Chinese developers are vying to build a massive China-themed retail center and casino in New York's Catskills. The 600-acre project is called "China City of America" and, surprise, it's highly controversial. I think it might do better in the hometown of hyperreality, Las Vegas! You can see the pitch at the China City of America site and read about it below:
"Developers pitch bringing a piece of China to Sullivan County" (YNN)
"Mysterious China-themed 'city' proposed in New York’s Catskills" (Fox News, thanks Bob Pescovitz!)
How does Google Maps account for plate tectonics?
That's the seemingly simple question that led George Musser to unearth some fascinating facts about map-making, history, and the accuracy of modern GPS systems. Turns out, not only does the crust of the Earth, itself, move, but so do the locations of lines of latitude and longitude. Both those things contribute to small errors when your GPS tries to pinpoint exactly where you are. — Maggie
Here is our world divided equally into territories of about 10m people, with existing boundaries taken into account.
"The logic of the map does not entirely discount existing ethnic or national boundaries, but neither is it beholden to them. The particular political rationale behind these divisions is not addressed - whether these are independent nation-states or provinces of a world government is left to the imagine of the viewer. The map is rather meant to provide a visual representative of the radically unequal distribution of the world’s population."
Zoom in: Pacific Rim, south-east Asia, the subcontinent, western Europe. [via MeFi]
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.
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A 15-foot-deep sinkhole opened beneath a vacation condo complex near Walt Disney World in Florida, partially devouring a pair of three-story buildings above it. Some 35 people were successfully evacuated from the buildings at Summer Bay Resort, 10 minutes' drive from the Disney property. One building is still sinking.
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Randall Munroe has finally finished Time, his 3,000+ frame slow-motion animation that began life as wordless, enigmatic single-panel XKCD installment. Since then, the panel has been slowly, slowly updating itself, running out its course over several months. Geekwagon has collected the whole series in an easy-to-control window, and the story, taken as a whole, is a beautiful and odd existentialist parable touching on the discovery of geographic knowledge; cultural first contacts; environmental disaster, friendship and ingenuity.
(Click to embiggen)
Feòrag NicBhrìde has provided us with a vital cartographic reference: a map of Europe showing the word for "beer" in each country.
The Essential Map of Europe and Environs.
Anton Wallén created GeoGuessr, a fun game where you have to guess at the location of Google Maps Street View images. Not only am I terrible at geography, I haven't seen nearly enough of the planet.
David Hunter sez, "I'm a public school teacher and last year I created Zombie-Based Learning, a standards-based curriculum that uses a zombie apocalypse to get kids into learning geography. The last Kickstarter was successful and a lot of fun. Now I'm working on the comic that goes with ZBL. This comic will help engage kids, teach real-world geographic concepts, and encourage readers to work on their zombie-survival skills."
I wrote up David's earlier (and just plain wonderful) effort last year; this is a great-looking Kickstarter.
Zombie-Based Learning comic books: Dead Reckon
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.
Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi's "Wikipedia Recent Changes Map" plots anonymous edits to Wikipedia on a world-map in realtime, based on the location of the user (only anonymous users are identified by IP address, so they're the only ones whose locations can be estimated). It's a hypnotic view into Wikipedia's casual users and vandals, as well as unobservant users like (I often forget that I'm logged out until after my edit, and have to go back and add an attribution).
When an unregistered user makes a contribution to Wikipedia, he or she is identified by his or her IP address. These IP addresses are translated to the contributor’s approximate geographic location. A study by Fabian Kaelin in 2011 noted that unregistered users make approximately 20% of the edits on English Wikipedia [edit: likely closer to 15%, according to more recent statistics], so Wikipedia’s stream of recent changes includes many other edits that are not shown on this map.
You may see some users add non-productive or disruptive content to Wikipedia. A survey in 2007 indicated that unregistered users are less likely to make productive edits to the encyclopedia. Do not fear: improper edits can be removed or corrected by other users, including you!
This map listens to live feeds of Wikipedia revisions, broadcast using wikimon. We built the map using a few nice libraries and services, including d3, DataMaps, and freegeoip.net. This project was inspired by WikipediaVision’s (almost) real-time edit visualization.
Wikipedia Recent Changes Map
Lemuria found, reports Sid Perkins: "The drowned remnants of an ancient microcontinent may lie scattered beneath the waters
between Madagascar and India, a new study suggests." [Nature] — Rob
Or as I like to call it, Cape Fuckthiswearegoinghome.
Sadly, Antarctica's Cape Goodenough (pictured here on National Geographic's Political Map of the World) was not named by a less-then-intrepid band of explorers who decided that seeing the coastline of Antarctica was plenty of adventure for them, thankyouverymuch.
Instead, it's named for William Goodenough, admiral in the British Royal Navy. Yes. Admiral Goodenough. I'm sure the troops were enthused.
But wait, there's more. In the 1930s and 1940s, the admiral was apparently involved in the creation of comfortable, dormitory-style housing for international post-graduate students in London. Today, the buildings are known as ... Goodenough College.
Sandy Island, a 20-mile strip of land in the Pacific between Australia and New Caledonia, easily found on Google Maps and many other charts, does not exist. The ocean at that point is in fact 4,620ft deep.
That's what they're saying, anyway.
LocalWiki's Philip Neustrom says,
My non-profit, LocalWiki, has been working on this really incredible
project to help document the continent of Antarctica. Most notable,
at least right now, is this custom map we've pieced together from
very-hard-to-find NASA aerial imagery and coastline datasets. It's
probably the most beautiful thing I've ever worked on.
Check out the LocalWiki for Antarctica. The project "aims to document the
full extent of human involvement on the continent," and for now is focused on a two-mile region
surrounding Palmer Station.