Friday, November 30, 2007

Maps on Magazine Covers

An assortment of maps on magazine covers from my collection:

If you want to demonstrate your "global reach"... put a globe on your cover...

While I suppose it is not suprising to find a map on the cover of the Journal of Geography... I particularly liked this "melting Earth" image... (see global warming).

If you want to tell your readers "we're covering the news" put a map on the cover:

Map in an editorial cartoon on a cover:

Like the recent Time magazine cover, here is a map on the body to imply how "widespread" a disease can be:

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Here Comes the Flood

In honor of the flood in my basement last night, I share this worst-case-scenario map of global warming:

From Bits & Pieces

Not relevant to maps, but still funny, in a dark way, these are the Christmas cards we're sending out this year.
From The Onion: Merry Second-To-Last Christmas

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Map Postcards to Trade

Revised April 24, 2009

In many of my posts, I comment on map postcards. I have a modest collection of map postcards from all over the U.S. and many countries. In fact, one of the reasons I thought to start this blog, was because I wanted to showcase my collection (and force myself to organize and sort them).

When my friends travel, I usually say, "keep an eye out for map postcards." When I travel, I always browse the postcard rack in the souvenir shop for a card with a map I don't already have in my collection. Sometimes I accidentally buy duplicates, and sometimes I intentionally buy duplicates.

I know there are many other postcard collectors out there, and I would like to trade my duplicates for a map card I do not have. Below are many, but not all of the cards I have available for trade. If you would like one of these cards, and have a map postcard to trade, send a note to me at ADMIN [at] CARTOPHILIA.COM. The easiest thing would be for you to copy the image, or the link to the image, into your email message, then I'll know for sure which postcard has caught your eye.

My U.S. State Map Postcard "Want List":
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

Other map postcards on my "Want List":
  • Map postcards from any state that I don't already own

  • Map postcards from cities, regions, transportation systems, parks, etc.

  • I have a very small international map postcards collection, so just about any non-U.S. country will be a welcome trade.

  • Imaginary places, like my Jurassic Park or Middle Earth postcards.

Here is a link to all of my blog posts about MAP POSTCARDS.

View a Gallery of Map Postcards to Trade.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Going to California Dreamin'

Spent my days with a woman unkind,
Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine.
Made up my mind to make a new start,
Going to california with an
aching in my heart.

California, Here I Come
Right back where I started from
where bowers of flowers
bloom in the spring
each morning at dawning
birdies sing at everything

Welcome to the hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year, you can find it here

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day

I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A
California Dreamin'
On such a winter's day

Seems it never rains in Southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl, don't they warn ya
It pours man it pours.

Why all the California lyrics? No particular reason. I just wanted to display my collection of California map postcards, and I really haven't much to say about them.

California has another distinctive shap, and the state is so large, and has so many interesting things happening in it, postcard publishers probably have a hard time deciding what to highlight.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

There's a Map on my Lap!

There's a Map on My Lap!: All About Maps, by Tish Rabe, from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library

"I'm the Cat in the Hat and I'm happy to say there's a map on my lap-let's get on our way!..."

As a kid, one of my favorite books was Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. If this book had been around then, it probably would have become my favorite book. As long as I can remember, I have loved maps. When we would travel, I would usually have a map in my lap, as I followed along on our route.

I remember one summer, probably when I was about 12-years-old, we were on our way home from visiting family in South Carolina. I talked my Dad into taking a "short cut". On the map it looked shorter anyway... Dad often induged me in my map fetish, and we weren't in a hurry, so he agreed to go "overland", off the expressways.

Today, I can only guess at the route, perhaps U.S. Route 25. Probably somwhere around Tazewell, Tennessee, or perhaps Middlesboro, Kentucky, our axle broke.

View Larger Map

Fortunately, we were just down the hill from a farm house. I sat in the car holding down the brake, while Dad and my brother Walt walked up to the house and called for assistance. We were towed to the nearest town, and amazingly they had the part we needed. The car was fixed and we were on our way within a few hours.

I liked to imagine that if the axle broke on the expressway, the car would have careened into a gully and we all would have died. It was my suggestion that saved us all!

I had a pretty good imagination.

You may have noticed that I have "monetized" the site (see Google ad above, and Amazon ad to the right). I don't imagine that I am going to make big bucks off of this little hobby by adding advertising, but if I get a few cents to help pay for my costs, all the better. Another side benefit, is that I become aware of new books. The amazon widget looks at keywords on my page and selects relevant books to include in the box. This morning I checked in and saw the Map on My Lap book. I had never seen it before. But I'm pretty certain I am going to have to get it now.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cyprus: Divided Island

Situated in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is the third largest island in that sea. Its distinctive shape is immediately recognizeable on maps, map stamps and map postcards.

Here are several postcards from my collection:

Interestingly, Cyprus is divided into not two, but four jurisdictions:

  • the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island;
  • the Turkish occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey);
  • the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two; and
  • two Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), over which the United Kingdom retained jurisdiction after Cypriot independence.

From Wikipedia:

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Clumsiest People in Europe

Neither of the books in this post are about maps, but they make clever use of maps for their covers.

The Clumsiest People in Europe: Or, Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World, edited by Todd Pruzan.

When I first started browsing through this book, I was not convinced that it wasn't all a hoax (not unlike the Flashman Papers). Mrs. Mortimer does not have many good things to say about people she has never met, and places she has never been:

"It would be well if the Germans were more neat and clean, especially the poor ones."

"The Turks are so grave that they look wise. But how can lazy people really be wise?"

"Washington is one of the most desolate cities in the world."

Her outrageous statements seemed to good to be true. Then I did some checking. It appears that Mrs. Favell Lee Mortimer was in fact an author in Victorian England. She was best known for her series of children's books.

But of course, it was not the content of the book that caught my eye, so much as the cover. Click on the image above and look sideways. The countries of Europe have been relabeled with their supposed attributes. Germany is "Unclean", Austria is "Coughing", and Romania is "Robbers". On the plus side, Iceland is "Harmless".

Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe, by Arthur Rubinfeld.

How to make your business the next Starbucks. I'm sure you need more than a map, pins and some string... but its not a bad start...

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Seward's Folly - the check was good

Earlier this year was the 140th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase.

March 30, 1867
Treaty concerning the Cession of the Russian Possessions in North America by his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias to the United States of America; Concluded March 30, 1867; Ratified by the United States May 28, 1867; Exchanged June 20, 1867; Proclaimed by the United States June 20, 1867.

Map from the Alaska State Library.

Apparently the check was good. Here is the actual cancelled check for the purchase of Alaska (from World Book Online):


Monday, November 19, 2007

And yet more map blogs

The longer I do this, the more I find other bloggers doing the same or similar things... centered around their love of maps.

Three more map related blogs I've come across lately. Both related to making and using maps:

Making Maps: DIY Cartography

This blog highlights resources that ... help you to make better maps. [T]his blog also provides examples of creative and provocative maps and material on map making and understanding, culled from contemporary and historical sources.

Google Maps Mania

An unofficial Google Maps blog tracking the websites, mashups and tools being influenced by Google Maps.

Map the Universe

The author is "a paper pushing drone located in a cublicle somewhere in Canada", interested in antique and collectible maps.

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Mapes antics de Catalunya

Memòria Digital de Catalunya from the Consorci de Biblioteques Universitries de Catalunya

Memòria Digital de Catalunya is a cooperative repository for preserving and compiling the Catalan Heritage. The Spanish language collections include journals, posters, naturalistic drawings, maps, stereo cards, magazines, and manuscripts, and photographs and focus on the cultural heritage of the Catalan region.

Catalonia is an Autonomous Community in the Kingdom of Spain, with its own language and unique national identity.

Additional maps of Catalonia, Spain and the world can be found at the Institut Cartogràphic de Catalunya.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mike Turner gets my attention

While it is unlikely I will ever vote to re-elect my congressman, Mike Turner (R-OH) knows how to get my attention:

Putting a map on your franked postcard will always make me take a second look before it ends up in the trash...

See the original, from Google Maps:

View Larger Map

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Maps not only decorate but send subtle or subliminal messages

Today I finished re-reading How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier. In his epilogue, he summed up, in part, what this blog is all about:

Let me conclude with a cautionary note about the increased likelihood of cartographic distortion when a map must play the dual role of both informing and impressing its audience. Savvy map viewers must recognize that not all maps are intended solely to inform the viewer about location or geographic relationships. As visual stimuli, maps can look pretty, intriguing, or important. As graphic fashion statements, maps not only decorate but send subtle or subliminal messages about their authors, sponsors, or publishers.

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The Politcal Clout of Fairfax County, Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia has been a fairly solid Republican state from many years. However, in response to President Bush's "unpopularity", Democrats gained control of the State Senate in last Tuesday's voting.

See: The Washington Post's Virginia Post-Election Roundup

In my previous post, I pointed to maps that demonstrate the cartographic "lie" of the national electoral map. Here, in yet another interesting map blog, The Electoral Map, Patrick Ottenhoff points out that the shift in State politics can be attributed, chiefly, to a shift in the voting pattern of the most populous county in the state: Fairfax County, suburb of Washington, D.C.

This map demonstrates the population of Fairfax County, relative to the rest of the state.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Purple States of America

In How to Lie with Maps, Mark Monmonier discusses how maps can give false impressions. A perfect example of this is the map of the United States used to show "popularity". Many of the physically large states in the West have relatively smaller populations than the "smaller" states in the East.

Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman of the University of Michigan make an excellent demonstration of this cartographic "lie" with their analysis of voting in the 2004 Presidential Election. Some sample maps:

To look at a standard electoral map of the United States, it would appear that a significant majority of the nation is "red", or voting Republican. Look at all the "red" on the map!:

However, if you make a population cartogram (adjusting the size of the states by their relative population) you can see just how close the election really was:

Yet, is Ohio really all red, and Michigan really all blue? Of course not. So if you color the nation county-by-county, and give those counties different shades of colors between red and blue, based on how strong the vote was, you get something like this:

So, basically, after the 2004 election, the nation was one big bruise...

Read the full analysis and progression of 2004 presidential Electoral maps, or the author's breakdown of the 2006 Congressional elections, or more fun with international socio-economic cartograms as well as the World Mapper.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Communicating with Geography: The Siegfried Feller Collection of Map Postcards

In one of my first posts, wherin I attempted to define what I mean by "cartophilia", I gave credit to Siegfried Feller for contributing to my interest in map memorabilia. Mr. Feller published a "zine" called Cartomania; all about map postcards and other memorabilia. I subscribed to that zine for several years.

Today I recieved a comment on that post (the FIRST comment on my blog... woo hoo!):

Indeed Siegfried Feller edited his wonderfully eclectic newsletter, Cartomania, from 1986 to its final issue in the Fall of 1999. His collection of over 10,000 map postcards, trade cards, matchbooks, T-shirts and more was recently given to the Harvard Map Collection. The collection is now being rehoused for preservation purposes and an exhibit of a selection of these items will open this month at the Harvard Map Collection.

David Cobb, Curator
Harvard Map Collection

Indeed! From the Harvard Map Collection website:

December 5–January 18

Communicating with Geography: The Siegfried Feller Collection of Map Postcards

Highlights from a recent gift to the Map Collection of more than 10,000 map postcards. The collection, a gift from Siegfried Feller, includes both new and used postcards and is international in scope.

Thank you, Mr. Cobb! I wish I could be in Massachusetts to visit the exhibit.

After additional "googling" of Mr. Feller, I have also discovered that he is a retired librarian from the University of Massachusetts. Another delightful coincidence. I would love to meet him one day.

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Amazing Mazes

The San Francisco Chronicle proudly announces that the Dixon Corn Maze (in Dixon, California), 40 acres in size, has been certified as the largest in the world by Guinness World Records.

Far be it from me to argue with Guinness... but just looking at the aerial views, I still say Tom's Maze, near Germantown (and Dayton), Ohio, is still the best maze ever!

Unlike most corn mazes, Tom doesn't just plant a few acres of corn, then cut a path through it. He plans the entire maze in the Spring on a grid, then plants it that way! You not only have fun getting lost, but you are also solving a giant puzzle as you wander through.

Speaking of Guinness World Records, the world's largest permanent hedge maze is the Peace Maze at Castlewellan Forest Park, County Down, Northern Ireland