In the 1980s and 1990s, the National Parks Service commissioned Heinrich Berann to produce gorgeous, panoramic paintings of America's beautiful national parks as part of an advertising campaign; this week the NPS published high-resolution scans of these images for free downloading.
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From The Pudding: a zoomable people map that shows the name of the person with the most Wikipedia traffic for any given city. I looked at Golden, CO (where I lived as a kid) and learned that actor Greg Germann is the Wikipedia champ of that little town. Read the rest
Data scientist Tim Hopper noticed that Google Maps displayed a humungous word in the outback of Magwi County, South Sudan: "DEMO".
After the discovery made it to the BBC, the DEMO sadly disappeared: a ghostly landscape feature lurking somewhere between Borges and Baudrillard on the slopes of misfortune.
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The National Library of Scotland released an online viewer that combines historical maps with the latest elevation data. The results are a remarkably beautiful wedding of old and new.
Here's a 1940s map of Loch Tay, in 3D.
The 3D map viewer includes our standard interaction options, including a zoom slider, a scalebar, mouseposition location, as well as the ability to choose georeferenced overlays and background layers. Our standard map location options, such as geolocation, the ability to locate the map with placenames and drop-down lists of counties and parishes are all included.
The 3D map viewer uses open-source technology, which has been shared on Github and described with notes in the GeoCart Historical Maps Online Workshop.
[nls.uk via John Overholt] Read the rest
Yahoo News' Adriana Belmonte reports on the fastest-growing jobs in America.
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Construction and extraction jobs are in high demand in the U.S., along with installation, maintenance, and repair services. Production jobs are also quickly developing, as are mathematical and technology-focused occupations.
The David Rumsey Map Collection shares an amazing collection of photographs and the history of this 42 by 38 foot WPA built wooden map of San Francisco. Visit their site for high quality images.
I will be lost in these images for hours.
Full collection here.
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For the first time since 1942, the entire immense 42 by 38 foot WPA built San Francisco Model can be seen assembled virtually. Digitally knitting together all 158 separate pieces with over 6,000 blocks gives the viewer a sense of the extraordinary accomplishment the model represents. Recently recovered after decades of dusty storage, the model has been cleaned and photographed by a dedicated team of individuals as part of the SFMOMA and San Francisco Public Library project called Public Knowledge: Take Part. The model pieces were expertly photographed by Beth LaBerge. David Rumsey created the large Composite image below of the 158 pieces, as well as the image and metadata database of all the images, which he hosts. Rumsey also georeferenced the large Composite image and placed it in Google Earth.
Some details of the model's history: it is a 42 by 38 foot wooden replica of the city of San Francisco as it was in 1940 in 158 pieces at a scale of 1 inch to 100 feet. The pieces contain about 6,000 removable city blocks. The model was built by The Works Progress Administration in the late 1930's, under the New Deal. It was first displayed in sections in the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay in 1939.
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
My new favorite subreddit is Accidental Maps, specializing in a pareidolia of places.
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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
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
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
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
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.
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Most Remote Airport
Mataveri Airport at 27°S, 109°W is the most remote; 2,602km from the nearest airport, Totegegie Airport.
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
jamaps created a map that shows all the main roads in Britain and nothing else, giving the vague impression of something weirdly biological.
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Data: Ordnance Survey (2014) Tools: QGIS
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
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.
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