Monday, April 28, 2003
When I go shopping for maps, it goes something like this. Two weeks ago, in preparation for a weekend of mucking around in swamps for a wildlife census, I went into World of Maps and bought the following:
- Three topographic maps, for the fieldwork itself; and
- A MapArt Ontario Road Atlas and folding maps of Barrie/Orillia and Peterborough, for getting there and back again.
But when some other people buy maps, they lay out some serious coin at, for example, Raremaps.com (via Iconomy). Dealers in old maps were not something I was aware of until I had read Miles Harveys Island of Lost Maps, which is perhaps not the most positive introduction to collecting old maps, but an interesting (and cautionary) tale all the same.
Even if my own map collecting is somewhat more pragmatic and, um, mundane, dont let that stop you from submitting links on antique maps, map dealers or map collecting.
Friday, April 25, 2003
Moving from old Maryland maps to digital maps of Delaware, here is the Delaware DataMIL. Mike Mahaffie of the Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination, who helped develop it with his brilliant partners at the University of Delaware, explains it:
The DataMIL is intended to provide an on-line collaboration laboratory in which Delawares GIS community and spatial data users can carry out a continual update of the basic data layers that make up a digital base-map of the state. It also gives the general public browser-based access to up-to-date on-line topographic maps of Delaware.
The DataMIL is also a leading Pilot Project for the U.S. Geological Surveys National Map project.
Give the DataMIL Map Lab a try and see what you think.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Many MetaFilter Map Links
I wish to register a complaint: there are too many good map links in this here MetaFilter post, mostly about projections (the initial post was about Australian upside-down maps). More than I can extract into individual posts here, so off you go. One of MeFis better efforts.
Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark: Mapping the West is aimed at students in Grades 6-12 and comes complete with lesson plans; its an accessible introduction to the expedition and includes small images of the maps that were made, an overview of mapmaking circa 1800, and links to maps hosted elsewhere. (via plep)
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Geography quizzes are popular online, at least if posts to MetaFilter are any indication. Two recent quiz posts there (and there have been others) made me stop and think about what I think about geography quizzes as a genre.
- North Africa/Middle East quiz at Rethinking Schools Online; uses Flash (via MetaFilter)
In a nutshell, Im unimpressed. For one thing, since my score on these quizzes is usually pretty close to 100 per cent (he said, smugly), I get impatient when the most common reaction is to moan about how poorly one scores. (My grump reaction to which is that it might help if the only time you looked at a world map wasnt just when you take a quiz.)
City of Ottawa Online Maps
The City of Ottawa has a fairly extensive collection of online maps available on its web site, including such things as maps of bike routes, planning maps, maps pointing out city services, aerial photography and census data. Useful for me as I live just across the river.
Friday, April 11, 2003
Japanese Historical Maps
Over 200 Japanese historical maps, some centuries old, are available online, courtesy of UC Berkeley's East Asian Library. The map browser software will not load in Safari or Camino (or, presumably, Mozilla), but I could view the maps using Internet Explorer 5.2 for Mac, so IE users should be fine. (via Anil)
Thursday, April 10, 2003
The London Underground
The Better to Stalk Your Favourite Blogger by, My Dear
Find your favourite blogger in New York, London or Washington, DC by the subway station they live closest to, using maps of the cities respective subway networks. We bloggers sure are an exhibitionistic bunch, but this seems an awfully brave thing to reveal. Theres definitely a sociological interest in seeing the correlation between neighbourhoods (and the associated demographic data) and weblogging, though. (via MetaFilter)
High-resolution Satellite Photography
I remember as a child being absolutely transfixed by a composite aerial photograph of Winnipeg, and trying to compare it to the inevitably inaccurate official map, which included roads and subdivisions that existed only on the drawing board. Now, of course, its worse: satellite photography is now so sophisticated that you can get one-metre-resolution images of just about anywhere on the planet updated every few days, for a level of accuracy that maps simply cannot keep up with. And its not just spy satellites any more; its what Space Imaging provides, commercially. (Thanks to Steven for the link.) Put into practice, that means, among other things, high-resolution images of precision bomb strikes in Baghdad.
Sunday, April 06, 2003
Celestial Atlases, Antique and Modern
Iconomy links to two sites about celestial atlases. First, an online exhibition of the celestial atlases, some dating from as far back as the 1400s, from the rare books collection of the Linda Hall Library. The exhibition itself took place in 1995-1996, but the web pages for Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas remain. Second, a look at what is apparently the most widely used modern celestial atlas, the Atlas Coeli Skalnaté Pleso, first published in 1948, by Slovak astronomer Antonín Becvár (1901-1962).
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Electoral Maps of Quebec
Electoral maps are something for which Ive always had an aberrant fascination. Ive never been able to watch election returns without knowing the exact location of the constituencies being reported on, and Ive always pored over boundary redistribution reports (which arent nearly as exciting as redistricting in the U.S., since gerrymandering is, because of the rules, so much harder to get away with). Since my new home province, Quebec, is having an election on April 14, here are maps of the electoral districts: the further in you click, the more detail you will see. In French only, unfortunately, but Im sure youll still be able to muddle through.
Military Action in Iraq
Official Provincial Highway Maps
One of the things I enjoyed most as a child, travelling across Canada by road with my family, was collecting official highway maps published by the various provincial governments. To this day I still keep as many of them as I can, in spite of the fact that I dont even own a car. But now some provincial governments have put their official maps online, some as JPEG or GIF images, others as PDF files. Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have broken down their maps into PDF pieces that will fit on a page; Saskatchewan and British Columbia provide them inside web pages, though BCs are very spare but then so is the paper version. Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories only provide simple online maps, rather than reproductions of the real thing. And PEIs unnecessarily complicated map site does not support Macintosh (even though there are 250 times as many Mac users as PEI residents) or Mozilla, so I cant evaluate whether their maps are any good. Finally, on the Yukon Territorys government web site there is a very large (697 KB) JPEG map, but its edges are cut off.
Ontario Herpetofaunal Summary
For those of us who are concerned with the conservation of local reptiles and amphibians, the Ontario Herpetofaunal Summary Atlas is an indispensable resource, providing detailed species range maps that show the location of every observation they have on record but not so detailed, hopefully, that poachers intent on capturing Wood Turtles or Spotted Turtles can pinpoint good hunting spots.
Cartographic Projections: A Primer
A map is the result of projecting a spherical surface onto a flat plane. As a result, each projection involves some distortion; its important to choose a projection that distorts the mapped area the least. So lets learn about cartographic projections. Youve no doubt heard of the Mercator projection; did you know there are dozens more? Here are some introductions to the subject: one from Peter H. Dana of the University of Colorado at Boulder; one from Laurie Garo of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and one from Lloyd Treinish of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center (thanks to Steven for the last one).
Maps as German Nationalist Propaganda; Mercators World
Maps, often in stark black and white, were a propaganda tool of German nationalists, who used them in the interwar period to nurse the grievances of the Treaty of Versailles:
Thematically, the new maps promoted two main arguments that the postwar boundaries of Germany threatened the very existence of the country and that they failed to encompass what was rightfully German.