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."

Read the rest

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

NewImage

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

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)

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 /.)

Autobiographical D&D maps kickstarter: TWO HOURS TO GO!

You've got TWO HOURS to get in on Jeffrey Beebe's Kickstarter to produce limited edition prints of his maps of Refactoria, an autobiographical D&D style kingdom, previously featured here on Boing Boing!

Printing the Map of Western Refractoria (Thanks, Jeffrey!)

Different names for the same thing: Visualizing the 2012 election

Did you know that there was a major American election on Tuesday? Great. Let us all never speak of it again. At least for the next 3.5 years.

But before we send the parts of our brains that care about politics off to recuperate at a nice imaginary spa, take a quick look at a page of election maps put together by University of Michigan physics professor Mark Newman. He studies complex systems, including the networks of human relationships and decision-making that go into election results. His page of maps shows several different ways to visualize the same 2012 presidential election data — methods which provide different pieces of context that you don't normally see in the simple state-by-state map.

The basic map — the one you see on TV and in the newspaper — doesn't really tell you the whole story. It gives you no idea of population density (a factor that obviously matters a lot in tallying the popular vote), and it only shows the winning party in each state. In reality, the vote is seldom all-Democrat or all-Republican. There's a gradient, no matter where you live.

The map above takes both those factors into account — distorting the country to make the more populous parts larger, and showing split turnouts in shades of purple.

See all Mark Newman's maps at his website

And here's his FAQ

Thanks, Rick Musser!

Wind map shows Sandy's gusts

The surface wind data in this beautiful wind map from Hint.fm comes from the National Digital Forecast Database. It's basically an art project, not guaranteed to be scientifically perfect, but it's dramatic stuff today during Hurricane Sandy:

These are near-term forecasts, revised once per hour. So what you're seeing is a living portrait. (See the NDFD site for precise details; our timestamp shows time of download.) And for those of you chasing top wind speed, note that maximum speed may occur over lakes or just offshore.

If you're looking for a weather map, or just want more detail on the weather today, see these more traditional maps of temperature and wind.

There's a beautiful animated version, too.

How cartographers helped clean up after 9/11

This image, made using a laser mapping technology called LIDAR, was taken on September 17, 2001. It shows a 3-D model of the rubble left behind in lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Minnesota Public Radio's Paul Tosto has a really interesting peek into the way mapping techniques like LIDAR were used to help rescuers and clean-up crew understand the extent of the damage, look for survivors, and rehabilitate the area around the disaster zone.

The Library of Congress work also includes data from a a thermal sensor flown at 5,000 feet over Ground Zero that provided images to track underground fires that burned for weeks at the site.

It's worth remembering that Google Earth didn't exist back then. The ancient science of cartography has been reborn with the technology of the last decade. Let's hope it's not called on again to map destruction.

See more at the MPR News Cut blog

Via Peter Aldhous

Explore Japanese Space Science with Google Maps

From the Google Maps blog:

September 12th is 'Space Day' in Japan, and we are celebrating by releasing new, comprehensive Street View imagery for two of Japan’s top scientific institutions: the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). With panoramic imagery in and around these locations now available via the Street View feature of Google Maps, space enthusiasts around the world have a more complete and accurate sense of what it’d be like to virtually swap places with an astronaut.

More here. (Thanks, Nate Tyler!)

Fantasy maps are awesome

Victoria Johnson revisits the maps we "wandered into" as kids:

If I ruled the world, or at least a publishing company, all books would contain as much supplementary information as possible. Nonfiction, fiction—doesn't matter. Every work would have an appendix filled with diagrams, background information, digressions and anecdata. And of course, maps.

I did not accept that I was a map nerd until the day I caught myself scoffing at geological implausibilities in a map in a pulp fantasy novel. An excellent coffee-table compendium is J.B. Post's Atlas of Fantasy, but the itch may be scratched immediately with Google and TVTropes' entry on Fantasy World Maps. Artist Jon Roberts specializes in making them. Mapblogger Jonathan Crowe has an overview of resources for following suit.

Pictured above is fantasy epic Elfquest's world of Abode, a personal fave, and refreshingly geologically plausible until you start thinking about biomes.

Previously: Wondrous, detailed map of the history of science fiction and Maps.

Clever-folding tyvek San Francisco map, with out-of-the-way landmarks

Shan sez, "Our guide/map of SF is printed on a single sheet of A3 Tyvek, and is then folded up according to a technique originally developed at Tokyo University for satellite solar panels. The bistable nature of the fold means that it can be fully opened or closed in one smooth motion, and that there is no way to fold it 'wrong.' The places we included are a mix of overlooked gems, classic restaurants, and other things like hidden parks, games played across the city, and interesting shops and markets. We just launched our project on Kickstarter yesterday evening, and as of today we're almost 10% funded!"

TOC Guide to SF (Thanks, Shan!)

Extending Manhattan street grid to everywhere on Earth


ExtendNY is a fun mapping exercise that extends Manhattan's street grid across the whole planet. It turns out our flat in London is around E10,874th Ave and 63,764th St.

ExtendNY (via JWZ)