Sunday, September 28, 2003

Map Games

A fascinating collection of map games — board games with real maps on their boards — from the Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games at the University of Waterloo. (My alma mater, where a few of us had some unkind jokes about the department sponsoring this museum, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. But I digress.) Some of these games are over a century old. Neat, neat stuff. Thanks to Owen Massey for sending in the link.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:36 AM

Early Medieval Maps

Plep links to a collection of early medieval maps that in turn is a part of a larger collection that includes maps from the ancient, late medieval and renaissance periods. The site, which apparently hasn’t been updated in over five years (there are some broken links), seems to be an online catalogue of someone’s collection, with low-resolution scans of some of the maps.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:24 AM

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Psychogeography Redux

Wikipedia has an entry on Psychogeography (via remaindered links; see previous entry).

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 9:51 AM

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Maps of Imaginary Worlds

Jeff Patterson has a post on Gravity Lens linking to a great big pile of maps of imaginary worlds. No permalinks and the entry is not yet archived — for shame! — so scroll down to the Sept. 10 entry for maps of Barsoom, Pellucidar, Hyboria, Melniboné, Latveria (think Dr. Doom of Marvel Comics), and a whole great load of Lovecraft: Arkham, Innsmouth, Dunwich. More at Gravity Lens.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:17 AM

Conspiracy-Minded Map of 9/11 Flight Paths

Huw points me to this “slightly interesting” (Huw’s words) map of the hijacked 9/11 flights, which attempts to raise a sinister-sounding question:

In this picture, which is worth even more than a thousand words, MediaLab has merged a map of the 9/11 planes’ flightpaths with a map of military bases in those areas. The flights went through some of the most heavily militarized parts of the country, yet nothing could be done to stop them?

Da-da-DAAAAH! So, what is The Memory Hole implying — that the U.S. military was too incompetent to stop them, or that it knowingly allowed them to happen?

In any event, this map is misleading because of what it leaves out: how many other flights were going on at the same time (thousands), and how fast it took these planes to cover the distances shown (minutes, not hours). This is the cartographic equivalent of lying with statistics: showing limited information to make a shaky point.

Update 12:32 PM: John Schofield writes to say that he doesn’t much like this map either:

The map showing hijacked 9/11 flights in relation to military bases really annoys me. It’s an example of how factual data can be misleading. In fact, I’m sure our military could shoot down an unarmed civilian jet pretty much anywhere in the nation. It wasn’t a factor of proximity to military bases, it was a matter of having the authorization to shoot a plane down and the knowledge of where it was. The military had neither.

Maps are like any other way of presenting information: your facts may not have much to do with your conclusion.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:02 AM

Thursday, September 11, 2003

The Use of Maps in Contemporary Art

Anna Oliver has apparently forgiven me for this post, and writes to tell me that her fine art MA thesis, The Use of Maps in Contemporary Art, is now online.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 6:52 AM

Pop or Soda?

That refreshing beverage you drink: do you call it pop, soda or coke? Thomas Cluff points to this page, which tries to map the areas of the U.S. where each word is used. A semi-formal exercise in linguistic geography, based on reader submissions.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 6:39 AM

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

We would all be speaking German?

Neu-York is an alternate New York imagined after a German victory in World War II. It’s a detailed map in which postwar landmarks do not exist and every street has been renamed to suit their new Teutonic overlords.

NEU-YORK is a cautionary meditation, suggesting what the local geographical reality might have been like had victorious Nazis succeeded in bringing the Third Reich across the Atlantic Ocean in 1945. At the same time it is an exploration of psychological transport, place, displacement and memory.

From a historical perspective, this is bunk, of course — but as art, this is wonderful, compulsive stuff. (via remaindered links)

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:32 PM

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Maps of Scotland, 1560-1928

A serious collection of old Scottish maps — more than 800 of them. Searchable, but not so much browsable. This is what I miss when I’m too busy to read Plep — for shame! (via exclamation mark)

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 1:13 PM

Explore Kamandi’s World!

An online map of the world of Jack Kirby’s Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth comic book series. It’s a little bit clickable, too. (via Ober Dicta)

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 1:10 PM

Monday, September 01, 2003

The Real Underground

“Was Design’s gain Geography’s loss?” That is the question asked by The Real Underground, a little Flash-based site from London’s Transport Museum. It compares the schematic maps of the London Underground with what they would look like if they were geographically correct. (via muxway)

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:21 AM

Caught Mapping Archives

Update: Geist’s Caught Mapping feature (see previous entry) now has an archive of previous maps.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:16 AM


Sometimes people write in to promote the strangest things — ask me some time about the Vietnamese hotel chain — and sometimes they write in with something that’s worth a look. Map Bureau’s Donalda Speight wrote in a while back to tout a service called *mapper that, in her words,

allows users to annotate locations on a map or jpeg image with text, photos, and links to other internet content, resulting in an interactive map with clickable features. When clicked, the relevent content appears in a (browser) frame. This service offers the capability of quickly and easily labeling maps. The map is publishable on the web, like a blog.  There are some examples of these maps at the *mapper page.
We believe using *mapper to produce maps can be a powerful educational tool, offering opportunities for internet research, geographic study,  GPS applications, writing, presentation, and more. *mapper is also a great way of sharing a journey,  or other geographic content. While we have a basemap catalog with many maps to choose from, the user is free to use any image in the Macromedia swf or non-progressive jpg formats as a basemap.
In addition to the *mapper service, we've also produced some custom maps which you may find interesting.
Please have a look; feedback is appreciated.

You get the definite impression that they’re trying to create the equivalent of Blogger for maps. (I’m sure the colour scheme isn’t accidental.) But I’m sure a few of you won’t mind playing around over there. (You’ll definitely need Flash.) Let me know what you think; reviews welcome.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 8:00 AM

Streets of London; The Illustrated Enemy

Apologies to Ralf (The Cartoonist) for sitting on these links for so long after he took the trouble to send them to me. A month ago he published links all day on a common theme: The Streets of London. At least one of those links I posted before, but check the whole day out anyway — interesting stuff.

And he also pointed me to The Illustrated Enemy, which reminds me of the caricatures in the shapes of countries, but reversed: “the Germans (in blue) and their Austrian allies (yellow) look relatively normal, without the grotesque or otherwise distorted heads and bodies found associated with the other European nations depicted.”

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 7:48 AM

Brighthand’s Garmin Review

I know I said that I hopefully wouldn’t post on the Garmin iQue 3600 again, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out Brighthand’s review of the gadget; their PDA reviews tend to be quite thorough.

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 7:38 AM

1879 New York

Once again I have some catching up to do. Being a journalist is busy work. I’ll start with this map of 1879 New York at the Library of Congress (via Anil).

Posted by Jonathan Crowe at 7:36 AM