Boing Boing 

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.

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Map pins pop songs that mention cities

map

Map maker Javier Arce created a world map locating 212 cities referenced in 7,681 pop songs. Click on a city and you can instantly play the related songs through Spotify.

To create this map Javier extracted a list of the cities with their respective countries and created a table. Then he geocoded that table to get the position of each city on the map.

Next, he extracted all the song information in the main article using regular expressions and infinite amounts of patience. It generated a CSV file that he imported into his CartoDB account. Javier ended up having a table that contained the name of the song, the author, and the city.

Music Map Mashup [CartoDB Blog]

Meet Daniel Reeve, calligrapher for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

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Artist Daniel Reeve created and re-created calligraphy and maps for Peter Jackson's films of the Tolkein adventures in Middle-earth. His gallery of images includes maps and illustrations as well as calligraphy and lettering. Some examples below:

Collage1

Lettering1

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Collage3

Daniel Reeve website (h/t TMarizzle)

Interactive map: World population by latitude and longitude

population-latitude-longitude André Christoffer Andersen created this nifty interactive map that estimates world population at any coordinate.

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The dirty secret of Google's self-driving cars


They've 700,000 miles, but mostly the same few thousand miles, over and over again -- because the cars only work if every single light, piece of street furniture, and other detail is mapped and verified by armies of human and computer analysts, and when anything changes, the mapping needs to be re-created.

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Map: Which states' governors are climate deniers?


Thinking of moving and wondering whether your new state's chief executive is a climate-denier?

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Google Street View now lets you 'go back in time' to view previous captures of a place


"If you see a clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image," explain the Googles, "click on it and move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to see that same place in previous years or seasons."

This is kind of neat. From the Official Google Blog: "Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop. We've gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world."

Universal subway map design rules

Designer Jug Cerovic proposes a standardized approach to subway mapping, encompassed by 7 simple rules:

1. The city center sits at the center (because, duh).
2. The center is a basic shape, like a circle or square (for visual simplicity).
3. The center is zoomed in (because that area is always congested with lines).
4. All lines must run vertical, horizontal, or at 45-degree angles (again, for visual simplicity).
5. Their angles should be smooth (to feel more familiar, city to city).
6. Their colors and connection iconography are standardized (duh again).
7. All text must be listed in local and Latin lettering (for the tourists, aka all of us).

The subtext to subway remapping projects is often "London basically got this right 80 years ago, deal with it."— so his version of The Underground, above, is interesting food for thought.

Previously.

5 days of TED in one page

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My ultracreative friend Lucy Farey-Jones attended the recent TED conference in Vancouver and left delightfully overwhelmed. The only way she could make sense of what she learned was by mapping it on a single beautiful page.

"Upon my re-entry to the real world, friends, clients and folks at my firm say: ‘How was TED?’ And there is a big pause from me as my brain tries and fails to sum it up," Lucy says. "It’s an impossible question to answer. It’s like being asked ‘How is food?’ or ‘Puberty — how was it?’ Which is where this idea came in. I thought a way to answer this daunting question would be to make a graphic which tries to capture how TED makes me feel. I gave myself the challenge to capture 5 days in one page."

"5 days of TED in one page"

Mapping ecotpian jungles onto Google Streetview


Urban Jungle Street View is a Google Street View mashup that pulls out the 3D information latent in the Streetview database and uses it to map lush, ecotopian foliage over the surfaces of the buildings and street furniture. You can put your own address in and see your home covered in climbing jungles and explore from there, or use great architectural landmarks as your starting point. Shown here: the Flatiron building in midtown Manhattan, where my publishers are located.

Its creator, Einar Öberg, has created a ton of other amazing mashups based on similar principles.

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Map of The Open Country of Woman's Heart, ca. 1830

Via Public Domain Review: "The Open Country of Woman’s Heart, Exhibiting its internal communications, and the facilities and dangers to Travellers therein” (1830s), by D.W. Kellog.

Gorgeous Map of the Internet: XKCD meets National Geographic


Martin Vargic has produced a gorgeous mashup of XKCD's Map of Online Communities and the classic National Geographic Maps, producing a work of art that is a wonder to behold. It's for sale on Zazzle, as a $37, 34"x22" poster.

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Why is [state] so...

Google's autocomplete, as visualized by @Amazing_maps, discloses the questions that everyone is asking. [via]

Openstreetmap: why we need a free/open alternative to proprietary maps


In the Guardian, Serge Wroclawski makes the case for Openstreetmap, a free/open map tool maintained by a volunteer community. Wroclawski argues that allowing companies to own maps allows them to own places: to determine which features of our neighbourhoods are worthy of inclusion, to determine which parts of our cities should and shouldn't be considered in route planning, and to monitor our decisions about where we travel and what we do when we get there. It's a dangerous proposition, and Openstreetmap is a viable, and often superior, alternative (see, for example, the map above of the neighbourhood around my office):

The second concern is about location. Who defines where a neighbourhood is, or whether or not you should go? This issue was brought up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) when a map provider was providing routing (driving/biking/walking instructions) and used what it determined to be "safe" or "dangerous" neighbourhoods as part of its algorithm. This raises the question of who determines what makes a neighbourhood "safe" or not – or whether safe is merely a codeword for something more sinister.

Right now, Flickr collects neighbourhood information based on photographs which it exposes through an API. It uses this information to suggest tags for your photograph. But it would be possible to use neighbourhood boundaries in a more subtle way in order to affect anything from traffic patterns to real estate prices, because when a map provider becomes large enough, it becomes the source of "truth".

Lastly, these map providers have an incentive to collect information about you in ways that you may not agree with. Both Google and Apple collect your location information when you use their services. They can use this information to improve their map accuracy, but Google has already announced that is going to use this information to track the correlation between searches and where you go. With more than 500 million Android phones in use, this is an enormous amount of information collected on the individual level about people's habits, whether they're taking a casual stroll, commuting to work, going to their doctor, or maybe attending a protest.

Why the world needs OpenStreetMap [Serge Wroclawski/Guardian]

(via /.)

What we can learn from dialect maps

My dialect — the sound, vocabulary, and grammatical structure of the way I speak English — is most similar to the dialect spoken by people in Topeka, Kansas.

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Why Google Maps is often wrong about your exact location

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.

Which US state matches your personality?

I love California, but according to the personality test I took, I belong in Montana!

Which US state matches your personality?

Spoiler: your nearest pizza joint is probably Pizza Hut

Created by Flowing Data, this map reveals exactly what pizza chain dominates in any given 10-mile region of the U.S.

The World of Equal Districts

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]

American dialects mapped

Joshua Katz, at NC State University's Department of Statistics, compiled a series of simple, striking maps that visualize the words Americans use—and where they use them. The data was compiled from a survey conducted by Bert Vaux at the University of Cambridge. Below are just a few to whet your appetite for the full set of 122.

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The Histomap

John B. Sparks' 1931 Histomap charted 4,000 years of human civilization with beautiful, reductive clarity. Here's John Brownlee, at Fast Company:

From a modern perspective, Sparks’ Histomap will raise a few eyebrows. For one, it subscribes to an outdated (but, at the time, quite in vogue) idea about how different cultures throughout history could be grouped into various "peoples." The chart also underestimates or omits certain cultures that historians at the time didn’t truly appreciate the importance of. The chart is also more Eurocentric than it would be if it were created today, with little space devoted to African civilizations or even American civilizations before Europeans settled the New World in the 15th century.

It seems hard to find in print form at a reasonable price (Amazon has it for $150). I've embedded an enormous 2MB image below.

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Brilliant new New York Subway map

New York has the worst subway map in the world. Instead of using London Underground-inspired abstract maps like a normal metropolis, the locals prefer a more geographically-faithful "spaghetti" rendering, thereby making wayfinding a pain for tourists. But it's not as if improvements haven't been attempted: New York's peculiar layout, and the density of its downtown lines, tend to make minimalist maps confusing in other ways. Mapmaker Max Roberts, however, has created this incredible "circular map", which uses a Tube-like style but with the 90- and 45-degree angles ditched in favor of radial lines emanating from the Upper Bay.

Look, No Grid! NYC Reimagined As A Circular Metropolis [Fast Co]

P.S. Roberts tried the same thing with the London map, but to my eye it only introduces unnecessary decompression to the original's optimized snarl.

Maps - “A.M.A” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 49: Maps - “A.M.A” (free MP3)

James Chapman makes music under the name Maps in his basement in Northampton, England. And while he appears to be something of a loner as a musician, the songs on the new Maps record Vicissitude have a welcoming sweetness that feels like a fortuitous amalgamation of many talented minds.

“A.M.A.” is the first single from the new record, and it’s a keeper. Chapman’s whispery vocals combine with a sparse and relentless beat that is simultaneously cheerful and foreboding.

Download “A.M.A” for free below!

Animated maps of great empires


GIF: Maps On The Web

Vince Miklos collects GIFs of Empires, from the Roman to Soviet. [io9]

Anagram tube map back online

The classic is back. [anagramtubemap via Kottke] Previously.

United States of New York map, 1978


(Click to embiggen)

Jim sez, "My sister and I helped my mom start cleaning out her basement yesterday, and this 1978 Tony Graham Graphics 'United States of New York' poster was one of the things we found. As a little kid living in Brooklyn, this definitely goofed up my ideas about geography. My parents didn't want to keep it, so I got to snag it. I need to re-frame it, but then it's going up on the wall, since I definitely remember it from when I was a kid. So I wanted to share a very very big copy of it for any New Yorkers out there that may be interested. Sorry for the blurry bits, there's only so much resolution you can squeeze out of your cell phone."

Map of local word for "beer" in each European country

(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. (Thanks, Charlie!)

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

My Own Private Westeros: hand-made scale model of Game of Thrones map

[Click to enlarge]. Mikeal is making an incredibly labor-intensive scale model of the Game of Thrones Westeros map, and you can watch him build it at his tumblr: myownprivatewesteros.tumblr.com. 3D-printed castle models, walls of putty, hand-painted rivers and hills. This guy is serious.

(Thanks, Tom Osborn)

Dresses made from old maps


Elisabeth Lecourt recycles old maps and turns them into beautiful dresses and shirts. I don't imagine they're wearable, but they'd look lovely on the wall nevertheless.

Elisabeth Lecourt | Les robes géographiques: (via Crazy Abalone)


Update: An idea so nice, I blogged it twice! Here's the original from 2008.