Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Other Map Blogs of Note

While I never imagined what I was doing here was completely original... I hadn't yet come across other blogs that were devoted to "fun with maps". Since starting this blog several weeks ago, I have discovered several.

Maps For Us: The Children of America Need Maps appears to have started just a few weeks before mine. Clearly inspired by Miss Teen South Carolina:

Maps For Us encourages folks to send in their maps to help children learn from maps... submitted maps are serious and whimsical, and include everything from maps to coffee shops in Amsterdam:

The the lost continent of Atlantis:

UPDATE 11/6: But, they haven't posted since September, so they seem to have lost interest already...

UPDATE 12/2: "This Account Has Been Suspended". I guess the joke is over.

Strange Maps appears to have been publishing from the UK since 2006. This cartophile shares odd maps that he finds or his reader send. Most of the maps appear to have some serious intent, such as this map of the socio-economic divide of England:

or a folk art rendition of Peru:

Launched in March 2003, The Map Room is a blog that points to maps, map collections, map-related resources, and material about maps on the web.

His most recent post, brought this new "Atlas" to my attention:


I sort of had an idea for a blog like this back in 1994... but I didn't know what blogs were.

That was right about the time I had, what I thought was a brilliant idea... I would compile a bibliography of Alternate History books. However, while I was compiling titles, I found a website that was already doing it. The website that would become Uchronia: the Alternate History List had already compiled a list three times the size of mine.

Yet again, I am unoriginal. But I'll keep at it. I still have hundreds of post cards, ads and other map memorabilia that maybe, just maybe no one else has posted...

If you find any of this remotely interesting, please feel free to comment. Also, feel free to send interesting links or images of map memorabilia to me at Admin AT

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Fun with Transit Maps

In my last post, I shared my postcard depicting the Boston MBTA subway system:

In response, Gerry sent me a link to this image:

Fun with anagrams!

You can even buy a T-shirt with this image.

Thanks, Gerry!

Then, as usual in the morning, I checked Boing Boing to see what's new, and they have this amusing image (that you can also buy on a t-shirt):

But wait! There's more!

From the Animals on the Underground:

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

In Honor of the Red Sox...

In honor of the Red Sox, who as I type this are on the verge of sweeping the World Series, I present several Boston and Massachusetts postcards from my collection:

Here is Boston:

Take the subway to Fenway Park:

Paul Revere should have warned the Rockies that the Red Sox were coming...

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Maps in Ads

As noted earlier, maps in advertising, actually maps as an element of design, caught my eye, and got me started on this collection.

Over the years, I have saved ads that caught my eye. Here are a few more:

Put the photos together into the shape of the continental United States, and you tell your potential customers they can call anywhere, without reading the words.

From the beltway, all roads lead to the capital...

Could it be... maps?

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Friday, October 26, 2007

How to Lie with Maps

How to Lie with Maps (2nd ed.) by Mark Monmonier, University Of Chicago Press, 1996

I am currently re-reading this book after I read the first edition nearly fifteen years ago, right about the same time I was beginning to collect intersting examples of maps. It is a must-read for map lovers, map makers, and anyone who uses maps for information (that would be everyone...).

From the back of the book:
Originally published to wide acclaim, this lively, cleverly illustrated essay on the use and abuse of maps teaches us how to evaluate maps critically and promotes a healthy skepticism about these easy-to-manipulate models of reality. Monmonier shows that, despite their immense value, maps lie. In fact, they must.

He begins with a tutorial on how all maps must make little "white lies" in order generalize and simplify their information. In later chapters he discusses how maps can and have been used for propoganda, to promote a specific point of view, and to disinform.

As I have said before, I am no expert, but in future posts I plan to bring forward additional and contemporary examples of "how to lie with maps."

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Maps make funny shapes...

In the "Things found while looking for something else" category... well, this time I was looking for myself (I did a Google search on "cartophilia") and I found the xtcian blog, by Ian Williams, with a post from 2003 called cartophilia! in which he has fun with the funny shapes of states...

I like it when states reach for something that they might not deserve. Take Alabama and Mississippi, for instance, both violently sticking out a body part to touch the Gulf of Mexico:

One of his commenters suggests, "Alabama and Mississippi ought to talk about it before going to bed. They look like a couple that's had a fight."

He forgot to note how funny the shape of Florida can be... and how it could be a little different after a little blue pill...

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Buddha or Bust: In Search of Truth, Meaning, Happiness, and the Man Who Found Them All

Buddha or Bust: In Search of Truth, Meaning, Happiness, and the Man Who Found Them All

Another nice example of the use of a map to evoke an emotional response. While the map on the cover shows the nation of India, where the author spends a great deal of time, it is not a map of his travels. Instead, the map on the cover evokes the sense of adventure, travel, seeking, the unknown.

Love the Fat Buddha statue too.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ticket to Ride should become the new Monopoly

Ticket to Ride, is a delightful board game from Days of Wonder. A terrific "gateway" game for new gamers, it has simple rules that can be learned in a few minutes, but contains enough strategy and tension to engage beginners and experienced gamers, young and old.

DoW have already issued offical sequels and expansions for Europe, Germany and Switzerland, and multiple unofficial maps have also beeen created by fans.

We all know that Monopoly has hundreds of special editions, for cities other than Atlantic City, to promote movies, amusement parks, and favorite foods.

Valerie Putman, of, has a brilliant idea for the folks at Days of Wonder... special edition collectibles of Ticket to Ride for cities, countries, theme parks, etc.:

Valerie Putman: Ticket to Ride Everywhere

How many of you have gone on vacation and brought home a souvenir to remember the place—perhaps a snow globe or a post card? I know one guy who collects Monopoly games everywhere he goes—and they are out there. You can get a Monopoly themed for just about anything. But what’s the point? They play the same, so additional copies are just for show. Now imagine Ticket to Ride collectibles—with new maps, new tickets, but few if any new rules, available at every tourist attraction and vacation destination. After a trip to Disney World, you pick up a copy of Ticket to Ride Disney and relive your vacation by planning your routes between the amusement park attractions. You have fond memories of your trip to New York City? Break out the Ticket to Ride NYC with subway and bus routes to retrace your steps.

I want to be absolutely clear. I am not being sarcastic about the fact that yet another Ticket to Ride game is available at Essen. I am the queen of Age of Steam and Power Grid maps—I love new ways to play my favorite games. And I think Ticket to Ride is the perfect non-gamer game that should replace monopoly as the one game in every American household. But even better, every time you visit a friend you look forward to playing Ticket to Ride because they have a dozen maps you’ve never seen before—like the one that came free with 12 box tops from Cheerios! The collectors would swoon.

I would expect Days of Wonder and Alan Moon to profit from it, of course, though I admit that I don’t know how licensing deals work. I know that Age of Steam has gained such a following because the maps are seemingly endless, but that this is fraught with legal issues. Surely if Hollywood can figure out how to allow 100 different Batman toys and games, it can be done. I would even like to see a Ticket to Ride Monopoly, with trolley routes in Atlantic City connecting Boardwalk to Park Place to Oriental Avenue!

Hmmm…time to go buy stock in DoW.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Checking China for Unusual Lumps

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Time Magazine, in their October 15, 2007, issue, illustrates the global breast cancer crisis.

The Breast Cancer Site
The Breast Cancer Site
Click on this site and help fund free mamograms.

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