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The Map Room

A weblog about maps

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:54:08 +0000


‘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"

A Map of the Ideological Leanings of U.S. Congressmen

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:27:34 +0000

Based on data from GovTrack, this map displays the ideological leanings of current (at the time) members of the U.S. House of Representatives by their district. “The data is based of numbers from 0-1. If the congressman is a 0 he is the most liberal in the House. If a congressman is at 1 then … Continue reading "A Map of the Ideological Leanings of U.S. Congressmen"

The Business of Making Maps for Self-Driving Cars

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:15:39 +0000

CNN on the big business involved in creating detailed maps—called HD maps—for self-driving cars. “If you believe self-driving cars will eventually operate everywhere, then every city and street will need to be mapped out in granular detail.” How granular? During one test, a single-pixel error on one map caused cars to avoid a patch of road … Continue reading "The Business of Making Maps for Self-Driving Cars"

Baltimore’s Radi(c)al New Transit Map

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:04:14 +0000

Baltimore gets a radical new transit map (direct PDF link) to go along with its redesigned bus network, which goes into service on Sunday. The map, which Greater Greater Washington reports was designed by Marc Szarkowski, adopts a diagrammatic radial style—essentially, a diagrammatic map based on concentric circles rather than a grid. For those who find such … Continue reading "Baltimore’s Radi(c)al New Transit Map"

Facebook’s Disaster Maps

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:26:21 +0000

Today Facebook announced disaster maps for use by relief organizations. Based on aggregated and anonymized user data, the maps of users’ location, movement and check-ins can, Facebook says, provide relief organizations with valuable information about where the need is greatest. At launch only the Red Cross, UNICEF and the World Food Programme will have access to the data; … Continue reading "Facebook’s Disaster Maps"

CBS Boston on the BPL’s Weather Maps Exhibit

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 22:51:09 +0000

CBS Boston has more on the Boston Public Library’s exhibit, Regions and Seasons: Mapping Climate Through History (previously).

NOAA to Move Away from Paper Charts

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 22:44:41 +0000

The Baltimore Sun: “In a potential sea change for a nautical industry heavy on tradition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent National Charting Plan suggested that, eventually, ‘the reduction or elimination of traditional paper nautical charts seems likely.'” (This is NOAA looking into the future, but note that private companies, rather than NOAA, already … Continue reading "NOAA to Move Away from Paper Charts"

Roman Roads, Subway Style

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 22:28:53 +0000

There are a lot of Tube map-inspired maps of non-Tube map things out there, and not all of them are worth mentioning. This one, however, is: Sasha Trubetskoy’s map of the major roads of the Roman Empire in the year 125, done up like a subway diagram, colour-coded by name (both real, where available, and “creatively … Continue reading "Roman Roads, Subway Style"

A Year’s Worth of Changes in Google and Apple Maps

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 17:58:36 +0000

Justin O’Beirne is back with a look at how both Google and Apple Maps have changed incrementally over the past year. Shortly after I published my Cartography Comparison last June, I noticed Google updating some of the areas we had focused on[.] Coincidence or not, it was interesting. And it made me wonder what else … Continue reading "A Year’s Worth of Changes in Google and Apple Maps"

‘Based on Something Something Search Data’

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 12:44:53 +0000

In yesterday’s xkcd cartoon, Randall makes explicit what I think a lot of us have been thinking about those maps assigning a word or a search term to each state or country or whatnot.

CCA Annual Conference in Ottawa

Tue, 30 May 2017 14:20:57 +0000

The Canadian Cartographic Association’s annual conference gets under way tomorrow at Carleton University in Ottawa. Here’s the conference program. It’s just an hour’s drive from where I live, and by all rights I should be attending, but I’ve been moving house all month and there’s no way I can spare the time. Best wishes to the … Continue reading "CCA Annual Conference in Ottawa"

Recent Auctions: Joan Blaeu and Australia, Sam Greer and Vancouver

Wed, 24 May 2017 18:17:59 +0000

Joan Blaeu’s Archipelagus Orientalis is to Australia what Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 world map is to America: a case where a first appearance on a map is referred to as a country’s birth certificate. The 17th-century map included data from Tasman’s voyages and named New Holland (Australia) and New Zealand for the first time. The National Library of Australia is working on … Continue reading "Recent Auctions: Joan Blaeu and Australia, Sam Greer and Vancouver"

Exhibitions in the Northeast

Wed, 24 May 2017 17:53:19 +0000

A new exhibition at Harvard University’s Pusey Library, Manuscript Maps: Hand-Drawn Treasures of the Harvard Map Collection, “highlights the process of mapmaking by looking at maps drawn by hand.” Opened yesterday; runs until September 27. Meanwhile, in Schenectady, New York, there’s another exhibition at Union College’s Kelly Adirondack Center: Parts But Little Known: Maps of … Continue reading "Exhibitions in the Northeast"

New York Subway Track Map

Thu, 11 May 2017 00:50:41 +0000

Last year I told you about Andrew Lynch’s posters of individual New York subway lines. Now Lynch has created something that will be of interest to anyone who likes the London Underground’s track network map or Franklin Jarrier’s detailed rail maps: a geographically accurate subway track map for New York City, which can be downloaded as a PDF … Continue reading "New York Subway Track Map"

Mapping Bristol

Tue, 09 May 2017 12:50:35 +0000

A wide-ranging article at Bristol 24/7 explores at the different ways that Bristol has been mapped throughout history. It begins with a look at Jeff Bishop’s 2016 book, Bristol Through Maps (Redcliffe), which includes 24 maps of the city from 1480 to today. Then it goes on to Bristol City Council’s Know Your Place, which layers historic maps … Continue reading "Mapping Bristol"

Children Map the World, Volume 4

Tue, 02 May 2017 22:34:41 +0000

So it turns out that the Children Map the World series, which collects entries from the Barbara Petchenik Children’s World Map Drawing Competition, is still a going concern: the fourth volume, which includes 50 maps drawn by children aged 5 to 15 for the 2015 competition plus another 50 maps from previous competitions, came out last month … Continue reading "Children Map the World, Volume 4"

Mapping in the Enlightenment

Tue, 02 May 2017 22:20:32 +0000

Mapping in the Enlightenment: Science, Innovation, and the Public Sphere, an exhibition at the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library, “uses examples from the Clements Library collection to tell the story of creating, distributing, and using maps during the long 18th century. Enlightenment thinking stimulated the effort to make more accurate maps, encouraged the … Continue reading "Mapping in the Enlightenment"

A Programming Note

Tue, 02 May 2017 13:00:19 +0000

Just to let you know that I’ll be moving house throughout the month of May; as a result, posts to The Map Room may be a bit more erratic and sporadic than normal this month. (Not that posts aren’t already erratic and sporadic, but you get the idea.)

Picturing Places and the Klencke Atlas

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:24:58 +0000

This week the British Library launched an online collection of digitized “topographical materials” (i.e., views of and writings about places) called Picturing Places. More than 500 items—paintings, prints, drawings, texts and yes, maps—so far, sorted by theme and with dozens of accompanying articles. Picturing Places demonstrates that topography involves far more than straightforward ‘pictorial evidence’ of what a … Continue reading "Picturing Places and the Klencke Atlas"

The Penguin Projection

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:35:14 +0000

“A world map tells a lot about the person who has made it, or about the market it is made for,” says Frans Blok. The edges of equatorial projections are determined so as to put the map’s audience at the centre of the map: European maps put the Bering Strait at the edges, Australian and Asian maps the … Continue reading "The Penguin Projection"

Maps and Empire: New Books

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 23:02:07 +0000

Three academic books out this month deal with the subject of mapping, surveying, and empire-building: The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence by S. Max Edelson (Harvard University Press) covers the period between the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution. From the publisher: Under orders from King George III to reform … Continue reading "Maps and Empire: New Books"

Whither the Waters

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:35:19 +0000

Out this month from the University of New Mexico Press: John L. Kessell’s Whither the Waters: Mapping the Great Basin from Bernardo de Miera to John C. Frémont, a relatively short book that places 18th-century colonial New Mexican artist and cartographer Bernardo de Miera in his historical context and explores how later cartographers made use of his work. The Santa … Continue reading "Whither the Waters"

Montreal’s Anglo Metro Map

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 18:04:03 +0000

Daniel Raillant-Clark’s map of Montréal’s Métro with anglicized station names (in most cases) is full of awful translations in both directions and puns in both languages (example: “Georges-Vanier” becomes “George Go Deny It” because va nier means go deny). To see what the hell this map is messing with, the real Métro map is here. [MTL Blog/Reddit]

Mapping the 2017 French Presidential Election (First Round)

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:53:35 +0000

France held the first round of its presidential election this past Sunday. Unlike U.S. presidential elections, it’s by popular vote, with the top two vote-getters moving on to a second round in two weeks’ time. The major candidates’ support was distributed unevenly around the country. Media organizations used several different methods to show this. The New York … Continue reading "Mapping the 2017 French Presidential Election (First Round)"

Persuasive Cartography Collection Expands

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:44:00 +0000

More than 500 maps have just been added to the P. J. Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography at the Cornell University Library. That’s almost double the number they began with. Via email, P. J. Mode also says that “Cornell has implemented a much-improved image browser with a very robust search function. I hope there are some things that you’ll find … Continue reading "Persuasive Cartography Collection Expands"

Patents and Cartographic Inventions

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:42:57 +0000

Published late last month, Mark Monmonier’s new book, Patents and Cartographic Inventions: A New Perspective for Map History (Palgrave Macmillan) is on a somewhat more arcane and non-obvious subject than his usual fare. It’s an exploration of the U.S. patent system that focuses on map- and navigation-related inventions. The publisher’s description: “In probing evolving notions … Continue reading "Patents and Cartographic Inventions"