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Preview: The Map Room

The Map Room

A weblog about maps

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:38:50 +0000


The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:38:50 +0000

The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection at the George Washington University Museum collects historical documents and other items relating to the history of Washington, DC. The Washington Post has a profile of its patron, Albert H. Small, who donated the collection to the university in 2011, and the collection itself. Of interest to us is the collection’s maps of … Continue reading "The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection"

New and Upcoming Exhibitions

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:15:40 +0000

Open now and running through 26 February 2017 at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Center, Shakespeare’s Here and Everywhere asks “What roles do place, identity and travel play in his comedies, tragedies and histories? Explore these questions and more through maps, atlases and illustrations of Shakespeare’s time and beyond.” [Tony Campbell] The Northwest Passage: Navigating Old Beliefs … Continue reading "New and Upcoming Exhibitions"

Ordnance Survey Announces National Map Reading Week

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:46:57 +0000

The Ordnance Survey is launching a National Map Reading Week, to be held 17-23 October 2016, aimed at improving people’s map-reading skills. The OS cites evidence that a surprising number of people in the U.K. do poorly at maps and geography: People were asked to plot various locations, from cities to National Parks on an outline map … Continue reading "Ordnance Survey Announces National Map Reading Week"

A Map of the London Underground Track Network

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:58:22 +0000

A freedom of information request sent to Transport for London in 2013 turned up this 2009 map of the London Underground’s track network (17.1 MB PDF)—complete with sidings, switches and yards. Among other things, you can see how a train can cross from one line to another. CityMetric picked up the story last week and it’s gone seriously … Continue reading "A Map of the London Underground Track Network"

Cameron Booth’s Amtrak Subway Map

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 20:19:21 +0000

Cameron Booth has released an apparently final version of his subway-style Amtrak network map, which he’s been working on for the past few years. In this version he’s reworked it to improve spacing and lettering; routes do not overlap one another, which also improves clarity. It doesn’t reduce well to a single screen (he does sell prints), … Continue reading "Cameron Booth’s Amtrak Subway Map"

Colorado: A Historical Atlas

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:56:57 +0000

A brief mention in the Billings Gazette brought to my attention the existence of Thomas J. Noel’s Colorado: A Historical Atlas (University of Oklahoma Press), the revised edition of which came out last year. “The real key to the book are the full color maps drawn by Carol Zuber-Mallison,” writes the Gazette’s Bernard Rose. “They are extraordinary. With over … Continue reading "Colorado: A Historical Atlas"

The Novosibirsk Planetarium Globe

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 12:22:04 +0000

Apparently the globe outside the Novosibirsk planetarium has some interesting cartographic features. Not entirely sure what Great Britain and Iceland are doing off the coast of the Americas, or where Florida and Egypt have gone off to . . . [Map Fail/Maptitude]

Mapping Berlin’s Election Results

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:35:07 +0000

The Berliner Morgenpost has an interactive map showing the results of the Berlin state elections held on 18 September 2016. (Berlin is a state in its own right.) The choropleth map is shaded to show the margin of plurality; more information is given when you hover over or click on a particular district. The biggest gains were made … Continue reading "Mapping Berlin’s Election Results"

Fantasy Maps: Macaroni and Malazan

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 01:16:23 +0000

This post describing how to make a fantasy map using macaroni has been making the rounds of Tumblr for a while—it was first posted in January 2014—but it just got picked up by recently, so let’s talk about it. The point of the post is how quick and easy it is to make a good … Continue reading "Fantasy Maps: Macaroni and Malazan"

Atlas Obscura

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:53:47 +0000

Atlas Obscura, the website, has been aggregating an online database of unusual and interesting places around the world for the past several years. Atlas Obscura, the company, has been expanding at a rapid pace these past few years, hiring former Slate editor David Plotz as their CEO in 2014. One result of said expansion has now come to … Continue reading "Atlas Obscura"

Library of Congress Magazine’s Map Issue

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:31:36 +0000

Library of Congress Magazine’s September-October 2016 issue (direct PDF link) is almost entirely dedicated to maps, with several feature articles on the Library’s map holdings, profiles of Library cartographers, and other map-related items. [WMS]

A Czech Atlas Publisher Is Caught Between Israel and Palestine

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:19:07 +0000

A Czech publisher has managed to get itself entangled in the dispute over how to map Israel and Palestine, with a school atlas that showed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (which Palestinians dispute). The Palestinian ambassador protested; the Czech education ministry relented—which enraged the Israelis, until the Czech education ministry reversed itself again. This is … Continue reading "A Czech Atlas Publisher Is Caught Between Israel and Palestine"

Quail Lane Press’s Letterpress Maps

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 21:22:23 +0000

Quail Lane Press is a husband-and-wife Oregon studio that makes, among other things, very nice looking letterpress prints of hand-drawn maps. Etsy store. [Mike Hall]

Street View Protects Cow Privacy

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 21:04:56 +0000

Google’s Street View blurs people’s faces for privacy reasons. Licence plates, too. But a tweet by the Guardian’s David Shariatmadari reveals that Google’s algorithm sometimes extends privacy rights to cows. Great to see Google takes cow privacy seriously — David Shariatmadari (@D_Shariatmadari) September 13, 2016 See the BBC’s coverage. Some context from Slate.

High-Resolution Elevation Data Released for Alaska

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 22:54:50 +0000

A new digital elevation model of Alaska was released earlier this month. The result of a presidential directive to improve elevation maps of Alaska as a tool “to help to help communities understand and manage” the risks of climate change, the ArcticDEM project is a collaboration between the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the National Science Foundation … Continue reading "High-Resolution Elevation Data Released for Alaska"

Treasures from the Map Room

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:47:47 +0000

A new book, Treasures from the Map Room, “explores the stories behind seventy-five extraordinary maps” held at the Bodleian Library, including the Gough Map, the Selden Map, and maps by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. Edited by Debbie Hall, it’s out now in the U.K. and next month in North America. Buy at Amazon. [Tony … Continue reading "Treasures from the Map Room"

Gaia’s First Sky Map

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 22:36:13 +0000

Yesterday the European Space Agency released a sky map based on the first 14 months of data collected by the Gaia spacecraft, an astrometric observatory whose mission is to create a precise catalogue of astronomical objects’ position and relative motion. Several versions are available: annotated, unannotated, annotated with titles (above), unannotated with titles. The maps … Continue reading "Gaia’s First Sky Map"

Mapping Star Trek

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 21:21:38 +0000

This month marks Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, so I thought it might be worth it to put together a little post about maps in Star Trek. This proved to be more fraught a subject than I expected. There are a lot of maps of the Star Trek universe out there by divers hands, some more official than others, and they don’t … Continue reading "Mapping Star Trek"

Mapping Same-Sex Marriage in America

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 18:04:01 +0000

The number of same-sex marriages in the United States is not directly tracked. But a new Treasury Department research paper has been able to come up with a count of same-sex marriages by looking at jointly filed tax returns; the New York Times story is accompanied by a nice interactive map of such marriages by zip code. [MAPS-L]

British Library Exhibition on 20th Century Maps Opening in November

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 14:39:45 +0000

The British Library’s upcoming exhibition, Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line, runs from 4 November 2016 to 1 March 2017. Tickets are now on sale. Two World Wars. The moon landings. The digital revolution. This exhibition of extraordinary maps looks at the important role they played during the 20th century. It sheds new light on … Continue reading "British Library Exhibition on 20th Century Maps Opening in November"

New Edition of Times Concise Atlas Now Out

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:17:07 +0000

The 13th edition of the The Times Concise Atlas of the World came out last week. The HarperCollins listing sets out the updates and changes from the previous edition (including changing “Czech Republic” to “Czechia,” argh). The Concise is the second-largest of the Times world atlases and slots between the Comprehensive and the Universal in terms of physical size, page count, number … Continue reading "New Edition of Times Concise Atlas Now Out"

The Geography of American Incarceration

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:32:05 +0000

The New York Times maps “the geography of American incarceration,” in an investigative piece that includes an interactive map showing prison admissions per county. They’ve diverged sharply in recent years: less populous, more rural, more conservative counties are doubling down on being tough on crime. Just a decade ago, people in rural, suburban and urban … Continue reading "The Geography of American Incarceration"

Doctor Who Does Trap Streets

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 16:00:25 +0000

Last year a Doctor Who episode turned the concept of the trap street—a fictitious map feature designed to catch copyright violations—on its head. In the series nine episode “Face the Raven,” the Doctor looks for a London street that cannot be found on maps. THE DOCTOR: But if the stories are true though, there should be a street … Continue reading "Doctor Who Does Trap Streets"

Architectural Maps of London

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:37:18 +0000

London-based publisher Blue Crow Media has begun issuing a series of cartographic guides to urban architecture. They sent me samples of their first two maps, the Art Deco London Map and the Brutalist London Map. (A bilingual Constructivist Moscow Map came out this week, and a Brutalist Washington Map is coming in October.) Each is a folded paper map … Continue reading "Architectural Maps of London"

The Cultural Impact of the Irish Ordnance Survey

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:17:14 +0000

Cóilín Parsons is the author of The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature (Oxford University Press, June 2016; Amazon, iBooks), which links the Ordnance Survey of Ireland to the origins of literary modernism in Ireland. Writing in The Irish Times, Parsons makes a larger argument about the cultural impact of the Irish survey, which resulted in large part from the survey’s precise mapping … Continue reading "The Cultural Impact of the Irish Ordnance Survey"

Great City Maps

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:03:54 +0000

Out this month from Dorling Kindersley: Great City Maps, an illustrated collection of historical and modern city maps from around the globe. The Guardian has a gallery of selections from the book (as does the publisher’s page). Buy at Amazon. [WMS]

A Map of Global Shipping

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 15:20:16 +0000

This interactive map shows the location of every single cargo ship over the course of 2012. Shipping routes (the Straits of Malacca look particularly bottlenecked) and materials shipped are available via the interface, and there’s a nice narrated tutorial explaining how the map works. Thanks to David Krathwohl for the tip. [Digg] Previously: Live Marine Traffic … Continue reading "A Map of Global Shipping"

Library of Congress Exhibition: Mapping a Growing Nation

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 20:20:05 +0000

Speaking of the Library of Congress, yesterday it opened a new exhibition both online and at the Library’s North Exhibition Gallery. Mapping a Growing Nation: From Independence to Statehood features the best known copy of Abel Buell’s 1784 New and Correct Map of the United States of North America—“which, among other things, has been recognized as the … Continue reading "Library of Congress Exhibition: Mapping a Growing Nation"

The Library of Congress Blog’s Last Post on Fantasy Maps

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 20:08:09 +0000

The Library of Congress blog’s series on maps of imaginary places has now concluded; the final post is a look at what’s available on the subject from the Library of Congress itself. One interesting nugget of information: “The Library of Congress classification system has a range of call numbers reserved for maps of imaginary places: G9930-G9979.” How about … Continue reading "The Library of Congress Blog’s Last Post on Fantasy Maps"

The Map Against the World

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:10:49 +0000

Next month sees the release of The Map Against the World, a Korean movie about cartographer Kim Jeong-ho, who in 1861 produced an enormous, detailed map of Korea called the Daedongyeojido. The movie stars Cha Seung-won as Kim and is directed by Kang Woo-suk. Here’s a trailer: According to IMDb, it opens on 7 September in South Korea and on the … Continue reading "The Map Against the World"