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The Map Room

A weblog about maps

Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:30:47 +0000


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"

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.