by Michael Yessis | 05.20.10 | 10:18 AM ET
In 1927, Paramount Studios apparently produced this map of California, designating cities and regions that could double as various parts of the world. Now I can say I grew up near the stand-in for Wales. (Via The Map Room)
by Eva Holland | 05.11.10 | 11:52 AM ET
While we’re on the subject of the massive Gulf oil spill, here’s something clever: Paul Rademacher has created a satellite image of the slick that can be superimposed on the city or region of your choice. Really brings home the scope of the disaster. (Via Gawker)
by Michael Yessis | 04.30.10 | 12:26 PM ET
The Economist retools the continent to make life “more logical and friendlier.” Switzerland would live between Norway and Sweden, for instance, and Great Britain would have a much warmer climate. (via The Morning News)
by Eva Holland | 04.29.10 | 11:55 AM ET
Apparently, there’s even a term for this sort of geographical fun: cartozoology, or “the detection of living creatures in maps.” Very cool.
by Eva Holland | 04.28.10 | 3:51 PM ET
Since early man first drew on his cave wall—including marks that some scholars argue were maps of local rivers and settlements—we’ve been sketching out routes to guide one another to the market and to the mountain top. These humble maps can be beautiful. They can also be messy, indecipherable, inaccurate, and unattractive.
by Frank Bures | 04.21.10 | 12:01 PM ET
Frank Bures's notes and impressions from his journey from Lagos, Nigeria to Dakar, Senegal
by Eva Holland | 04.07.10 | 3:31 PM ET
by Eva Holland | 03.29.10 | 12:14 PM ET
by Michael Yessis | 03.25.10 | 12:10 PM ET
The concept behind Map Envelope: Enter a location and add a message, and the site spits out a page with a Google Maps image in the form of an envelope. Write a note on the inside, fold it up, add a stamp and drop it in the mail. It’s simple. It’s brilliant. And, the first time I saw it earlier this week, I thought: It’s an aerogram for the digital age.
The second thing I thought: I wonder what Evan Rail thinks. Last May, he wrote a moving lament about the slow demise of ready-to-mail aerograms for World Hum. So I sent him a link and asked him what he thought:
I hadn’t heard of this before, but it’s a delightful surprise. This really is almost an aerogram, but customized, sort of like those special holiday aerograms put out by Royal Mail.
It’s mail with a sense of place.
I was surprised to see I could create a map envelope focused on my tiny square in central Prague. With high-quality satellite images, it’s kind of like “you can see my house from here.”
The big thing that traditional aerograms have as an advantage is that they include postage, which means you don’t have to search for a stamp. But if you could combine map envelopes with what the USPS calls PC Postage, which lets you “print the PC Postage indicia directly onto envelopes,” then maybe you’ve solved it. It sounds like a way for aerograms to continue even if the various international postal services no longer print them.
by Eva Holland | 03.24.10 | 4:29 PM ET
by Eva Holland | 03.16.10 | 1:11 PM ET
Flowing Data offers up a map showing that some parts of the U.S.—we’re looking at you, Wisconsin—have more bars than supermarkets. Equally interesting? Spotting the areas on the map that seem to have precious few of either. (Via @julia914)
by Michael Yessis | 03.15.10 | 2:03 PM ET
Parag Khanna believes eliminating arbitrary borders and redrawing the world map in the next ten years is a “moral, economic and strategic imperative.” His guiding star? The European Union.
Leaders seeking to respond to the global economic and underemployment crises should take a lesson from the world’s most successful instance of a subordination of arbitrary borders: the European Union. The E.U. is the world’s most peaceful multinational zone and its largest economic bloc, combining 27 countries, 450 million people and a $20 trillion GDP. The solution to the hundreds of lines that scar our political geography is to physically build the lines that connect people across them. If we spend just 10% of what we do on fighting over and defending borders on transcending them, the next decade—and the decades beyond—will be better than the last.
The success of the E.U. benefits travelers, too. World Hum contributor Eric Lucas explains.
by Michael Yessis | 03.11.10 | 2:09 PM ET
Last year Christoph Niemann rendered New York landmarks and experiences in LEGOs. Now he’s mapped “the most accurate routes for all occasions,” including the Hokey Pokey, an omelet and Rumsfeld’s Iraq.
by Eva Holland | 02.09.10 | 12:45 PM ET
Here’s a fascinating map put together by PeteSearch, showing the regional connections between America’s Facebook users. The data creates some unexpected clusters and movement patterns: For instance, users in the northeastern states—dubbed “Stayathomia”—tend to have more local and fewer long-range connections, while users in the “Nomadic West” generally have more far-flung friendship networks. (Via Kottke)
by Michael Yessis | 01.20.10 | 3:39 PM ET
Commissioned in 1602, the Matteo Ricci World Map is the first written in Chinese to show the Americas. It’s currently on display at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Edward Rothstein reviews the exhibition:
Ricci created two earlier versions, beginning in 1584, drawing on atlases and materials he took with him on his journey from Italy. But this third version is the earliest to survive and the first to have combined information from both eastern and western cartography. It is also the oldest surviving map to have given the Chinese a larger vision of the earth.
Even the sturdiest of wall maps tend to have limited life spans, but this large, segmented map is so rare that for centuries it was uncertain if this copy even existed, which is why it has been nicknamed the “impossible black tulip” of maps. It is one of six known copies.
by Eva Holland | 01.11.10 | 1:20 PM ET
The New York Times has mapped the top 10 rentals, zip code by zip code, in 12 major U.S. cities. Jason Kottke ponders: “I wonder if you could predict voting patterns according to where people rent ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop’ or ‘Frost/Nixon’.”
by Eva Holland | 12.22.09 | 3:10 PM ET
Over at Gadling, Aaron Hotfelder’s come across a fascinating Swedish map of the world that shows countries re-sized in proportion to the number of languages they’ve produced. The biggie? Papua New Guinea.
by Eva Holland | 12.14.09 | 12:09 PM ET
The Telegraph has a fantastic slideshow from the Atlas of True Names, a collection of maps that displays alternate place names taken from the literal meanings and early origins of the official nomenclature. The result? Familiar places become “Ferry on the Bank of the Mighty River,” “Market by the Yawning Estuary,” and “Unfordable River Town”—otherwise known as London.
by Eva Holland | 12.08.09 | 1:08 PM ET
We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?
by Michael Yessis | 12.02.09 | 4:13 PM ET