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The Map Room

A weblog about maps

Last Build Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:30:14 +0000


United Hates of America

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:30:14 +0000

For Geographical magazine, cartogrammer extraordinaire Benjamin Hennig maps the geography of hate groups in America, with a set of cartograms that show where each category of hate group—anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, neo-Nazi, neo-Confederate, and so forth—is located.

If Maps Could Speak

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:44:04 +0000

Richard Kirwan, a former director of Ordnance Survey Ireland, published a memoir in 2010 called If Maps Could Speak (Londubh). That memoir is now available in an ebook edition—or at least it is for the Kindle; I couldn’t find it in other ebook stores. [WMS]

Apple Upgrades Maps in iOS 11

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 02:05:49 +0000

iOS 11 won’t be available to iPhone and iPad users until the fall, but tech journalists are already noting the improvements coming to Apple’s maps, including lane guidance, augmented-reality enhanced Flyover maps, indoor maps and one-handed mode, among others.

‘The Messed Up Mountains of Middle-earth’

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 01:51:35 +0000

Science fiction/fantasy novelist Alex Acks, a geologist by training, has some issues with Middle-earth’s mountain ranges. “Middle-earth’s got 99 problems, and mountains are basically 98 of them.” Basically it comes down to how Tolkien’s mountain ranges intersect at right angles—and mountains don’t do that. And Mordor? Oh, I don’t even want to talk about Mordor. Tectonic … Continue reading "‘The Messed Up Mountains of Middle-earth’"

New Google Earth Comes to iOS

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 01:40:40 +0000

When it was released last April, the new version of Google Earth was limited to Chrome on the desktop and Android on mobile. Last week those upgrades came to the iOS version as well (App Store). [MacStories]

San Francisco Map Fair

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 02:17:40 +0000

A new map fair is starting up in California. The first San Francisco Map Fair will take place from 15 to 17 September 2017 at the Regency Center. It’s sponsored by the History in Your Hands Foundation, with lectures sponsored by the California Map Society. [WMS]

Mapping Frontier Massacres in Australia

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 02:01:26 +0000

An online map has been launched that marks the locations of at least 150 massacres of Aboriginal populations during the frontier wars in eastern Australia between 1788 and 1872. ABC News (Australia) has more information and talks with the project lead, Prof. Lyndall Ryan of the University of Newcastle.

The Medieval Fantasy City Generator

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 19:27:32 +0000

It’s like Uncharted Atlas, but for cities: the Medieval Fantasy City Generator is a web application that “generates a random medieval city layout of a requested size. The generation method is rather arbitrary, the goal is to produce a nice looking map, not an accurate model of a city.” As was the case with Uncharted … Continue reading "The Medieval Fantasy City Generator"

Hedberg Maps Survives Through Niche and Custom Mapmaking

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:39:21 +0000

Another tale of a traditional map publisher surviving in the face of Google Maps, GPS and smartphones from the Star Tribune, which profiled Minneapolis mapmaker Tom Hedberg earlier this month. Hedberg Maps’s traditional map products sell a fraction of what they used to, and they have fewer employees than they used to, but the company survives, … Continue reading "Hedberg Maps Survives Through Niche and Custom Mapmaking"

The Real D.C. Metro Map

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:27:30 +0000

First published in June 2015, Thrillist’s Real D.C. Subway Map replaces Washington’s Metro station names with “an accurate depiction of what you’ll encounter when you exit the train.” It’s about what you’d expect. [Curbed DC]

Boston Immigration Map Exhibition

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:02:56 +0000

Along with Regions and Seasons (previously), the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center is hosting another exhibition, Who We Are: Boston Immigration Then and Now, which runs until 26 August. “This exhibition compares the landscape of today’s ‘new’ Boston with that of over 100 years ago. The maps and graphics on display here show where Boston’s foreign-born residents … Continue reading "Boston Immigration Map Exhibition"

Mapping the August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:40:37 +0000

Eclipse maps—maps that show the path of solar eclipses across the surface of the Earth—are very much a thing. As I wrote in my first blog post about eclipse maps back in 2010, “These maps are vital to eclipse chasers, who spend vast sums travelling to places where they can see one, and those slightly … Continue reading "Mapping the August 2017 Solar Eclipse"

The Cartographer’s Daughter

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:30:35 +0000

Noting for future reference: The Cartographer’s Daughter, a middle grade novel by Kiran Millwood Hargrave that came out last November from Knopf. “[W]hen a series of mysterious events shakes the community, it’s Isabella—daughter to the island’s only mapmaker—who will lead a party of explorers into the forest in search of answers.”

Mapping the Tensorate Series

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:03:31 +0000

A post on reveals the map of the Protectorate, the world of JY Yang’s forthcoming Tensorate series (The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune, both coming in September), with a look at both the author’s initial sketch of the world with the final product created by artist Serena Malyon (who we last saw … Continue reading "Mapping the Tensorate Series"

Ordnance Survey Map Cake

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:45:07 +0000

This cake in the form of an Ordnance Survey map is the creation of Scottish cake decorator World of Cake; it marks “a spot where the birthday hiker apparently got quite lost!” Now the rest of us will want one. [Ordnance Survey]

The Map-Collecting Author and His Map-Collecting Character

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 19:16:52 +0000

The protagonist of Colin Harrison’s latest crime novel, You Belong to Me, is an obsessive map collector. By some strange coincidence, so is Colin Harrison. The New York Times looks at Harrison the map collector and the ways he is similar to, and different from, the character in his novel. (They review the novel here.) [Tony Campbell/WMS]

Jonathan Roberts, Scientist and Fantasy Mapmaker

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 18:53:05 +0000

Fantasy cartographer Jonathan Roberts is profiled in a short, paywalled piece in Crain’s New York Business. (Winter Is Coming has a summary.) Roberts is, among other things, the artist behind The Lands of Ice and Fire, the boxed collection of 12 maps of George R. R. Martin’s Westeros. Things I did not know about him: he has a … Continue reading "Jonathan Roberts, Scientist and Fantasy Mapmaker"

A Turkish Piri Reis Documentary Is Coming

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 14:30:47 +0000

A Turkish filmmaker is working on a documentary about the life of Ottoman admiral and mapmaker Piri Reis, whose 1513 portolan chart, a fragment of which was rediscovered in 1929, claimed to draw upon ancient and contemporary sources, including Columbus. According to the Doğan News Agency story, the 75-minute film “will feature dramatic reconstructions starring … Continue reading "A Turkish Piri Reis Documentary Is Coming"

Emil Letoschek’s Weather Map

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 15:39:45 +0000

Federerico Italiano unearths a scarily abstract 1888 weather map of Europe by Emil Letoschek that is nevertheless intelligible (at least if you read German).

The Lost Art of Asking for Directions

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 14:54:30 +0000

“If my parents lamented a generation lost to knowing how to read a paper map, I’m wondering if mine will note the loss of one who doesn’t need the people of the places it passes through,” writes Lorraine Sommerfeld in a piece for Postmedia’s Driving that celebrates the advantages of asking locals for directions rather than … Continue reading "The Lost Art of Asking for Directions"

Wildflowers of Canada

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 01:50:04 +0000

“Wildflowers of Canada” is a limited-edition print released by Nova Scotia artist Sarah Duggan to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Duggan also has a number of other examples of floral map art, in the shape of Canadian provinces (plus Cape Breton Island), on her Etsy store.

The Algonquian Linguistic Atlas

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 01:37:51 +0000

The Algonquian Linguistic Atlas, a collaborative, interactive web-based map that provides phrases in various indigenous languages in Canada, has earned its project director, Carleton University linguistics professor Marie-Odile Junker, a Governor General’s Innovation Award, CBC News reported in May.

Map of the North Circumpolar Region

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 00:19:29 +0000

At the CCA’s annual conference earlier this year, Natural Resources Canada launched its updated map of the North Circumpolar Region, which “shows the geography of the northern circumpolar region, north of approximately 55 degrees, at a scale of 1:9 000 000. The map uses the azimuthal equidistant projection. It includes all international boundaries, as well … Continue reading "Map of the North Circumpolar Region"

Observatory Books’s Stock Inventoried

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 23:38:52 +0000

If you were wondering what happened to Observatory Books’s inventory after it closed its doors last November, the Juneau Empire has the story: it took more than three months for historian Patti David to sift through “every map cabinet and stack of paper in every corner of the bookstore”; the store’s collection of Alaskana will be … Continue reading "Observatory Books’s Stock Inventoried"

Franklin Expedition’s Secret Map Available via Access to Information

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 23:11:12 +0000

To deter looters, the locations of the wrecks of the Franklin expedition are a closely guarded secret. Except for one thing: a map showing the precise location of the wreck of the HMS Terror can be had via an access-to-information request. Two such requests have been made already.

‘Original’ Disneyland Map to Be Auctioned

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:54:08 +0000

An “original,” hand-drawn presentation map of Disneyland is one of nearly a thousand Disney-related artifacts to be auctioned on Sunday by Van Eaton Galleries. From the catalog: This is the original presentation map of Disneyland that was created by Walt Disney and Herb Ryman in 1953. This map was then the main presentation piece for … Continue reading "‘Original’ Disneyland Map to Be Auctioned"

Canada’s Indigenous Communities on Google Maps

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:13:34 +0000

CBC News reports that more than 3,000 indigenous communities in Canada—traditional First Nations reserves as well as treaty settlement lands and urban reserves—have finally been added to Google Maps. For some reason I thought they already were—U.S. Indian reservations have been on Google Maps for some time, after all (their visibility, or lack thereof, was … Continue reading "Canada’s Indigenous Communities on Google Maps"

Books Update

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:09:33 +0000

A lot of things accumulated in my inbox during the move, and the backlog is kind of overwhelming right now, but I’ve finally updated the Map Books of 2017 page to include all the books that came to my attention during that time. Speaking of backlogs, I still have several books in my reviewing queue, … Continue reading "Books Update"

xkcd’s Relativistic Election Maps

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:54:19 +0000

I’m surprised it took as look as it did for physics and cartography to collide—relativity and choropleth maps—in an xkcd cartoon.

The Lewis Ansbacher Map Collection

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:42:00 +0000

Here’s a recent piece in the Florida Times-Union introducing readers to the Lewis Ansbacher Map Collection at the Jacksonville Public Library. Ansbacher died in 2004 during negotations to donate his private collection of some 244 maps, mostly of Florida, to the library, which housed them in a dedicated space in its new main library, which opened the following … Continue reading "The Lewis Ansbacher Map Collection"