The Equal Earth Physical Map

Tom Patterson recently made available this high-resolution Equal Earth Physical Map as public domain.

Equal Earth - Physical Wall Map

The Equal Earth Physical Map focuses on the natural world—terrain, rivers and lakes, vegetation, land cover, and the ocean floor—free of obscuring country boundaries. Because the map projection is equal-area, continents and oceans are shown at their true sizes relative to each other.

The Equal Earth Wall Map is in the public domain. You may use the map any way you like, including modifying the content, reproducing it on any type of media, and selling it for profit. Consider it as yours.

 

It is a companion to his earlier Equal Earth political wall map, which is also provided in three versions, each centred on a different regions: Africa/Europe, the Americas, and East Asia/Australia.

Equal Earth - Political Wall Map

The Equal Earth Wall Map is for schools, organizations, or anyone who needs a map showing countries and continents at their true sizes relative to each other. Africa appears 14 times larger than Greenland as it actually is.

See also

Miscellany

High-res public domain maps of the world using the Equal Earth projection

The Equal Earth map projection is a new equal-area pseudocylindrical projection for world maps jointly developed by Bojan Šavrič (Esri), Tom Patterson (US National Park Service), and Bernhard Jenny (Monash University). It was created to provide a visually pleasing alternative to the Gall-Peters projection, which some schools and socially concerned groups have adopted out of concern for fairness. Their priority is to show developing countries in the tropics and developed countries in the north with correctly proportioned sizes.

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Council Against Intolerance in America

A Pretty 1940 Map of American Diversity, Annotated by Langston Hughes

Slate: This map, issued by the Council Against Intolerance in America in 1940, shows the ethnic groups living in the United States, offering a picture of their geographical locations, typical employment, and religious commitments.

The map omits state boundaries, opting instead to show the mix of ethnic groups by area. For heavily-populated areas, such as the Northeast or Chicago, pop-out keys framed with line drawings of people engaged in typical industries show the diversity of urban citizenry.

Altas Obscura: “Maps of this kind were not particularly common and especially not at this scale,” says Ian Fowler, the director of Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine, who notes that the physical map itself is quite large. “While this map does borrow stylistic elements from pictorial maps produced during the 1920s and ‘30s, it is very unique in its emphasis and display of information.”

See also

Progression and regression

Annotated map of diversity in 1940s America

The Council Against Intolerance, a New York group active from the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, was founded by left-leaning Jewish author James Waterman Wise. Wise is notable for having warned of the dangers of Nazism in several books as early as 1933. — Slate

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Dogs of the World

366 Dogs and Their Countries of Origin

A wonderful illustration by Lili Chin who has a whole series of posters for sale for dog and cat lovers.

See also: Urbano Monte’s remarkable 430-year-old map of the world

Humans and other animals

Map of the Dogs of the World

A wonderful infographic illustration by Lili Chin.

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The Spilhaus Projection

The Spilhaus Projection

In 1942, Athelstan Spilhaus produced a world map with a unique perspective, presenting the world’s oceans as one body of water. The Spilhaus Projection could be just what the oceans need to get the attention their problems deserve.

Big Think: This is a world map unlike any other. Uniquely, it centres on Antarctica. Disturbingly, it rips Asia and the Americas to shreds. And compellingly, it presents the seas and oceans – 71% of the Earth’s surface – as a unified body of water. The map was designed by a renaissance man who also invented the skyways of Minneapolis and the secret weather balloon that caused the Roswell Incident. And yet you’ve never heard of him.

See also

Shape of things to come

The Spilhaus Projection: Oceans in the centre of the world

“Athelstan Spilhaus (1911-1998), geophysicist and oceanographer, proposes a representation of the Earth centered on the oceans . The poles are located in South America and China, deforming the continents in particular, but the oceans merge into a closed inland sea.”

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Medieval trade routes and geography

Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected. This map depicts the main trading arteries of the high middle ages, just after the decline of the Vikings and before the rise of the Mongols, the Hansa and well before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope.

Medieval Trade Routes and Geography

Credit for this map goes to Martin Månsson who posted this on /r/MapPorn, which has some interesting discussion.

The map also depicts the general topography, rivers, mountain passes and named routes. All of which contributed to why cities came to be, and still are, up until modern times.

The Silk Road is not just one, but many roads that leads through all of Asia, from Constantinople in the west, through Central Asia and the Himalayas, to Liangzhou in the east. During this time, the Chinese Song dynasty was in its height and it was one of those Chinese dynasties that were open to foreign trade and invested in commerce and infrastructure. Foreign trade was mostly concentrated to the southern ports were both Jews and Muslims had their own communities.

(via @stephenniem)

See also

Miscellany

Map of medieval trade routes

The high middle ages were a time when the stars aligned in terms of commerce for many areas of the world. In central Europe many German and French cities initiated annual trade fairs, some of which are still active today – most notably in Frankfurt.

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True Colors

True Colors

A visual experiment that evaluates the evolving graphic symbolism of the United States, True Colors is a collection of flags generated from the 2016 American Community Survey. Each flag is based on data specific to its state, and provides information at a glance.

Most existing flags share the same common visual cues: stripes, circles or polygons, and stars. You’ll find these familiar components in the flags of True Colors as well but their color, size, shape, and position are all determined by data.

Each layer of the flag corresponds to subjects that provide an informative snapshot of life in that state. The background visualizes population, the stripe shows housing, the circle or polygon represents economics, and the star indicates education.

Indiana - details

(via @WalterStephanie)

See also

The Refugee Nation flag

Shape of things to come

True Colors: If US state flags were designed by data

How do the United States flags look when data decides their designs? True Colors was created by Olivia Johnson, a graphic designer and flag enthusiast based in New England.

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The Stories Maps Tell

Entertain the Elk talks about the history of real world maps and the design of the fantasy maps for Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia and Game of Thrones.

Throughout history, maps have always communicated ideas and stories to its audience, but what about maps of fictional worlds? In this video, I examine the maps of Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), and The Known World (Game of Thrones) in order to find the tiny details the mapmakers chose to include that point to their larger stories.

See also

Antineutrino Global Map 2015

The open source AGM2015 provides fundamental data for experiments, assists in strategic detector placement to determine neutrino mass hierarchy, and aids in identifying undeclared nuclear reactors.

Antineutrino Global Map 2015

“The open access availability of these antineutrino maps represents the next generation of cartography and gives important insights into the basic understanding about the interior of our planet.” Shawn Usman — NGA R&D

This is what Earth would look like if you could see its glow of neutrinos–from natural radioactivity mostly, but lightly dotted with nuclear reactors. Amazing map. [⋮] Continental rocks are enriched in uranium and thorium, so the continents “glow” in antineutrinos.” — @coreyspowell

Further reading

See also

Shape of things to come

AGM2015: A map of our radioactive planet

The map uses open-source geophysical data sets and publicly available international antineutrino detection observational data to depict varying levels of radioactivity on Earth.

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Urbano Monte map of the world

Urbano Monte’s remarkable 430-year-old map of the world, full of places and creatures, real and imagined

Altas Obscura: Born near Milan in 1544, Urbano Monte lived a life of leisure and luxury. For him, such freedom meant scholarship, and the accumulation of a library renowned in the region. In his early 40s, his interests turned to geography, and a mammoth 20-year effort to synthesize and consolidate everything known of the world’s geography into a few volumes. More than that, he wanted to make a planisphere map of the world “to show the entire earth as close as possible to a three-dimensional sphere using a two-dimensional surface.”

Continue reading

Craft and creativity

Urbano Monte’s remarkable 430-year-old map of the world

An important and extraordinary manuscript world map drawn up on a north polar projection to form the largest manuscript map of the world at 9 by 9 feet. […] This printed version was published in 1604 on 64 plates, and is the only printed copy known.

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Subway map of ancient Roman roads

Roman Roads

Sasha Trubetskoy: It’s finally done. A subway-style diagram of the major Roman roads, based on the Empire of ca. 125 AD.
Creating this required far more research than I had expected—there is not a single consistent source that was particularly good for this. Huge shoutout to: Stanford’s ORBIS model, The Pelagios Project, and the Antonine Itinerary.

I’m not a big fan of the ‘fantasy subway map’ genre, but it’s the research and real data that make this one special. I think I’m going to order the PDF to print my own! (via kottke)

See also

  • Genetic map of the UK shows which invasions created Britain’s DNABritain 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.
  • Mini Metros — Peter Dovak — a graphic designer and self-confessed ‘lifelong transit nerd’ — has shrunken and simplified 220 metro and light rail maps from around the world to produce this fun poster.
  • Anglo Saxon London, mapped — a map showing the London area in Anglo Saxon times (roughly speaking, 500-1066AD)
Craft and creativity

Subway-style map of Roman roads, c.125 AD

“As a geography and data nerd, I make maps in my free time, inspired by the world around me – whatever happens to be on my mind. Every now and then a map of mine becomes popular and gets publicity; those interested can see my work or get in touch through this website.” — Sasha Trubetskoy

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Anglo Saxon London Map

A map by Matt Brown at Londonist: In 2011, we put together a map showing the London area in Anglo Saxon times (roughly speaking, 500-1066AD). It’s pieced together from many resources, showing our guess at the roads, rivers, forests and marshland that characterised the region.

Anglo Saxon London Map

The main purpose was to highlight the many villages, hamlets and farmsteads whose names are still part of modern London. For example, the map shows ‘Wemba Lea’, the land belonging to a local chieftain by the name of Wemba. We know nothing about Mr Wemba, yet his name is familiar to millions, perhaps billions, through its continuation into our own times as Wembley. Similarly, Croydon is a corruption of Crog Dene, which meant something like ‘valley of the crocuses’.

See also

Progression and regression

Anglo Saxon London, mapped

The map comes with a few caveats. We’re attempting to show a period of several hundred years in one map. Some features might not have been present for the whole of that time span, and names changed.

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London mini metro map

Mini Metros

Peter Dovak — a graphic designer and self-confessed ‘lifelong transit nerd’ — has shrunken and simplified 220 metro and light rail maps from around the world to produce this fun poster.

Mini Metros, by Peter Dovak

In a blog post about the designs, he compares some of his minified designs to the original transit maps. Below you can see Seoul, one of the more complex examples.

Peter sells his designs as posters, magnets, mugs and more.


See also: Johnston100: a modernisation of TfL’s classic London Underground typeface

Craft and creativity

Mini Metros: Peter Dovak’s minified transport maps

“All of the cities in the project had the same requirements: they had to fit in a 120px circle (with 10px of padding), the lines had to be 3px wide with a minimum of another 3px between the next parallel line, and all diagonals had to be 45-degrees.” — Peter Dovak

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Two cartograms from Benjamin Hennig’s Views of the World website showing how the US voted in the 2016 election and how the UK voted in the EU referendum earlier this year.

Cartogram of the 2016 US election results

US Presidential Election 2016: The population-centric perspective of this map shows that Trump’s success has largely been in the more rural areas, while Clinton won more of the votes in the urban areas that stand out in the cartogram. An analysis by the Economist showed that “80% of voters who have over one square mile (2.6 square km) of land to enjoy to themselves backed Mr Trump.” […] However, despite having received more votes from the electorate, Clinton is not the winner of this election. Since the president is not directly elected, but by an electoral college of electors that the voters technically vote for, the presidential election is an indirect one and the outcome of the popular vote does not always reflect the outcome of the election.

EU referendum results cartogram

The EU Referendum: 17,410,742 people of the United Kingdom’s 65 million population voted for leaving the European Union. These are about 26.8% of the UK’s resident population, or 37.4% of the electorate in this EU referendum. It also equals 51.9% of the valid votes cast.

See also

Shape of things to come

The divided states of America: A cartogram of the 2016 election results

Benjamin Hennig is a geographer whose work looks at social inequalities, humanity’s impact on Earth, global sustainability and new the development of concepts for analysing, visualising and mapping these issues.

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AuthaGraph World Map

This Map of the World Just Won Japan’s Prestigious Design Award

Spoon & Tamago: Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa has a problem with our current map and he’s been working for years to try and fix it. In 1569 geographer Gerardus Mercator revealed his world map and, to this day, it’s the generally accepted image we have of this planet. But it has major flaws in that it dramatically distorts the sizes of Antarctica and Greenland.

AuthaGraph 'globe'

Narukawa developed a map projection method called AuthaGraph (and founded a company of the same name in 2009) which aims to create maps that represent all land masses and seas as accurately as possible. Narukawa points out that in the past, his map probably wasn’t as relevant. A large bulk of the 20th century was dominated by an emphasis on East and West relations. But with issues like climate change, melting glaciers in Greenland and territorial sea claims, it’s time we establish a new view of the world: one that equally perceives all interests of our planet.

See also

  • The AuthaGraph World Map shows there are no “four corners of the earth”, winner of the Good Design Grand Award.
  • Founded in 2007, Spoon & Tamago is an international blog that is based out of New York City and Tokyo Japan. It is written by artist and writer Johnny Strategy. Drawing from an extensive multicultural database and resources, Spoon & Tamago attempts to comprehensively cover all aspects of Japanese design from fine art and architecture to product and graphic design.
Shape of things to come

The AuthaGraph world map: A new way to look at the world

“The 2016 Good Design Award results were announced recently with awards going to over 1000 entries in several different categories. But the coveted Grand Award of Japan’s most well-known design award, given to just 1 entry, was announced today. […] This year, the grand prize went to a world map.” — Spoon & Tamago

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Dyson's Maps & Cartography
Dyson’s Dodecahedron — Dyson Logos is a prolific and talented creator of Dungeons and Dragons maps

The Stone Sinister

The Stone Sinister [Above] — A massive stone hand of a nigh-unbelievable scale, the Stone Sinister appears to be the grasping hand of some massive giant pushing out of the ground. Maybe the result of strange magics (or a titan fumbling a saving throw against a cockatrice), or just as likely a piece of obscure architecture, the Sinister is partially hollow with multiple levels linked together by a ladder that runs up along the inside of the back of the hand in line with the pointer finger.

Kemp's Divide

Kemp’s Divide [Above] — Kemp’s Divide makes for a good interface between the surface and underdark communities – a point of contact and trade between small communities and clans who in turn work with larger factions and can lead to the exploration of whichever realm the players are not currently familiar with.

Various other maps…

Mapper’s Challenge II – The Deep Halls [Below] — This is a monster of a map – a full ledger-sized page of fairly fine graph paper (5 per inch, I think)

Deep Halls

Some isometric maps…

Maps in progress…

(via Boing Boing)

See also

Craft and creativity

Dyson Logos: D&D maps and cartography

“As I practiced the style, I challenged myself to draw a geomorph every other day until I had at least 100 geomorphs. The blog got pretty boring during this stretch, but I learned a lot about mapping and dungeon design, and the blog got a reputation as a mapping blog.” — Dyson Logos

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Map: 20 Ways to Break Europe

A map by Yanko Tsvetkov from the Atlas of Prejudice: The Complete Stereotype Map Collection.

See Also

Humans and other animals

Atlas of Prejudice: Ways to divide Europe

The Atlas of Prejudice is “the official stereotype lab of Yanko Tsvetkov, a bestselling author, prolific cartographer, and leading international bigotry professional with a taste for salacious political incorrectness and unconventional historical studies.”

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Shape of things to come

Competition to map the first human outpost on Mars

National Geographic: Sure, NASA has plenty of scientists hard at work mapping the geology of potential Martian landing sites. But designing maps to help humans navigate, study, and survive in an alien landscape will require an entirely different set of skills—the kinds of skills that cartographers, graphic artists, and people who love maps might have.

Mars-ez-coprates chasma

One of 47 possible exploration zones on Mars that could be visited by humans.

So, the International Cartographic Association is holding a competition to come up with the best map design for astronauts who would spend about a year on the surface of Mars as part of a mission proposed for the 2030s.

“This project is on the boundary between scifi, game design, graphic arts and science, like cartography is.” Henrik Hargitai, NASA planetary scientist

Mars Exploration Zones: This concept animation shows just one of many potential concepts for how the first human landing site on Mars might evolve throughout the course of multiple human expeditions to the Red Planet over a decade or more.

See also

  • ICA Call for maps: Mars Exploration Zone Map Design Competition
  • Ordnance Survey map of Mars“The planet Mars has become the latest subject in our long line of iconic OS paper maps. The one-off map, created using NASA open data and made to a 1:4,000,000 scale, is made to see if our style of mapping has potential for future Mars missions.”
  • If the Earth were 100 pixels wide, the Moon would be 3000 pixels away, and Mars… well, you’ll have to see for yourself.
  • Canyonlands National Park texture and shaded relief map — National Park Service cartographer Tom Patterson is a master of texture and shaded relief. He’s released this gorgeous map of Canyonlands National to the public domain.
  • The first relief map — [Hans Conrad Gyger’s] map of the Zurich area took 38 years to survey and paint, and is considered as one of the most beautiful cartographic works of that time. Because of its high military importance the map was kept secret, and, unfortunately, had no influence on contemporary cartography. Not until 200 years later were shaded relief maps of comparable quality and beauty produced.
  • The flag of planet Earth — Oskar Pernefeldt’s graduation project is a flag for our world, “to remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries”.
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A new map for AmericaHow the lower 48 could be realigned into seven mega-regions.

A New Map for America

Sources: ​Joel Kotkin​ (boundaries and names of 7 mega-regions)​; Forbes Magazine​; Regional Plan Association; Census Bureau; ​United States​ High Speed Rail Association; Clare Trainor/University of Wisconsin-Madison Cartography Laboratory.

Parag Khanna, New York Times:

To an extent, America is already headed toward a metropolis-first arrangement. The states aren’t about to go away, but economically and socially, the country is drifting toward looser metropolitan and regional formations, anchored by the great cities and urban archipelagos that already lead global economic circuits.

The 21st century will not be a competition over territory, but over connectivity — and only connecting American cities will enable the United States to win the tug of war over global trade volumes, investment flows and supply chains. More than America’s military grand strategy, such an economic master plan would determine if America remained the world’s leading superpower.

See also

Shape of things to come

A new map for America

“America is increasingly divided not between red states and blue states, but between connected hubs and disconnected backwaters.” — NYT

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Hans Conrad Gyger

Hans Conrad Gyger (1599–1674) was a painter, mathematician, surveyor and cartographer in Zurich. Gyger was the first to systematically survey a larger area in Switzerland. This resulted in the map “Grosse Landtafel des Kantons Zürich“ (Great Land Board of the Canton of Zurich; 1664–67).

Der Gygerplan

With his map Gyger reached a fundamental progress by displaying mountains – until then drawn in template-like side views – as elevations of mass. Thus continuous mountain ranges and valleys seen from oblique forward became apparent, not unlike today’s bird’s-eye-view-maps.

His map of the Zurich area took 38 years to survey and paint, and is considered as one of the most beautiful cartographic works of that time. Because of its high military importance the map was kept secret, and, unfortunately, had no influence on contemporary cartography. Not until 200 years later were shaded relief maps of comparable quality and beauty produced.

(via Mapzen)

See also

Craft and creativity

The first relief map

“In 1668, Hans Conrad Gyger submitted an outstanding cartographic masterpiece to the government of Zurich. […] Gyger depicted the topography in a naturalistic manner with illumination emanating from the southwest. The map is east-oriented. It was drawn and painted with gouache and pen.” — reliefshading.com

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Mapping the Online Worldan atlas redrawn according to the number of registrations within each country’s internet domain* — whether .uk for the UK, .de for Germany, .cn for China, and so on.

Nominet: Map of the Online World

On a map of the world scaled to the most popular top-level domains, the Pacific island of Tokelau reigns supreme.

Wired: With more than 31 million .tk websites, the tiny New Zealand territory has more domain registrations than any other nation or territory in the world. It might measure just four square miles and have little over 1,400 residents, but Tokelau’s .tk dwarfs the rest of the world.

‘Online Europe’ is so much larger than geographic Europe because of the high rates of internet adoption by countries in this region. The UK, for example, is only the 21st largest country in the world by population, and the 78th by area. But in terms of internet use, it’s right at the top of the table.

The USA, on the other hand, is an anomaly. Despite having high levels of internet use, e-commerce and online innovation, there are comparatively few registrations under .us, its official country-code domain. Americans and American businesses tend to prefer .com, which at around 123 million registrations is the world’s most common domain.

See also

Life on the Internet

If web domains were countries…

…an atlas redrawn according to the number of registrations within each country’s internet domain* — whether .uk for the UK, .de for Germany, .cn for China, and so on.

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OS Mars logo

BBC News: Ordnance Survey releases digital map of Mars surface

This is the first time that OS has produced a map of territory from another planet.

Ordnance Survey map of Mars

BBC: “It was a little hard at first to actually understand the data itself in terms of things like the elevation and the scale and so on,” said the OS cartographer behind the map, Chris Wesson. “But actually the physical process was almost identical to what was used to make an Earth map, or any OS map.”

The map itself covers roughly 10 million sq km (3.8 million sq miles) – or about 7% of the total Martian surface.

See also: Other posts on this blog tagged ‘maps’

Miscellany

Ordnance Survey map of Mars

“The planet Mars has become the latest subject in our long line of iconic OS paper maps. The one-off map, created using NASA open data and made to a 1:4,000,000 scale, is made to see if our style of mapping has potential for future Mars missions.” — Ordnance Survey

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Atlas Obscura's Guide to Literary Road Trips

Richard Kreitner (writer), Steven Melendez (map): The above map is the result of a painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature. It includes every place-name reference in 12 books about cross-country travel, from Mark Twain’s Roughing It (1872) to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (2012), and maps the authors’ routes on top of one another. You can track an individual writer’s descriptions of the landscape as they traveled across it, or you can zoom in to see how different authors have written about the same place at different times.

See also: Other posts tagged maps (via)

Craft and creativity

Atlas Obscura’s Guide to Literary Road Trips

“A painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature.” — Atlas Obscura

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This ‘Tor Flow’ visualization shows information flow between relay servers of the Tor network for a selected day.

The Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated servers (relays) that allows people to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor’s users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, thus allowing both organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

(via Boing Boing)

See also: Drone strikes: an infographic; Edward Snowden on freedom; ‘1984’ stealth fashion for the under-surveillance society; Paranoid Android: Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2.

Life on the Internet

Tor Flow: Mapping the Tor network

“Torflow is a visualization of the vast amounts of traffic streaming between its many nodes, delineating a map of the internet as it can’t otherwise be seen.” — Rob Beschizza, Boing Boing

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All roads lead to Rome

At least for Europe it is obvious: All roads lead to Rome! You can reach the eternal city on almost 500.000 routes from all across the continent. Which road would you take?

Available as a poster, along with many other maps showing European capital cities and US state capitals.

Craft and creativity

All roads lead to Rome

“For this we created a algorithm that calculates one route for every trip. The more often a single street segment is used, the stronger it is drawn on the map.”

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Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth discovered

The Guardian: A recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by JRR Tolkien reveals The Lord of the Rings author’s observation that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and implies that the Italian city of Ravenna could be the inspiration behind the fictional city of Minas Tirith.

CityLab: The map could have easily been lost forever, having slipped out of an old edition of The Lord of the Rings belonging to the late famed illustrator Pauline Baynes. Baynes had been using the map to work on her own full-color poster edition of Middle-earth for Tolkien, who in turn, gave her precise and copious notes on the same document.

Also: See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-Earth in the new The Art of The Lord of the Rings book.

Craft and creativity

Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth discovered

The novelist also uses Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem as other reference points, and according to Blackwell’s suggests that “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith – a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy”. — The Guardian

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See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-Earth

Wired: The key lesson of The Art of The Lord of the Rings is this:
We forget that it’s not only filmmakers who need to translate words into pictures.

Tolkien was an endless reviser. “Earliest map of the Shire” reveals his creative recycling. Pencil lines have been overlaid with blue and red ink. Dashed and dotted lines represent Frodo, Sam, and Pippin’s route, or the boundaries of features like The Old Forest. In light pencil, upper right, “Elves” are added with a circle. Nomenclature changes; Tolkien gives “Puddifoot” a new name: “Maggot.” The detailed maps printed in their finished form in Lord of the Rings help readers get their bearings. But as drafts, they must have helped Tolkien, too. “The ‘First Map’ of Middle-earth” was Tolkien’s master reference map; over the years, he glued new sheets on top of old ones as his story grew and changed in the telling.

See also

Craft and creativity

The sketches J.R.R. Tolkien used to build Middle-Earth

“For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined. In the book ‘The Art of The Lord of the Rings’, we see how, and why.” — Wired

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A Matter of Perspective — Cartographer Daniel Huffman:

What happens if you take the shoreline of a lake, cut it, and unfurl it?

The once-closed shoreline of the lake now becomes linear, providing a new perspective on a familiar feature.

Unfurling a lake

I made this map because I wanted to show space referenced against a natural feature, rather than figuring locations based on the cardinal directions of north/south/etc. I think it’s a very human perspective, grounded in how we relate to the lake, rather than how it looks from space. Rob Roth just wandered by while I was writing this and said that this depicted “configural knowledge,” so there’s your search term if you want to read the academic side of this sort of thing.

See also:

Craft and creativity

Linear lakes: These clever maps show an ‘unwrapped’ Lake Michigan and Lake Superior

“A drive around the lake becomes a reasonably straight line. Not only that, but the map is actually continuous — the roads running off the bottom of the map are the same as those coming in at the top. It provides a unique perspective on the way people arrange themselves around the lake.” — Daniel Huffman

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Percentage of Slaves by U.S. County, 1860

I find the numbers incredible. South Carolina and Mississippi had more slaves than free citizens!

Census of 1860

In September of 1861, the U.S. Coast Survey published a large map, approximately two feet by three feet, titled a “Map showing the distribution of the slave population of the southern states of the United States.” Based on the population statistics gathered in the 1860 Census, and certified by the superintendent of the Census Office, the map depicted the percentage of the population enslaved in each county. At a glance, the viewer could see the large-scale patterns of the economic system that kept nearly 4 million people in bondage: slavery was concentrated along the Chesapeake Bay and in eastern Virginia; along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts; in a crescent of lands in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi; and most of all, in the Mississippi River Valley. With each county labeled with the exact percentage of people enslaved, the map demanded some closer examination.

Smithsonian: These Maps Reveal How Slavery Expanded Across the United States

(via reddit)

Humans and other animals

Distribution of the slave population of the southern United States, 1860

In 1861, in an attempt to raise money for sick and wounded soldiers, the Census Office produced and sold a map that showed the population distribution of slaves in the southern United States. Based on data from the 1860 census, this map was the Census Office’s first attempt to map population density. — census.gov

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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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Artist rendering of New Horizon over Pluto

On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, and we will map that distant world and its moons for the first time.

The New Horizons team plans to assign names to the features on the maps of Pluto and its large moon Charon, once we have seen them in sharp detail this summer.

At the Our Pluto site you can suggest your ideas for names and vote for your favourites. The ballot closes on 7th April 2015, so get in there quickly!

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Shape of things to come

Help name the new places NASA will discover on Pluto and Charon!

At the Our Pluto site you can suggest names for the features that will soon be discovered by NASA’s New Horizons probe.

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