The US Board on Geographic Names has officially renamed Runaway Negro Creek on Savannah, Georgia's Skidaway Island. It's now called Freedom Creek. Last year, State Sen. Lester Jackson sponsored the resolution to get rid of the offensive name. According to WJCL, the creek was originally "named after slaves that escaped after the Civil War."
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Update: See below for important corrections to this story
"Fruit Belt" is a 150-year-old predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo that has faced a series of systemic hurdles, each worsening the next, with the latest being the erasure of its very name, with the Big Tech platforms unilaterally renaming the area "Medical Park."
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Last October, the Supreme Court heard argument in Gill v. Whitford, a Wisconsin gerrymandering case that has far-reaching implications for the November midterms in 2018; the court is expected to rule next June.
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Robert Szucs' is a Geographer and GIS Analyst who likes to "combine my work with a lifelong passion for beautiful maps." He created these stunning maps on his Etsy site with Geographic Information System and image editing software, and they show the river basins of the world as veins of a living creature.
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A weirdly fascinating single-serve site: How many places are named Pittsburgh? (Spoiler: three!)
There are 15 New Yorks, 29 Londons, 53 Parises, 248 San Franciscos and 320 San Antonios. But there is only one Truth or Consequences. Read the rest
Elenco's Night 'n Day Mechanical Globe uses a system of translucent, exposed gears to rotate an internally illuminated globe that displays the seasonally adjusted, real-time night/day terminator as it spins. Read the rest
I discovered the Wendover Productions website last year when they posted a great video explaining why trains suck in America. Their latest video is an animated, fun-fact-filled tour through all 50 states in the US. One thing I learned is that a part of Canada is farther south than California. Read the rest
These kinds of visualizations are always interesting, and this one by Jack Hagley is a nice layout. It would be better if it had a link with sourced citations for the values in the graphic. At least this one cites sources on the page of origin. Read the rest
Yakutsk (pop. 269,601), the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia, is the coldest city on earth, where temperatures can drop to -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit). Lonely Planet has a galley of photos by Amos Chapple. (Photo here is by Maarten Takens from Flickr) Read the rest
Let’s Split! causes me no end of joy and pain. It is my favorite Nietzsche quote come to life. (“Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations and ages it is the rule.”) It is also a 636-page atlas of separatism, national identity, fringe geopolitical movements, and a baleful cry from oppressed minority populations.
The book is put together with the obsessive care of an eccentric Victorian explorer documenting each step of his journey through uncharted lands, never stopping to discern between the observed real and the observed surreal. But Roth is no Victorian. He’s an anthropologist who’s worked with indigenous peoples in Canada and Alaska for governmental recognition and rights. Let’s Split! began life in 2011 as a blog that Roth maintains titled Springtime of Nations. (Full disclosure: by some trick in the time/space continuum, author Roth lives just a few miles from me and we have friends in common. I found this out after I discovered his blog and book.)
Conceptually, the idea of a nation-state is relatively new in the spectrum of development of human societies. People were once few on the earth and tended toward the homogeneity of tribal affiliation. As populations grew, coalitions, hegemony, and politics took shape both psychologically and politically.
Organized by continent, Let’s Split! leaves no territory behind. (Though Roth rightfully excludes "cybernations" and the giggling masses of "micronations" invented by bored teenagers declaring their basement lairs sovereign territory no longer oppressed by the evil overlords, Mom & Dad.) Included with each entry are pictures of the flags, potential population, geographic size, and finally, its likelihood for autonomy. Read the rest
The Transport for London tube map, building on Harry Beck's pioneering work in 1931, is rightly hailed as a masterpiece of simplification and clarity in data visualisation. Read the rest
The Cape Kiwanda sandstone pedestal, a feature of the Oregon coastline known to locals as the duckbill, was "toppled intentionally" by tourists. Video captured at a distance by visitor David Kalas of Hillsboro shows a group of people heaving and pushing the rock until it falls to the ground and collapses: "Got it!" one shouts. Read the rest
The crowdsourced database that was use to seed locations to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go came from early augmented reality games that were played by overwhelmingly affluent (and thus, disproportionately white) people, who, in an increasingly racially segregated America, are less and less likely to venture into black neighborhoods, meaning that fewer Pokemon-catching landmarks have been tagged there. Read the rest
For more than a decade, BB pal Eames Demetrios (grandson of Charles and Ray Eames) has developed Kcymaerxthaere, a fantastically strange collection of parallel universe stories physically tied to real world sites that link the alternate reality with our own. The actual installations are at 121 sites in 25 countries so far. "It’s like a novel with every page in a different place," Eames says. Now, he and his collaborators are creating a limited edition book compiling the stories of the physical markers and historic sites of Kcymaerxthaere. Eames has launched an Indiegogo campaign to translate the stories into myriad languages and distribute those translations to libraries and schools in the communities those host Kcymaerxthaere installations!
Kcymaerxthaere: The Story So Far (Indiegogo)
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Chinese law makes independent mapmaking a crime (you may not document "the shapes, sizes, space positions, attributes, etc. of man-made surface installations") and requires tech companies to randomly vary the locations of all landmarks by 100-500m. Read the rest
If you've ever locked yourself out of your home and googled for a locksmith, you've seen that it's virtually impossible to reach a real local locksmith. Read the rest
Trina Merry (previously) has created "Lost in Wonder," a series of trompe l'oeil photos in which painted models are posed against many of the world's great wonders, vanishing into the background. Read the rest