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 For one, it subscribes to an outdated (but, at the time, quite in vogue) idea about how different cultures throughout history could be grouped into various "peoples."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.

Read the rest

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.

Book of maps by storytellers and artists


A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers is a beautiful art-book of spectacular illustrated maps:

From the publisher's site (where you'll find lots more images):

Drawing a map means understanding our world a bit better. For centuries, we have used the tools of cartography to represent both our immediate surroundings and the world at large—and to convey them to others. On the one hand, maps are used to illustrate areal relationships, including distances, dimensions, and topographies. On the other, maps can also serve as projection screens for a variety of display formats, such as illustration, data visualization, and visual storytelling. In our age of satellite navigation systems and Google Maps, personal interpretations of the world around us are becoming more relevant. Publications, the tourism industry, and other commercial parties are using these contemporary, personal maps to showcase specific regions, to characterize local scenes, to generate moods, and to tell stories beyond sheer navigation. A new generation of designers, illustrators, and mapmakers are currently discovering their passion for various forms of illustrative cartography. A Map of the World is a compelling collection of their work—from accurate and surprisingly detailed representations to personal, naïve, and modernistic interpretations. The featured projects from around the world range from maps and atlases inspired by classic forms to cartographic experiments and editorial illustrations.

A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers (via Kottke)

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!)

Finally, Google Maps for iPhone again

TO13 3 1Google Maps is now available again for iPhone. I'll be home soon. (via Google's Official Blog)

Hand-drawn maps of New York


Illustrator Jenni Sparks has released a very beautiful hand-drawn map of NYC:

Hi everyone, so here is the Hand Drawn Map of New York that I've been working on for what seems like FOREVER! It was once again commissioned by the lovely Evermade.com and was just as hard as the Map of London, if not harder... Anyway, I'll let the images speak for themselves as I have lost the ability to think about anything other than buildings. I hope you like it, New York is a super cool city, and if you wanna buy one you can pick one up HERE.

The image above is just a section -- go see the whole thing:

Hand Drawn Map of New York (via Kottke)