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Preview: The Map Room

The Map Room

A weblog about maps

Last Build Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:31:41 +0000


The Peters Projection Comes to Boston’s Public Schools

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:31:41 +0000

In a development that just might make academic cartographers pull out their remaining hair in frustration, Boston’s public schools began using the Peters projection in social studies classes last week. The news coverage (see the Grauniad’s) is the usual straw man argument about the Mercator and the false dichotomy between it and the Peters, as though no other map … Continue reading "The Peters Projection Comes to Boston’s Public Schools"

Fantasy RPG Mapmakers

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:15:17 +0000

Geek and Sundry looks at four cartographers who make maps for role-playing games: Dyson, Derek Ruiz (Elven Tower), Mike Schley and Deven Rue (Rue Ink). Previously: The RPG Maps of Dyson’s Dodecahedron.

Regions and Seasons

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:54:04 +0000

A new exhibition at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center: Regions and Seasons: Mapping Climate Through History. “In this exhibition, you will discover how ‘Venti’ were wind personas who directed ancient ships and ‘Horae’ were goddesses of the seasons who dictated natural order during the 15th-17th centuries, how Enlightenment scientists started to collect and map … Continue reading "Regions and Seasons"

Mapping Fossil Sites

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:47:52 +0000

The PBDB Navigator is a map-based interface to the Paleobiology Database, which among other things includes the locations of every fossil find. A map of every fossil site seems straightforward enough, but there are hidden depths to this one: you can filter by taxonomy (want to look up the fossil sites for eurypterids or tyrannosaurs? no … Continue reading "Mapping Fossil Sites"

Eleanor Lutz’s Goddesses of Venus

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 00:13:22 +0000

Last year Eleanor Lutz published a medieval map of Mars that, while not strictly medieval in style, was a magnificent application of an ostensibly old aesthetic to a very modern map subject. Now she’s produced a sequel: The Goddesses of Venus is an annotated map that explores the etymological origins of each of Venus’s features, nearly all of … Continue reading "Eleanor Lutz’s Goddesses of Venus"

Mapping Bomb Threats Against Jewish Organizations

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 23:55:44 +0000

ProPublica is tracking—and mapping—bomb threats against Jewish organizations and community centers in the United States. As of this moment, there have been 133 threats against 99 locations since January 1st.

Rodney W. Shirley

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 23:37:04 +0000

According to a Facebook post by the Washington Map Society’s Bert Johnson, Rodney W. Shirley, the author of several books of cartographic antiquarian research, including The Mapping of the World, Courtiers and Cannibals, Angels and Amazons, and other titles on early printed maps, died last Saturday. I have not been able to find an obituary or other notice; I will … Continue reading "Rodney W. Shirley"

A ‘Serio-Comic Map’ for the Modern Age

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 23:21:54 +0000

interesting job for private client; map a la 20thC political cartoon maps of Fred Rose etc; have taken liberties with geography — Andy Davey (@DaveyCartoons) December 12, 2016 Last December political cartoonist Andy Davey posted a modern-day caricature map that hearkens back to the eve of the First World War, when such “serio-comic” cartographic … Continue reading "A ‘Serio-Comic Map’ for the Modern Age"

The Omitted Island

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 23:14:37 +0000

Canada is apparently suffering from an outbreak of maps that omit Prince Edward Island, and islanders are upset about it: culprits include a map at Vancouver’s airport, and a t-shirt sold by Hudson’s Bay Company. To be sure, in neither case are the maps meant for navigation, but this is a country where regional representation is a touchy … Continue reading "The Omitted Island"

John Blake’s Sea Chart Books

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:24:15 +0000

Two books by John Blake on nautical maps that had heretofore escaped my attention: The Sea Chart, the second edition of which came out last May; and Sea Charts of the British Isles, a 2008 book that is getting a paperback edition in April. [WMS]

Cartographers’ Stories

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:03:16 +0000

Daniel Huffman and John Nelson have launched A Cartographer’s Story, a website that collects personal essays from mapmakers. While our community has a rich culture of sharing project walkthroughs and clever tricks, our colleagues also need to hear about the personal and emotional relationships we have with our maps. We invest ourselves in creating works … Continue reading "Cartographers’ Stories"

Computer Keyboard as Transit Map

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:51:58 +0000

Oblotzky’s SA Metro is a custom keycap set for mechanical keyboards “inspired by big city transit maps.” I know you don’t look at the keys when touch typing, but … man. [Boing Boing]

OSM Then and Now

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 09:56:01 +0000

Martijn van Exel’s OSM Then and Now compares OpenStreetMap as it was in October 2007 with how it is today, with a slider to change how much you see of one or the other. Amazing how little was mapped back then, especially outside: my own town didn’t appear at all, and even Ottawa was rudimentary.

Manitoba: 100,000 Lakes, 90,000 Still to Be Named

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:47:30 +0000

There are about 100,000 lakes of any size in Manitoba, according to a provincial survey from the 1970s. About 10,000 have been named to date; so there’s 90,000 to go. Here’s a long read from the Winnipeg Free Press on the work of Manitoba’s provincial toponymist, Des Kappel, who’s responsible for naming geographical features in my home province. … Continue reading "Manitoba: 100,000 Lakes, 90,000 Still to Be Named"

Mapping Safe Washrooms

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:39:21 +0000

In response to measures like North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which restricts access to public washrooms by transgender people, crowdsourced online maps of safe washrooms—places with unisex or gender-neutral washrooms, or that let transgender people use the washroom that matches their gender identity—have been created: Refuge Restrooms has both a list and a map view; Safe … Continue reading "Mapping Safe Washrooms"

The Maps Cartographers Made as Kids

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 22:15:52 +0000

Maps made by children are interesting enough; maps made by children who went on to be professional cartographers—that’s something else altogether, as All Over the Map’s Betsy Mason shows. Because you know they all did that, when they were kids. (And no, before you ask, I don’t think any of my childhood cartography still survives.) Previously: Children … Continue reading "The Maps Cartographers Made as Kids"

More Detailed Maps of Greenland Coming Soon

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 18:39:03 +0000

The Arctic Journal reports on recent efforts to produce more detailed, systematic and accurate maps of Greenland. Danish officials today announced promising initial results of a project using satellites to collect cartographic data faster and more efficiently than has been possible using aeroplanes. The project involved using SPOT 6 and 7, two commercially operated European satellites, flying at … Continue reading "More Detailed Maps of Greenland Coming Soon"

Sweet Home: Alabama’s History in Maps

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 18:01:03 +0000

Sweet Home: Alabama’s History in Maps “is an exhibit presented by the Birmingham Public Library in celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial. The Library’s Southern History Department has carefully selected over 50 maps from our world class collection to tell the story of Alabama. The maps in this exhibit represent 450 years of exploration, expansion, and development.” It opens Wednesday and … Continue reading "Sweet Home: Alabama’s History in Maps"

Post-Brexit EU Map Shows Independent Scotland

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:44:36 +0000

A new post-Brexit map of the European Union shows Scotland as an EU member separate and independent from a rump “United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland,” which is coloured like other non-EU members. Commissioned by Interkart and produced by XYZ Maps, the 119 × 84 cm wall map costs £24/40€. Interkart, XYZ Maps. [WMS]

Telling the Map

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:29:39 +0000

Christopher Rowe’s short story “Another Word for Map Is Faith,” which imagines an alternate America ruled by a theocracy that treats maps as infallible, and territory to be corrected to conform to the map, was the first speculative fiction story I encountered in which maps were a central role. (I soon found other examples.) It appeared in the August 2006 … Continue reading "Telling the Map"

xkcd’s Time Zone Map

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:35:01 +0000

Randall Munroe is a bad man who is back with another bad map projection to make our eyes bleed. (If he does this often enough he’ll have enough for a book. Heaven forfend.) This one is, like his other maps, fiendishly subtle: it stretches and compresses countries to fit where their time zones ought to be, longitudinally speaking.

Mapping the Past

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:26:58 +0000

Another book I missed at the time of its publication: Charles Drazen’s Mapping the Past: A Search for Five Brothers at the Edge of Empire (William Henemann, August 2016). It’s a family history: Drazin’s grandfather and brothers were military surveyors from rural Ireland “who travelled around the world as officers in the Royal Engineer Corps—surveying, exploring, mapmaking, fighting— in … Continue reading "Mapping the Past"

Eighth Edition of Map Use

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:14:01 +0000

This one slipped past me: the eighth edition of Map Use: Reading Analysis, Interpretation, the college textbook by A. Jon Kimerling, Aileen R. Buckley, Phillip C. Muehrcke and Juliana O. Muehrcke, came out last November from Esri Press. [GIS Lounge]

Where Disaster Strikes

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:01:35 +0000

Where Disaster Strikes: Modern Space and the Visualization of Destruction, an exhibition of disaster maps, is taking place now until 19 April at Harvard’s Pusey Library. Floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes, bombings, droughts, and even alien invasions: disaster can take many forms. And, although disasters are always felt dramatically, a disaster’s form and location impacts who records … Continue reading "Where Disaster Strikes"

Engraved in Copper

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:51:06 +0000

Engraved in Copper: The Art of Mapping Minnesota opened this week at the University of Minnesota’s Elmer L. Andersen Library. “This exhibit highlights unique engraved copper plates used to print topographic maps of Minnesota in the early 1900s, surveying and mapmaking techniques, and government documents related to the process. The plates are part of the … Continue reading "Engraved in Copper"

Milwaukee’s Map Store Closing

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 17:22:00 +0000

The Map Store, a Milwaukee institution that has been in business since 1937, will be going out of business on April 1st. The Map Store’s owner cited “the combination of falling revenue and his age” (he’s 78) as reasons to close shop. [Cartophilia] Always sad to see a map store close, but these are not unfamiliar … Continue reading "Milwaukee’s Map Store Closing"

Marie Tharp Video

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 16:24:45 +0000

Marie Tharp, who died in 2006, has never been more in the public eye. This short film for the Royal Institution, animated by Rosanna Wan and narrated by Helen Czerski, is the fourth profile I’ve seen of her within the past year. [National Geographic]

Ottawa and Gatineau’s Growing Suburbs

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 16:11:37 +0000

Meanwhile, the Ottawa-Gatineau urban agglomeration (which is, as urban areas go, the closest to where I currently live) has, according to the census, grown by 5.5 percent since 2011, to a total population of 1.3 million. Much of that growth has occurred in suburbs that barely existed even when I moved to the region in 1999. This … Continue reading "Ottawa and Gatineau’s Growing Suburbs"

Mapping Canadian Census Data

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 15:59:12 +0000

Statistics Canada released population and dwelling data from the 2016 Census yesterday. MountainMath’s CensusMapper project already has interactive maps based on that data: population change since 2011 (absolute and percentage), population density, and unoccupied dwellings—with presumably more to come, since the interface allows you to make your own census-derived maps.

An Error-Ridden Tube Map Shower Curtain

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 15:23:34 +0000

Speaking of Londonist, they had a great deal of fun pedantically savaging a decidedly unofficial tube map shower curtain. “This error-ridden shower curtain was purchased via a random seller on ebay, whom we’re not going to gratify with a link. A bit of googling reveals that tube shower curtains are a bit of a thing. There are … Continue reading "An Error-Ridden Tube Map Shower Curtain"