At the dawn of the 19th century, naturalist Alexander von Humboldt invented the "thematic map," pioneering infographics through the likes of maps annotated with zoological life, temperature, elevations, and other data meant to present an area's "physical phenomena into one image," according to this profile on Atlas Obscura.
Above, "a plate from Atlas of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos, illustrating the composition of the Earth's crust via color-coding."
Below, "a snowflake of clocks illustrates world time zones, with Dresden at the center. "
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Watch the U.S. Civil War unfold a day at a time in this animated map. The creator, EmperorTigerstar, attempted to represent every single day's movements in the front lines, resulting in a fascinating view of the conflict. He's made many more just like it. See your favorite war from a completely dehumanized perspective!
It's strange how some of the most superficially spectacular gains and losses on land were mostly side-events to more important battles. To look at this map, you'd guess the critical events of October 1862 happened somewhere in Kentucky. On the other hand, Sherman's March to the Sea is like OMGGGGGGGG it's all over now. [via] Read the rest
Wonkblog explains "why designers can’t stop reinventing the subway map." It's an abstraction problem generally solved by Read the rest
Forebears.io charts the worldwide prevalence of your surname and offers interesting stats on its distribution. [via]
Pictured above is "Beschizza," which originates in northern Italy (allegedly a locally-assimilated Roma name, it has splendid connotations in German of crappiness and drunkenness, a la "shitfaced" or, more literally, "beshitted") but everyone went to Brazil and England about a century ago. Read the rest
Atlas Obscura and Digg have generated an incredible interactive map of punnish-named businesses, neatly organized by category.
The pain mixed with pleasure of, say, something as evocative as Hannah and Her Scissors, or something as plainly wrong as A Shoe Grows in Brooklyn surrounds us. After picking through duplicates, over 1,900 businesses made the map, which we think makes it the most complete pun business name map in the world.
There isn't, to my eye, any discernible concentration to set the map apart from population density and the well-known "resort bonus" increasing the numbers of restaurants and bars on coastlines. Which is to say, everyone in America's vast cultural tapestry are yet equal offenders when it comes to puns.
Be sure to filter by editors' choice. For example, "Floral and Hardy," an Oklahoma City florist, and "What Were You Inking?" a tattoo-removal specialist in Denver. Read the rest
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.
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The Atlantic: "On September 11 of this year, the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean reached its annual minimum. 2015’s minimum was the fourth-smallest ever recorded, and it nearly tied with the third-smallest on record. Which makes a certain amount of sense: In the satellite era, the ten worst years for Arctic sea ice have been the last ten. Read the rest
SmokyMountains.com has a delightful interactive graphic
to show the turn of the season by county. Slide it and see! [via Kottke
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London's subway system switched early to an abstract map (PDF), and it became a legendary work of design. It just published an internally-used geographic version of map (PDF), however, for the first time in a century—and it's awesome. Read the rest
Created by Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett, this illustration shows "free-float equity market capitalization" in billions of dollars. Read the rest
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a village on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales, UK. Nice work, Liam Dutton of Channel 4.
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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.
The Reykjavík City Council has approved a citizen-led effort to rename a street Svarthöfði, translated as Blackhead, which is the Icelandic name for Darth Vader. Read the rest
The Norse Map is a Wargames-style visualization of ongoing attacks on servers around the world. Though it shows honeypots rather than actual private or government targets, the result is a live snapshot of trends in computer mischief.
Dubai seems to be getting quite a pounding today.
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"Yes, Mr. President," the headline says. "We Remade Our Atlas to Reflect Shrinking Ice"
In a speech about climate change, Barack Obama had noted that over the years, National Geographic maps of the arctic had changed. The 10th edition of its Atlas of the World, especially, shows a much-diminished ice cap—and even more is gone in the 2014 edition.
As the ocean heats up due to global warming, Arctic sea ice has been locked in a downward spiral. Since the late 1970s, the ice has retreated by 12 percent per decade, worsening after 2007, according to NASA. May 2014 represented the third lowest extent of sea ice during that month in the satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
Ice loss is accelerated in the Arctic because of a phenomenon known as the feedback loop: Thin ice is less reflective than thick ice, allowing more sunlight to be absorbed by the ocean, which in turn weakens the ice and warms the ocean even more, NASA says.
The most recent map shows the north pole barely fifty miles from the edge. [via Flowing Data]
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Enclaves appear when history contrives to put a piece of one country completely inside another. India and Bangladesh's border is a maze of them, but they've just fixed the craziest of them all: an enclave surrounded by an enclave surrounded by an enclave surrounded by another state.
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Attempts to rectify the situation have stalled for decades: An agreement for a land swap was reached in 1974, but India did not ratify it. In 2011, however, a new agreement was reached, which, after some stalling, was finally ratified in June. The enclaves will become territory of the states that surround them and the citizens who live within them will get to decide whether they want to stay put and accept new citizenship, or whether they want to keep their original citizenship and be relocated.
Debris having washed ashore on Réunion, tracing the tides—and the genetics of encrusted barnacles living on the flaperon—gives us new clues to the final resting place of the lost jet. Read the rest