ShipMap generates gorgeous maps of global shipping routes

Here's a fun interactive map of global shipping. ShipMap allows users to selected color coding for ship types: container, dry bulk, tanker, gas bulk, and vehicles. It even lets you select animated ships on their routes. Read the rest

Five years of American drought, visualized


At Adventures in Mapping, John Nelson developed a sobering series of maps that visualize the intensity of the drought gripping much of the US: Read the rest

The trials of living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (SE), Washington DC


Several years ago, a new apartment building went up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE in Washington DC. That's a few miles from the better known 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, aka the White House. A car lot was previously on the apartment building property, then registered as 1550 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, but the developers thought it would be a hoot to petition for the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE address. They got it. From WTPO:

Residents say they often get funny looks or disbelief when they have to give their address or hand over their driver’s licenses. Carlos Gutierrez, 39, and other residents said they get asked: “You live at the White House?”

The address has produced headaches for some residents. One early resident of the building, Daniel Perry, 36, said initially wouldn’t take orders to the address, though that’s since been sorted out. Another resident said even now, she sometimes has difficulty ordering online. A recent order for a pair of summer sandals required calling the company, she said.

Residents have to make sure that anyone sending them mail puts the all-important “SE” after the address. The correct zip code — 20003 — is also key. The White House’s ZIP code is 20500.

A goof means the mail might eventually get to the correct recipient, but because the president’s mail gets extra security screening, any resident’s mail with an incomplete address could be significantly delayed.

Mail mix-ups happen the other way, too. Errant letters for the first family arrive at the building every so often and sit unopened by the residents’ mailboxes until the U.S.

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Map of North America drawn in Tolkein's style


Etsy artist Andrew Creamer drew North America to look like Tolkein's Middle-Earth. Read the rest

Prolific and talented D&D map-drawer

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Dyson Logos's G+ account is an endlessly scrolling inventory of hand-drawn D&D maps, each one cooler than the last. Read the rest

_applyChinaLocationShift: In China, national security means that all the maps are wrong


Chinese law makes independent mapmaking a crime (you may not document "the shapes, sizes, space positions, attributes, etc. of man-made surface installations") and requires tech companies to randomly vary the locations of all landmarks by 100-500m. Read the rest

Brass cuffs decorated with vintage maps, anatomy, science and math


Kate in Dorchester, England makes gorgeous brass wrist-cuffs decorated with vintage literary, cartographic and scientific imagery: there's Poe's Raven; the periodic table; anatomical dentistry drawings; Newton's laws of motion; the human spine; a map of the Thames and the Tower of London; a tape-measure; the human foot's bones; and headlines from Jack the Ripper's killings and much, much more. Read the rest

The Mercator Puzzle reminds you how deceptive maps can be

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The Earth is round, and maps are flat. While we have may mapped nearly every inch of our world, figuring out how to translate that information from three dimensions to two remains a problem. Read the rest

The Game of Thrones cartographer explains how to draw maps

How to draw a map - a tutorial on creating a map from sketch to finally rendered map
If you've ever wanted to make your own map—either of the real world or a fantasy world of your creation—these tips are essential.

Fascinating guide to antique space maps (Also, the Earth is square)


Above, a map of the "Square and Stationary Earth" (1893) by a Professor Orlando Ferguson of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Read the rest

Age of Discovery-style map of modern submarine cables

You can explore it interactively for free and download a jumbo wallpaper JPEG, but the print edition is $250. Read the rest

Remarkable collection of 18th and 19th century pocket globes

Sotheby's currently has auctions for several beautiful pocket globes from the 1790s and early 1800s. If you have a few grand lying around, one of these 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch beauties could be yours. Read the rest

Globes: art-book traces 400 years' worth of strange and gorgeous globes

Here's a tantalizing preview [PDF] of The Art and History of Globes, a massive, gorgeous art-book tracing the history of globes. Written by Sylvia Sumira, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in March. The globes pictured run back 400 years, and come from the collection of the British Library. As Levi from the press says, "they're amazing: beautifully designed and drawn, intricate, strange--just incredible objects."

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Maps of the world made with spirographs

Artist Rachel Evans makes gorgeous poster-art with a spirograph, and has an especially sweet line of world-maps made using the technique, which she sells as posters. Click through for a video of her in action. Read the rest

Simple map design tool from Stamen

The supremely creative design/data experimentalists at Stamen launched Map Stack, a fascinating and super-simple tool to design your own maps and cartographical mash-ups:

You can use it to combine custom cartography, colors, and satellite images into custom, easily modified maps.

We provide access to different parts of the map stack, like backgrounds, roads, labels, and satellite imagery. These can be modified using straightforward controls to change things like color, opacity, and brightness. So within a few minutes you can have a map of anywhere in the world with dark green parks and blue buildings. You can get very precise with image overlays and layer effects, using layers as cut-out masks for other layers. Or just make a regular-looking map in the colors you want.

Map Stack by Stamen

 Stamen Design's Oakland Crimespotting - Boing Boing Silcon Valley's high-tech bus commuter lines visualized - Boing Boing Read the rest

Artist finds the faces lurking in maps

Artist Ed Fairburn selective colors in maps, revealing faces lurking in potentia in their many lines, contours and shapes. He sells prints. These are gorgeous. Shown here: Paris.

Ed Fairburn (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Google adds North Korean death-camps to maps

Google Maps has added notorious, secretive North Korean prison camps to its maps of the country. The data is gleaned from user contributions, including a first-person account of Shin Dong-Hyuk, who escaped from Camp 14, a death camp where he was born and raised.

Called Map Maker, Google’s information for the country’s layout comes primarily from visitors and from former citizens who defected, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The mapping idea stemmed in part from a 28-year-old South Korean who tried to use Google maps on a trip to Laos four years ago, but found it unhelpful, at best. He ultimately helped devise the Google map application for North Korea.

“I thought if I could fill in information on North Korea, it might be useful in an emergency or tragedy if Google can provide a map for aid agencies,” the South Korean told the Wall Street Journal.

Google maps North Korea, including prison camps [Cheryl K. Chumley/Washington Times] (via /.) Read the rest

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