wbur Museums of Dirt, Plumbing, Antiquated Technology, Lizzie Borden and more oddities.
Since 1867, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps have been used to assess fire insurance liability in United States cities. With their high level of detail and color-coding to indicate the materials used to construct the buildings, the maps have since become invaluable tools to historians, urban planners, preservationists, and genealogists. A few collections of cities and states have been digitized and made available online: Utah, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to name a few.
The Global Terrorism Database is now available online. It includes information on more than 27,000 bombings, 13,000 assassinations, and 2,800 kidnappings. With 2D and 3D georeferences for some incidents. The interactive map isn't working for me though.
The boundary stones of Washington DC.
What if all the online communities were drawn on a map? Here's what it might look like. I guess we are off the world's end though.
"First of all, it's a map; second, it's a piece of art." Look closely at the corner of a North American ski resort trail map and you will probably see James Niehues' name tucked away in the trees. Examples of his work include Alta, Snow Basin, Winter Park, Killington and Vail.
Who's feeling sick? Probably a whole lot of people around you by the looks of this service, which tracks illness around the country as people report their symptoms. Mostly US and European-centric at this stage, but as more people around the world report their symptoms that can begin to change.
Milestones in graphics, maps, and visualizations. An incredible site for anyone interested in the history of visualization of data. See the first town map from 6200 BCE. Take a look at some of the most important graphics through history, including the London cholera map and the diagrams that made Florence Nightingale's case, as well as recent examples of some of the worst. Also check out the fascinating history of timelines, or Cabinet magazine's beautifully illustrated Timeline of Timelines.
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.
For anyone with even a passing interest in Islamic history or cartography, 'The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes' site at Oxford University's Bodleian Library will provide a thoroughly interesting timesink. This recently discovered 13th/14th century copy of an 11th century Egyptian manuscript was partly based on Ptolemy and includes the oldest rectangular map of the world...not to mention the famed human-bearing Waq-Waq tree. [via]
Mother Roads. You can now customize Google maps to add commentary, photos, audio, and video. creating your own annotated maps. The linked example is a collection of oral histories of Route 66; look around for Olympic Host Cities, Monster Sightings, and more.
The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It also tells you what's unique about Beast Cliff.
Civil War Posters, Soviet Children's Books, 19th Century Shipping Posters, and much, much more are all part of this Flickr user's amazing collection of printed ephemera.
Long Wharf in Boston and European route E5 are now stops on convenient routes for anyone looking to save a little money on airfare. Whether you're heading from Newfoundland to England or Moscow to Alaska, Google Maps recommends these places as (literal) jumping-off points. Just remember to pack your goggles.
Interactive Atlas of Indigenous Australia. (Java) "Choose from a range of maps covering historical, social, cultural, political and environmental themes."
Rebel cartography, postmodern art, or political statement? Nikolas Schiller makes art from satellite/flyover images.
The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library has 200,000 historic maps and 5,000 atlases. A whole heap of them is online in very high resolution and you can explore the collection by location, subject, date, publisher, author and projection. They give virtual tours, select a map of the month and have a section called Maps in the News, where they profile Darfur and Iraq.