Every fantasy map

EotBeholder on Deviantart nails decades of derivative genre fiction and gameplay with "the only fantasy world map you'll ever need."

Wow, almost four years later and this thing just exploded. ... To anyone asking for permission to use this for their own campaigns... I mean it hardly qualifies as "original", so as long as you're comfortable stealing from someone who steals from the people who only steal from the best, knock yourselves out :)

If I could make some additions (which I suppose I could, but, nah) I'd call out the Boring/Doomed Pastoral Village somewhere in the Tiny Bickering Fiefdoms or the Land of Poncy Knights, and also add a Giant Wall to Keep the Monsters Out. Giant walls are so hot right now.

I love the comments and tweets from fans of specific franchises (such as Forgotten Realms or Riftwar) who think it is specifically a parody of their favorite fantasy world. See TVTropes' entry for the fantasy world map and, specifically, the left-justified fantasy maps.

The map of Allansia from the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series is a nice professionally-drawn example.

Previously. Read the rest

This aerial photo of lake is actually a mossy puddle on a box

My new favorite subreddit is Accidental Maps, specializing in a pareidolia of places.

Read the rest

New York City renamed as "Jewtropolis" in Snapchat maps

New York City was vandalized in OpenStreetMap, and as a result renamed as "Jewtropolis" in Snapchat and other applications that ultimately depend on the service for mapping.

The company called it an act of "vandalism" and said it was working with its partner Mapbox to "get this fixed immediately".

In a statement, Snap said the defacement was "deeply offensive".

Screenshots on social media appeared to show other apps had also been affected.

The problem with outsourcing content to third parties is that it pins your reputation to their reliability and trustworthiness. And here there appears to be a chain: Snapchat (etc) pulling data from Mapbox pulling data from OpenStreetMap pulling data from antisemitic users.

I'd been waiting for a major wikipedia page to "fall" to an organized clique on the far right without being successfully reverted to the prior editorial consensus. This incident tastes like an apéritif. Read the rest

Ancient Earth Globe: see what the world looked like from space in the age of the dinosaurs

The Ancient Earth Globe is an interactive 3D globe that depics the Earth at various points in geological history from 750m years ago until now. Here it is 300m years ago.

Late Carboniferous. Plants developed root systems that allowed them to grow larger and move inland. Environments evolved below tree canopies. Atmospheric oxygen increased as plants spread on land. Early reptiles have evolved, and giant insects diversify.

And here it is 0 million years ago, right before the Post-anthropocene Extinction Event.

Amazing! Look how green it all was. Read the rest

If Google Maps says a place has a certain name, it now has that name

The East Cut is a neighborhood in San Francisco invented by a branding agency. Such things usually wither on the local-business bullshit vine, but thanks to Google Maps, it's now the plain reality of that part of town.

Another in Detroit is now known by a mispelling, made by the mysterious cartographers who run the service. And one LA community now there was cooked up by a realtor to make a hilly part of Silver Lake sound fancy, and somehow ended up enshrined on the service after he began using it in listings.

Timothy Boscarino, a Detroit city planner, traced Google’s use of those names to a map posted online around 2002 by a few locals. Google almost identically copied that map’s neighborhoods and boundaries, he said — down to its typos. One result was that Google transposed the k and h for the district known as Fiskhorn, making it Fishkorn.

I imagine Google's paid a lot of money to sources it appropriated in its rush to get everything online before anyone else; mapmakers who do this are caught due to Trap Streets, though the traps can be much less obvious than an imaginary street. And sometimes all a reporter need do to expose a falsehood is put two quotes next to each other:

Mr. Robinson said his team asked Google to add the East Cut to its maps. A Google spokeswoman said employees manually inserted the name after verifying it through public sources.

It's funny, but Google describing a "brand experience design company" hired by a local nonprofit as a "public source" is a clever way of making people assume it refers to "public record" or "government" without actually saying so. Read the rest

World's largest train set

Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the world's largest model train set. It's so large—including airports, cityscapes and even seas—that to even call it a train set seems a good example of the German sense of humor. It covers 1,500 square meters, has 260,000 figurines in it , 9,250 cars, 1,040 trains, 42 planes, 385,000 LEDs, and cost 21 million Euros to construct. Read the rest

Voronoi diagram of airports

Jason Davies created a voronoi diagram of the world's airports projected onto an interactive 3D globe. Easter Island's airport claims the largest partition.

Most Remote Airport

Mataveri Airport at 27°S, 109°W is the most remote; 2,602km from the nearest airport, Totegegie Airport.

Read the rest

What the world would be like if land and sea were inverted

You've likely seen maps of the earth with land and sea inverted, where Asia becomes the world's greatest ocean and the Pacific a vast, sprawling continent. But high school geography teacher John M Adams took it a step further and explained what it would be like to live in this parallel world. The Marianas Mountains make the Himalayas look like a traipse up Scafell Pike...

Whereas Earth’s land averages 840 meters above sea level, New Earth averages a breathtaking 3,700 meters altitude. The highest point is Mt. Challenger in the Marianas Mountain Range (10,994 meters). Many Marianas peaks are unscalable due to the lack of oxygen ...

[via Simon Kuestenmacher] Read the rest

Map of Britain's roads... and nothing else

jamaps created a map that shows all the main roads in Britain and nothing else, giving the vague impression of something weirdly biological.

Data: Ordnance Survey (2014) Tools: QGIS

Read the rest

New maps of America show race and diversity levels

The Washington Post created some interesting maps that show levels of diversification in various American cities. They categorize cities like Chicago as examples of legacy segregation, where cities like Houston indicate rapid diversification. Read the rest

The longest straight lines you can sail or walk before hitting the shore

What's the longest straight-line route over land or water, uninterrupted by a shoreline? It's a question that gets complicated as soon as you recall that map projections are lies: no matter how straight you think you're going, you're always walking in circles. Computer scientists have answers.

The longest straight-line path over water begins in Sonmiani, Balochistan, Pakistan, passes between Africa and Madagascar and then between Antarctica and Tierra del Fuego in South America, and ends in the Karaginsky District, Kamchatka Krai, in Russia. It is 32,089.7 kilometers long.

Read the rest

Soviet spy maps of western cities

The Guardian posted a fun gallery/quiz today: can you identify which cities these cold war spy maps represent? It's always fun to see London in Cyrillic. Read the rest

The last Americans holding out against same-sex marriage

With majority support in 44 states, and more in favor than opposed in 4 others, same-sex marriage is a done deal for most Americans. Besides, it's legal nationwide after a Supreme Court ruling in 2015. But Americans in two states are holding out when it comes to moral approval: Missisippi, where more are opposed to same-sex marriage than in favor of it, and in Alabama, the last state where an outright majority oppose it.

Support rose above 50% for the first time in 2011 and has not gone below that mark since then. Support rose to 60% for the first time in 2015 and has not gone below that mark since then. Support continues to rise while opposition continues to fall each year, driven in large part by a significant generational gap.

From 1988 to 2009, support for same-sex marriage increased between 1% to 1.5% per year, but thereafter support began to rise at an accelerated pace.

As of 2016, 83% of Americans aged 18 to 29 support same-sex marriage.

As of 2018, for the first time in Pew's research, more Americans over 65 favor same-sex marriage than oppose it. To find a broad national demographic opposed, you have to filter your way down to categories like "Republican Boomers" or "Weekly Church Attendees." Read the rest

Map of how England and Wales is aging

Outside the big cities, England and Wales is aging. From Plumplot:

In 2002, 40% of the population was over 44 years old. Fourteen years later it was 43.5%. The share almost equaled to the population below 35, which was 43.7%. Life expectancy also increased. For people aged 65 years or older, the expectancy increased by more than two years. Their share increased by 2.1% between 2002 and 2016. There were 7.1k centenarians in 2002 and 13.7k in 2016.

I was curious about the white-hot sliver of youth in the wilds of Wiltshire. There are military bases around those parts, but couldn't immediately confirm that's the reason why. Read the rest

Animation of the earth from above, made from thousands of satellite images

Páraic McGloughlin's Arena is "brief look at the eart from above" mesmerizes us with the shapes we made upon it, culled from satellite imagery then ordered frame-by-frame to give the uncanny appearance of a single plot of land rapidly changing.

Check out Páraic's Instagram for more work from the Sligo-based artist.

Pearse McGloughlin and I collaborated on the audio resulting in something between music and a soundtrack.

Audio mastered by TJ LippleHear

more of Pearse's music here : open.spotify.com/track/0mvfR4zmmxDTvlYyWmmJvG?si=KIHR2daoe

sweetnocturnes.com

Arena soundtrack available here: store.cdbaby.com/cd/pearsemcgloughlin3

open.spotify.com/album/2RNXEQZlBaBgeVmyLESIgb

Amber Willams at Directors Notes took the time to make an interview with me about the making of "Arena" and my work in general , you can check it out here: directorsnotes.com/2018/04/04/paraic-mcgloughlin-arena/

Thanks a million Amber.

Here's another short movie from Páraic, titled Chase, compiled using the same technique but at ground level.

Read the rest

Google Earth image of crashed UFO may not be that

This Google Earth image of Antarctica's South Georgia Island depicts either a UFO that crashed and skidded across the snow or a hunk of ice that rolled along after an avalanche. According to this YouTube video from Secureteam, with 2.5 million views, it's definitely the former. Keele University physical geographer lecturer Richard Waller suggests it's the latter. Below, a zoomed-out view of the area. (Space.com)

Previously: Another UFO found in Google Earth image of Antarctica

Read the rest

Google launches "plus codes": open geocodes for locations that don't have street addresses

In much of the world, addresses are difficult to convey because they refer to locations on unnamed streets, in unnumbered buildings, in unincorporated townships, sometimes in disputed national boundaries (I have often corresponded with people in rural Costa Rica whose addresses were "So-and-so, Road Without Name, 300m west of the bus stop, village, nearest town, region"). Read the rest

More posts