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Preview: The Map Room

The Map Room

A weblog about maps

Last Build Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:37:56 +0000


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"

New Edition of London: A Life in Maps

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 14:53:23 +0000

This post on Londonist obliquely lets us know that there’s a new edition of Peter Whitfield’s London: A Life in Maps, out this month from the British Library (it comes out in June in the U.S.). “[R]edesigned and updated for a new audience,” the book originally came out as a companion to a British Library exhibition of … Continue reading "New Edition of London: A Life in Maps"

Matthew Rangel

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:52:59 +0000

In Matthew Rangel’s art, landscape and map literally blur together. Rangel draws on his travels and combines mountain ranges, text, drawings and other imagery with cartography, sometimes drawn on old maps themselves. More at Socks. [Kottke] Previously: Journeys Beyond the Neatline.

The Last Unmapped Places

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:42:33 +0000

Lois Parshley’s essay on the last unmapped, mysterious places—Greenlandic fjords, the slums of Haiti, the ocean’s depths, black holes in space—is a long read worth reading. Originally published last month as “Here Be Dragons: Finding the Blank Spaces in a Well-Mapped World” in the Virginia Quarterly Review, it’s been reprinted by the Guardian, in an edited, tighter version, as “Faultlines, … Continue reading "The Last Unmapped Places"

Fantasy Maps Exhibit at Texas A&M Library

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:32:50 +0000

An exhibition of fantasy maps, Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places Collection, opens Friday at Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives. “The maps included are part of an ongoing effort by [Texas A&M’s] Maps and GIS [Library] and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Research Collection to develop a shared collection of maps of imaginary … Continue reading "Fantasy Maps Exhibit at Texas A&M Library"

Mapping Where America Depends on Trade

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:46:17 +0000

The Washington Post maps the parts of the United States most dependent on trade—and thus most at risk if the Trump administration starts a trade war with the U.S.’s trading partners.

Google Maps for Android Adds Information Tabs

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:31:54 +0000

Yesterday’s update to Google Maps for Android includes tabs for nearby points of interest, driving information and traffic conditions, and transit schedules and recommendations. More at The Verge. Previously: Google Roundup for January 2017.

50 Fantasy States

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 22:22:12 +0000

50 Fantasy States is Chris Engelsma’s ongoing project to create fantasy-style maps of all 50 U.S. states. Six have been completed so far, including the above fantasy map of Alaska.

The Origins of the Selden Map

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 21:47:59 +0000

The Selden Map is a map of Chinese origin bequeathed by John Selden to the Bodleian Library in 1659. The precise origins of the map have hitherto been unknown, but scientists at Nottingham Trent University are trying to do something about that. Using a series of non-invasive techniques to examine the map’s material composition, they conclude that … Continue reading "The Origins of the Selden Map"

Tactile Maps, Modern and Historical

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 20:36:15 +0000

Two items on maps for the blind and visually impaired—a subject I find terribly interesting: Greg Miller of National Geographic’s All Over the Map reports on a new tactile atlas of Switzerland, which “is printed with special ink that expands when heated to create tiny bumps and ridges on the page.” I can’t find a direct link to said … Continue reading "Tactile Maps, Modern and Historical"

This Weekend: Miami International Map Fair

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 20:43:21 +0000

The Miami International Map Fair takes place this weekend at HistoryMiami Museum. Local website The New Tropic has more, including some of the maps on display. [WMS] Previously: History of the Miami Map Fair.

William Smith’s Geological Maps Online

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 16:37:02 +0000

William Smith’s 19th-century geological maps of Britain are now available online via an interactive map interface. [Maps Mania]

Oxford: Mapping the City

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 14:13:10 +0000

Geographical magazine reviews Daniel MacCannell’s Oxford: Mapping the City (Birlinn, December 2016). “The increasing detail and vibrancy of the maps gathered here show a parallel development—that of the city and of cartography itself—but what really gives life to the collection are the idiosyncrasies on offer.”

RSGS Playground Map Project

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 13:49:06 +0000

The Royal Scottish Geographical Society’s Playground Map Project has been around since 2011; its aim is to provide a painted six-by-eight-metre world map to every school in Scotland that has playground space for one. [NLS Maps]

Cartographies of Disease

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 23:39:07 +0000

The revised edition of Tom Koch’s Cartographies of Disease: Maps, Mapping, and Medicine—“a comprehensive survey of the technology of mapping and its relationship to the battle against disease”—is now out from Esri Press. (Or at least it’s scheduled to be: the paperback is not yet in stock at Amazon.) [GIS Lounge] Koch is also the author of Disease Maps: … Continue reading "Cartographies of Disease"

Bellerby Seeks Apprentice Globemaker

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 23:28:05 +0000

Want to make globes for a living? Bellerby & Co., maker of expensive, hand-made globes, is looking to hire an apprentice globemaker. They emphasize it’s a long-term job, not an internship: It takes between 6 months to a year to learn how to make just the smallest sized globe … it is a further few years to … Continue reading "Bellerby Seeks Apprentice Globemaker"

Danny Dorling’s TEDx Talk

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:59:36 +0000

Oxford geography professor Danny Dorling spoke at the TEDx Exeter conference in April 2016. If you’re familiar with Dorling’s work, it will come as no surprise that he makes extensive use of cartograms to describe the world’s population. Video: TED, YouTube. Previously: Hennig and Dorling on ‘Seven New Maps of the World’; People and Places.

Redesigning the Paris Métro Map

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:31:33 +0000

Last June I told you about Constantine Konovalov’s redesigned Paris Métro map, a map based on concentric circles. Now, in Smashing Magazine, Konovalov does a deep dive into his own design process, which took more than two years. Quite a bit more detail than on his own website. [Alejandro Polanco]

Map Literacy in the Middle Ages

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 02:12:01 +0000

When we talk about map literacy, we mean the ability to read a map. We can blithely talk about how map reading has changed over the centuries while failing to interrogate whether what we mean by map reading has changed as well. It’s presentism to assume that people in the past did things the same way as … Continue reading "Map Literacy in the Middle Ages"

The Economist’s Democracy Index

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 01:51:15 +0000

Here’s The Economist’s interactive map of their Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. Its 2016 iteration, released last week, downgrades the United States to a “flawed democracy”—a drop from 8.05 to 7.98 in the index, where 8 is the threshold between flawed and full democracy. (While many developed countries score higher, not all do: France is at 7.92, and … Continue reading "The Economist’s Democracy Index"

Mapping Arctic Warming

Wed, 25 Jan 2017 01:36:50 +0000

At All Over the Map, Betsy Mason posts 11 Ways to See How Climate Change Is Imperilling the Arctic, a collection of maps and infographics depicting several different indicators of global warming, including sea ice extent, atmospheric temperatures, growing season, polar bear populations, as well as projected shipping routes for an ice-free Arctic Ocean. Meanwhile, NASA Earth … Continue reading "Mapping Arctic Warming"