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The Map Room

A weblog about maps

Last Build Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2017 16:21:24 +0000


Pledge Break

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:00:12 +0000

If you like what I do here and you have a couple of extra dollars, pounds, euros or kroner lying around, this would be an awfully good time to send them The Map Room’s way: sent directly to me via Ko-Fi or, if you don’t trust me to handle money, directly to my web hosting bill. That … Continue reading "Pledge Break"

James Clark’s Revised Map of Current and Proposed Railways in Southeast Asia

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:30:14 +0000

James Clark has updated his map of current and proposed railways in southeast Asia (see previous entry). The new version clearly delineates between current and proposed lines. “The black lines on the map represent railways that are currently operating, while the red lines are proposed lines. As with the subway map, proposed can mean anything … Continue reading "James Clark’s Revised Map of Current and Proposed Railways in Southeast Asia"

Google Maps Gets a New Look

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:00:25 +0000

Google is rolling out changes to the look of Google Maps: a new colour scheme in which icons for similar points of interest get similar colours (orange for food and drink, green for outdoors), and a map that changes to highlight different things if you’re driving or taking transit. To be rolled out over the … Continue reading "Google Maps Gets a New Look"

Laura Biss’s MapLab

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:30:56 +0000

CityLab’s Laura Biss has announced MapLab, a biweekly newsletter that will include “featurettes on newsworthy mapping efforts, fascinating cartographers, snippets of history, eye-popping data visuals, and intriguing map links.” More info, how to sign up, and the first issue, here.

Londonist Mapped

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:00:25 +0000

Londonist Mapped: Hand Drawn Maps for the Curious Explorer came out last month from AA Publishing. (It’ll be out in North America next February.) Londonist describes their book thusly: “The book presents dozens of beautiful maps of the capital, from historic plans to specially commissioned art. Here you’ll find maps of lost Victorian buildings, little-known musical … Continue reading "Londonist Mapped"

Future and Alternate Melbourne Transit Networks

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:00:50 +0000

Geospatial scientist Adam Mattison also dabbles in maps of a more speculative bent, including maps imagining Melbourne’s future transit network, including a tram network map of 2048, a metro map of 2070, and the above train network map of 2070. There’s some alternate history as well: maps of transit systems that might have been, but weren’t. … Continue reading "Future and Alternate Melbourne Transit Networks"

More Fantasy Map Generators

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:00:09 +0000

Maps Mania has a roundup of fantasy map generators—applications that generate maps of imaginary cities or landscapes algorithmically. Sometimes even with names. Two of them I’d previously heard of: Uncharted Atlas, a Twitter bot that tweets out a new map every hour, and the Medieval Fantasy City Generator, which generates a random medieval city layout. Two were … Continue reading "More Fantasy Map Generators"

Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:00:11 +0000

With Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps (University of Chicago Press, March 2017), Stephen J. Hornsby makes the case for the pictorial map as a distinct and significant genre of mapmaking that is worthy of study and preservation. Because pictorial maps were artistic rather than scientific, Hornsby argues, they were ignored as a … Continue reading "Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps"

Osher Map Art Exhibition Opens Today

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:00:07 +0000

Opening today at the Osher Map Library in Portland, Maine and running until 10 March 2018, an exhibition of cartographic art called Go Where the Map Takes You: The Intersection of Cartography and Creativity. “Maps show many versions of our world, for many purposes, but their simplest purpose is to show the way from one place … Continue reading "Osher Map Art Exhibition Opens Today"

Mapping the Results of Australia’s Same-Sex Marriage Referendum

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:00:56 +0000

When it comes to maps of the results of Australia’s same-sex marriage referendum (or, to be more precise, postal survey), it’s a mixed bag. At the official end, the Australian Bureau of Statistics provides infographics, but no maps. The Sydney Morning Herald provides a map of the results by district (see screenshot above), but it’s boolean … Continue reading "Mapping the Results of Australia’s Same-Sex Marriage Referendum"

Google Using Street View Cars to Map Air Pollution

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 18:30:47 +0000

Google is using its Street View cars, now equipped with air-quality sensors, to measure air pollution in California on a block-by-block level. Earlier this year, we shared the first results of this effort with pollution levels throughout the city of Oakland. We’re just beginning to understand what’s possible with this hyper-local information and today, we’re starting to share … Continue reading "Google Using Street View Cars to Map Air Pollution"

Fantasy Maps as Memory Palace

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:05 +0000

On Obsidian Wings, a post on why I need maps in fantasy novels: “Two books I recently read made me realize that I don’t just like maps, they’re part of how my mind works. For me, a map is a type of memory palace, linking up all kinds of information for easy retrieval. Without one, … Continue reading "Fantasy Maps as Memory Palace"

Cartografías de lo desconocido

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:30:42 +0000

Cartografías de lo desconocido (Cartographies of the Unknown; Google Translate) an exhibition of some two hundred maps and related pieces at the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid. Cartografías de lo desconocido persigue dos objetivos. Primero, hacer que el espectador se fije más en el mapa y menos en el territorio, pues sucede a menudo … Continue reading "Cartografías de lo desconocido"

History of Britain in Maps

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:00:07 +0000

Philip Parker’s History of Britain in Maps (HarperCollins) includes 100 maps covering the island’s entire history, from Matthew Paris and the Gough Map to maps of the EU referendum results. Out now in the U.K.; according to Amazon it’ll be in stock in Canada in December and in the U.S. next February. [Amazon]

Map Books of 2017 Updated

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:46:56 +0000

I’ve finally updated the Map Books of 2017 page to account for all the books that were brought to my attention over the past few months. Later this month it’ll be time for me to post the 2017 edition of The Map Room’s Holiday Gift Guide. Each year I put out a list of some of … Continue reading "Map Books of 2017 Updated"

Maps Without New Zealand

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:00:54 +0000

New Zealand is left off world maps so often that there’s a Reddit group about it. BBC News has picked up the story. [Peter Mellow]

Cartographers in the Field

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:00:14 +0000

Cartographers in the Field: “This Depression-era oil painting was created by USGS field man Hal Shelton in 1940. The painting depicts mapping techniques used in the early days of cartography, including an alidade and stadia rod for determining distances and elevations and a plane-table for sketching contour lines. A USGS benchmark is visible near the top. … Continue reading "Cartographers in the Field"

An Online Class on Fantasy Maps

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 16:00:26 +0000

Alex Acks and Paul Weimer are teaching an online class on creating fantasy maps: Join Alex Acks and Paul Weimer as they talk about fantasy maps in order to give you the tools you need to create and map your world. Topics include basic geologic principles, common mistakes, forms maps can take, how maps reflect … Continue reading "An Online Class on Fantasy Maps"

Mapping the Borders

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:00:32 +0000

Mapping the Borders, a series of talks, exhibitions and workshops hosted by the University of Sunderland from 18 to 25 November as part of this year’s Being Human festival, includes an art exhibition, a workshop on glass mapmaking, a full day of activities on the 19th, and a number of pop-up talks. [NLS]

Maps from The Magicians Trilogy Available

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 18:52:38 +0000

Roland Chambers is selling limited-edition prints of his maps for Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy. Each print costs £100 and is A2-sized (42 × 59.4 cm); only 100 copies of each will be printed. More at The Verge. I’ve admired Chambers’s work for a while: these are fantasy maps that are less derivative and closer to their original source … Continue reading "Maps from The Magicians Trilogy Available"

All We Like Street View Have Gone Astray

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:18:31 +0000

It began in the summer of 2016. Faroe Islander Durita Dahl Andreassen started a campaign to get Google to map the islands in Street View by strapping 360-degree cameras onto the backs of grazing sheep and uploading the resulting images. The gambit worked; as of this month, the Faroe Islands are on Street View (The Guardian, … Continue reading "All We Like Street View Have Gone Astray"

Mapping Canada’s War Dead

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 15:34:37 +0000

Over the past few years, Global News’s Patrick Cain has been producing interactive maps pinpointing the home addresses of Canada’s war dead. Most date from 2013. Toronto’s map covers both World Wars and Korea; Winnipeg’s and Vancouver’s cover World War I alone. This map covers D-Day casualties across the country. This map shows the next-of-kin … Continue reading "Mapping Canada’s War Dead"

A Giant Map of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 19:17:38 +0000

McMaster University’s Daily News has a piece on a large-scale map of Vimy Ridge—a World War I battle fought by Canadian troops that has since entered the national folklore—that reproduced from McMaster’s extensive collection of trench maps. The map, created by Canadian Geographic and 17 × 13 feet in size, is currently on display in the foyer of … Continue reading "A Giant Map of the Battle of Vimy Ridge"

New Maps Show Greenland’s Glaciers at Risk

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 18:00:33 +0000

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: “New maps of Greenland’s coastal seafloor and bedrock beneath its massive ice sheet show that two to four times as many coastal glaciers are at risk of accelerated melting as previously thought. Researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI), NASA and 30 other institutions have published the most comprehensive, accurate and … Continue reading "New Maps Show Greenland’s Glaciers at Risk"

Sixth Waldseemüller Globe Gore to Be Auctioned Next Month

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:00:36 +0000

AP reports that Christie’s will be auctioning “a previously unknown copy” of Martin Waldseemüller’s globe gores on 13 December. This would be the sixth known remaining copy of Waldseemüller’s gores, which were designed to form a small globe a few inches across when pasted onto a sphere. They’re a smaller, less-detailed version of Waldseemüller’s famous 1507 … Continue reading "Sixth Waldseemüller Globe Gore to Be Auctioned Next Month"

The New York Times Maps the Virginia Governor’s Race

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 13:35:08 +0000

The New York Times’s graphics department generally does very good election maps, and their work on yesterday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia is no exception. I particularly like how the interactive map toggles from a standard choropleth map to maps that better account for population density, show the size of each candidate’s lead and the shift in … Continue reading "The New York Times Maps the Virginia Governor’s Race"

Meridian: Old Maps, Virtual Globes

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 20:00:56 +0000

Meridian, an “experiment” from the DX Lab at the State Library of New South Wales, overlays old maps onto virtual, 3D interactive globes. Two globes have been created to date—one based on the 1706 Miranda world map (previously), the other on a set of Coronelli globe gores from 1693—with more in the works. Details here. [Cartophilia]

Blaue’s ‘Archipelagus Orientalis’ Restored

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:00:28 +0000

The National Library of Australia’s fragile copy of Joan Blaeu’s Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus (1663) has now been restored. (I told you about the fundraising campaign for its conservation, and its trip to the University of Melbourne to begin conservation work, back in May 2016.) It took over one thousand hours for the 11 person team … Continue reading "Blaue’s ‘Archipelagus Orientalis’ Restored"

A Book Roundup

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 16:00:16 +0000

Writing for the Globe and Mail, Charlotte Grey reviews two recent Canadian books about mapmaking and mapmakers, both of which came out last month: Adam Shoalts’s History of Canada in Ten Maps (which I reviewed here last month) and Barbara Mitchell’s Mapmaker: Philip Turnor in Rupert’s Land in the Age of Enlightenment. Mitchell and her book also get local-author … Continue reading "A Book Roundup"

ArcticDEM Release Six Adds Eurasia

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:00:22 +0000

The sixth release of the ArcticDEM initiative adds 32 percent more terrain data, mostly in Russia and Scandinavia. ArcticDEM provides a two-metre-resolution digital elevation model for arctic regions north of the 60th parallel, plus those bits of Alaska, Greenland and the Kamchatka Peninsula south of 60. The final product is due out next year. More … Continue reading "ArcticDEM Release Six Adds Eurasia"