Dominik M. Schwarz is my kind of geek.

Wall-sized world map

“It’s easy to print something large. It’s easy to print something very detailed. The combination though is difficult, especially if you ask the printing shop for only one copy.”

Craft and creativity

Printing a wall-sized world map, a guide

A wonderful process post from Dominik M. Schwarz detailing how he made a detailed 300dpi 3×2 meter wall map. “I envisioned a gigantic poster that would show the smallest villages, the most detailed coast lines and the highest level of information density possible.”

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A diagram of the geological time scale

The Geologic Time Spiral — Designed by Joseph Graham, William Newman, and John Stacy

The Earth is very old—4.5 billion years or more according to scientific estimates. Most of the evidence for an ancient Earth is contained in the rocks that form the Earth’s crust. The rock layers themselves—like pages in a long and complicated history—record the events of the past, and buried within them are the remains of life—the plants and animals that evolved from organic structures that existed 3 billion years ago.

USGS: The Geologic Time Spiral (via Wikipedia)

See also: 4,000 years of human history in one chart

Miscellany

The Geologic Time Spiral

This timeline of evolution of life represents the current scientific theory outlining the major events during the development of life on planet Earth. […] The similarities between all present day organisms indicate the presence of a common ancestor from which all known species, living and extinct, have diverged through the process of evolution. Although more than 99 percent of all species that ever lived on the planet are estimated to be extinct, there are currently 10–14 million species of life on the Earth. –Wikipedia

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William Smith's Geological Map of England and Wales

‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland; exhibiting the collieries and mines, the marshes and fen lands originally overflowed by the sea, and the varieties of soil according to the variations in the substrata, illustrated by the most descriptive names’

A first edition copy of one of the most significant maps in the history of science has been rediscovered in time for an important anniversary.

Tucked away in a leather sleeve case, the mislaid artefact was last seen roughly 40 or 50 years ago. Smith spent the better part of 15 years collecting the information needed to compile the map. It is said he covered about 10,000 miles a year on foot, on horse and in carriage, cataloguing the locations of all the formations that make up the geology of the three home nations.

The roughly 1.8m by 2.5m map is made up of 15 sheets.

The outline of the geography and the strata were printed from copper plate engravings, but the detail was finished by hand with watercolours.

The lower edge of a formation is saturated and then the paint is made to fade back to the high edge. It is this colouring technique, combined with the tendency of many of England’s rocks to dip to the south or southeast, that gives Smith’s map its iconic look.

Further information

See also

Craft and creativity

Seminal William ‘Strata’ Smith geology map rediscovered

“This map, produced by William Smith, is acknowledged as the first geological map of a country ever produced. Although there were ‘geological’ maps in existence before this, these invariably only identified rocks by types and are therefore more accurately described as ‘mineralogical’ maps. Smith’s innovation was to attempt to classify rocks according to age and manner of deposition – that is stratigraphically.”

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Iconic Arms is a series by Stuart Brown on YouTube about legendary weapons in FPS history.

“In games, your gun is player agency made manifest.”

Iconic Arms looks at the history of famous weapons like the double-barreled shotgun, AK-47, M16, the Magnum, their place in popular culture and how their performance characteristics and functionality have been tweaked – sometimes radically – for more balanced gameplay.

Though I’m no fan of guns, I particularly love the graphics in this series with their flat colourful silhouette shapes, bold uber-tightly kerned Helvetica and fast diagonal wipes.

See also

Light-based media

Iconic Arms: Legendary weapons in FPS history

Stuart Brown’s series about legendary weapons in video game history.

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Britain has a long history of invasions: over the past two millennia, various armies from the Romans to the Anglo-Saxons conquered the bulk of the British Isles. A new genetic analysis of the country has revealed which invading force had the greatest impact on its DNA.
The Verge: Genetic map of the UK shows which invasions created Britain’s DNA

Nature: The results throw new light on several aspects of the peopling of Britain. For instance the genetic contribution to southeastern England from Anglo-Saxon migrations is under half, suggesting significant pre-Roman but post-Mesolithic population movement from the European continent. The data also reveal that non-Saxon regions contain genetically differentiated subgroups rather than a general ‘Celtic’ population.

Humans and other animals

Genetic map of the UK shows which invasions created Britain’s DNA

“Peter Donnelly and colleagues use such data from a selected geographically diverse sample of more than 2,000 individuals from the United Kingdom to reveal remarkable concordance between genetic clusters and geography.” — Nature

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Ampp3d distorted the UK map to show where all the money is,
where all the people live and how much they pay to live there.
Also, obesity and pubs.

Five weird UK maps that show the real issues facing the country

See also: a map of racism around the world and 4,000 years of human history in one chart.

Humans and other animals

Warped maps of the UK illustrating the issues facing the country

How do Britain’s regions size up when you look at simply how much money they have? The country takes on a very different shape when you adjust it for where people actually live, how much they pay to live there, how much they weigh and whether there are any good pubs.

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China Morning Post infographic of Kowloon Walled City

Infographic by South China Morning Post

I also found these brilliant cross sections by Zoohaus via Arch Daily:

Kowloon city cross section

Humans and other animals

Kowloon Walled City

Kowloon Walled City was a densely populated, largely ungoverned settlement in New Kowloon, Hong Kong. Originally a Chinese military fort, the Walled City became an enclave after the New Territories were leased to Britain in 1898. Its population increased dramatically following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. In 1987, the Walled City contained 33,000 residents within its 2.6-hectare (0.010 sq mi) borders. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by Triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug use. – Wikipedia

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The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense

The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense by Crispian Jago. (via Boing Boing)

The curiously revered world of irrational nonsense has seeped into almost every aspect of modern society and is both complex and multifarious. Therefore rather than attempt a comprehensive taxonomy, I have opted instead for a gross oversimplification and a rather pretty Venn Diagram.

Miscellany

The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense

“As such nonsensical beliefs continue to evolve they become more and more fanciful and eventually creep across the bollock borders. Although all the items depicted on the diagram are completely bereft of any form of scientific credibility, those that successfully intersect the sets achieve new heights of implausibility and ridiculousness. And there is one belief so completely ludicrous it successfully flirts with all forms of bollocks.”

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A Visual Compendium of Typewriters

A throwback to the original word processor, this chart features over 60 beautiful hand-illustrations of some of the greatest typewriters from antiquity to recent history.

(via)

Craft and creativity

A Visual Compendium of Typewriters

Underscoring over 100 years of essential models from the first Hammond in 1870 to the Remington Rands and Smith Coronas of the 20th century, these marvellous contraptions are arrayed in ribbons of compositional innovation.

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The Periodic Table of Storytelling second edition – by James Harris

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Buy the print and check out the interactive version that will link you directly to the relevant TV Tropes pages.

(I posted the original here too.)

Use your words

The Periodic Table of Storytelling, second edition

By James Harris (aka DawnPaladin): The Second Edition incorporates all of the learning I received during my three years at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. It has better typography, more story molecules, and updated kilowick counts, but the identifiers are the same so as not to break compatibility with the first edition.

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The Shapes of Stories, a Kurt Vonnegut Infographic

The Shapes of Stories, a Kurt Vonnegut Infographic by Maya Eilam

Use your words

The Shapes of Stories, a Kurt Vonnegut Infographic

Kurt Vonnegut believed that a story’s main character has ups and downs that can be graphed to reveal the story’s shape. The shape of society’s stories, he said, is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.

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Hypermorgen is an interdisciplinary lab for futures research:

We recently designed some icons to represent topics that will most likely become increasingly interesting in the next few years.

Some of them are tongue in cheek (like the Stanford bunnies in the 3D replication icon), some are more critical (like the synthetic biology spidergoat). They are meant to provoke different associations to start discussions about the future.

(via futurescope.co)

Shape of things to come

Icons for the future

Hypermorgen have designed some icons to represent topics that will most likely become increasingly relevant in the next few years, available on the fantastic Noun Project site.

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John B. Sparks' 1931 Histomap

(via Slate, Fast Co. Design and Boing Boing)

The chart emphasizes domination, using color to show how the power of various “peoples” (a quasi-racial understanding of the nature of human groups, quite popular at the time) evolved throughout history.

The chart was advertised as “clear, vivid, and shorn of elaboration,” while at the same time capable of “holding you enthralled” by presenting “the actual picture of the march of civilization, from the mud huts of the ancients thru the monarchistic glamour of the middle ages to the living panorama of life in present day America.”

See also: The Histomap of Evolution

Humans and other animals

4,000 years of human history in one chart

This “Histomap,” created by John B. Sparks, was first printed by Rand McNally in 1931. The 5-foot-long Histomap was sold for $1 and folded into a green cover, which featured endorsements from historians and reviewers.

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New York Citi Bike Venn diagram
Humans and other animals

Why Do People Hate Citi Bike?

New York magazine’s Dan Amira summarized it all wonderfully with a Venn diagram.

“In a way, the depth of conservative animosity for a bike-share program makes perfect sense. Because, as the Venn diagram above indicates, Citi Bike finds itself at the very nexus of five different things that conservatives hate.”
CrazyBike — The Morning News

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The Charted Cheese Wheel

The Charted Cheese Wheel

I can’t vouch for its accuracy. The cheddar looks a little orange to me.

Miscellany

Cheese wheel infographic

A Chart of 66 delightful cheeses from around the world, assembled into one wondrous wheel. The cheeses are broken down by the animal that produced the luscious milk, and then by the texture of the resultant cheese, forming a cornucopia of cheese that range from the mild to the stinky and from the rock hard to the silky smooth.

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The Periodic Table of Storytelling by ~DawnPaladin

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Based on data from TV Tropes [WARNING: Do not click link until you have ample free time available].

Use your words

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

A detailed infographic by ~DawnPaladin on DeviantArt

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A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries from the Washington Post:

Racism map of the world

A couple of caveats:

First, it’s entirely likely that some people lied when answering this question; it would be surprising if they hadn’t. But the operative question, unanswerable, is whether people in certain countries were more or less likely to answer the question honestly. The willingness to state such a preference out loud, though, might be an indicator of racial attitudes in itself. Second, the survey is not conducted every year; some of the results are very recent and some are several years old, so we’re assuming the results are static, which might not be the case.

Humans and other animals

Map of racism around the world

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From the fascinating Strange Maps blog.

These two maps were produced by Steve Goldman. They show the place names in both groups of islands that he considers strange.

“I’ve loved place names on Orkney and Shetland since I was a kid. They are by turns surreal, beautiful, nonsensical, rude, and bizarre… There seems to be no consistency to them at all.”

Use your words

Funny place names of Shetland and Orkney

Steve Goldman’s guide to the amusing and surreal names of the Shetland and Orkney islands.

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The "take out data points" trick
Use your words

Separating science from hype

From the Rockerfeller University, a simple guide to separating science from hype, no PhD required:

  1. Separate the sales pitch from the science“In short, read articles carefully and figure out if the claims they make are based on the facts they present.”
  2. Find the data“use Google Scholar to look for the original source. Search with whatever information you have: the names of the scientists, their institution, or the main topic.”
  3. Evaluate the data“Think about it this way: if you were in charge of figuring out the height of the average American male, you would need to measure a bunch of people to get it right. If you only measured a few people, and they happened to be basketball players, you’d be way off.”
    The section on misleading graphs here is brilliant.
  4. Put the story into context“If you’re having trouble finding alternative perspectives, the Wikipedia page for the topic can be a good place to start, especially if it contains a “controversy” or “criticism” section.”
  5. Ask an expert“Is there a science blogger you like? Tweet at them. […] Nothing beats a real discussion (even over Twitter or email!), but you can also check out neutral, non-biased sites like Mayo Clinic.”

(via Boing Boing)

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Craft and creativity

Rethinking the birth certificate

For the April issue of Icon Magazine design agency IWANT rethought the birth certificate.

The birth certificate is the first official document you are given in what is hopefully a long life of much lesser forms and documentation. It is the official record that you have arrived and is special for those involved. The current document feels historical and archival, but doesn’t offer much information or feel special.

I really like the layout, but I’m not keen on having nonsense like the Zodiac sign included – and especially not a given religion. As Dawkins points out, “There is no such thing as a Christian child: only a child of Christian parents.”

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The Imaginary Atlas has a lovely selection of imaginary maps, including this Woodcut Empire created for a live roleplay game.

The Woodcut Empire

The Woodcut Empire

And this is one of the Invented Cities of Robert Berlo:

Imagining the Mundane: The Invented Cities of Robert Berlo

Imagining the Mundane: The Invented Cities of Robert Berlo

Also discovered today: itsamap.tumblr.com & fuckyeahcartography.tumblr.com.

Craft and creativity

The Imaginary Atlas

The Imaginary Atlas has a lovely selection of imaginary maps.

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