Friday, January 30, 2009

UK Map: The Naughty Bits

New York Times: No Snickering: That Road Sign Means Something Else, by Sarah Lyall.
In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly if the word “bottom” is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent, doubly cursed because “prat” is slang for buffoon.

As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.
Read the rest...

HT to Pascal


Hand Drawn Map Contest

The Hand Drawn Map Association will be publishing a collection of hand drawn maps with the Princeton Architectural Press. To celebrate and help collect interesting maps for possible inclusion in our upcoming book, they will be running a contest over the next few months.

Submit a hand drawn map to the Association before April 30, 2009, and you may win a "super-limited edition monoprint".

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New World Porter

The last time I bought beer because it had a map on the label, I was less than impressed with the results. However, Mrs. Cartophiliac recently visited Jungle Jim's International Market near Cincinnati, or as she calls it, The Food Museum.

She brought back a special treat for me: a six-pack of New World Porter from Avery Brewing. I found this cartographic beer to be more to my taste.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mapping the 111th Congress offers a nice cartogram of the new congress:

Not suprisingly, most states have some red and some blue. There are nine "all blue" states, and five "all red" states. However, while Oklahoma did allow one congressional district to go blue, the Oklahoma Republican Party was proud to point out, in their e-Christmas card last month, that they were the only state where every county went red for McCain:

HT to Patrick at The Electoral Map

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

xkcd map prints available

The award winning web comic, xkcd (a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language) is offering signed prints, posters and shirts featuring some of their most popular comics.

Offerings include a poster of Online Communities:

And the Map of the Internet:

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Principal Mountains and Rivers

BibliOdyssey regularly posts fascinating and detailed illustrations from old books, magazines and posters from archives. Naturally from time to time they include maps.

Illustration Title: Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers of The World

Publisher: William Darton

Publication Title: 'New and Improved View of the Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers In The World, The whole Judiciously arranged from the various Authorities Extant'.

Author: WR Gardner

Date: 1823
Even better, there's a BibliOdyssey book!

BibliOdyssey: Amazing Archival Images from the Internet

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Show Me Missouri

... on a map postcard!

Why the "Show Me" State? From Wikipedia:
The phrase "I'm from Missouri" means I'm skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced. This is related to the state's motto of "Show Me," whose origin is popularly ascribed to an 1899 speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver, who declared that "I come from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me." However, according to researchers, the phrase was in circulation earlier in the 1890s. According to another story, the phrase was originally a reference to Missouri laborers being brought to Colorado to quell a miner's strike and requiring frequent instruction.

Some of you know of my indoor/arena football fandom. In the nearly ten years I have followed this sport, by and far, the worst team name I have come across has to be the "Show Me Believers", a team that played out of St. Charles. Apparently it is a play on the state slogan and the christian faith of the team owner... By god's mercy, the lame team name lasted only two years.

The saddest news for the sport is that the Arena Football League has chosen to suspend the 2009 season and take a hiatus till 2010. I have very low hopes that this league can successfully restructure and come back with a model for player compensation that won't break the teams.

What's this I see? St Louis is for Lovers! I don't know about that, but I've had some mighty fine brew pub brew.

And look! I have a shirt to go with the map cards. Now I cannot get lost in the state of misery...

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2008 UCF Conference Championships

I have to confess that I am disappointed with this particular match-up the the Super Bowl:

My disappointment has nothing to do with the Steelers or Cardinals. I was just hoping for an All-Pennsylvania Super Bowl. I even made this cool map to commemorate it. If not that, then perhaps a Mason-Dixon Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and one of the Pensylvania teams... Or I would have been happy with a Ravens vs. Cardinals or Eagles... for the first ever All-Bird Super Bowl. But no... we've got the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Arizona Cardinals. Where's the hook? Where's the gimmick?

Oh well, congratulations to both teams. Here's to great Super Bowl game in two weeks!

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Czech Artist Commemorates EU With Stereotypes

Czech artist David Cerny has put together a controversial sculpture to commemorate the European Union. Each country is represented by a stereotype: Romania has Dracula, Sweden has IKEA, France is on strike. Not surprisingly, more than a few countries are less than pleased. For some reason, Bulgaria as a squat toilet left a few Bulgarian art lovers cold... I would be surprised if Germans appreciated the swastika turned autobahn.

Cerny was paid £350,000 for the project.

Reported in several places, notably The Map Room and Boing Boing.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stomp the Gerrymander?

Slate magazine has an article about how mathematics can create reasonably shaped districts and put an end to Gerrymandering. The article includes a slide show of some of the worst offenders. The most ridiculous of them all is the 4th Illinois Congressional District, in Cook County. Actually, if I read the map correctly, the district has to sneak outside of the county, just to connect its norther and southern arms...

Whatever it takes to create a safe district...

Proponents of redistricting reform contend that competitive, geographicaly compact, districts would better serve their constituents. The author points out that it is "tough to find many defenders of the status quo, in which a supermajority of House seats are noncompetitive." That may be true. Unfortunately, the primary defenders of this system can be found in Congress and most of the fifty state-houses...

Via The Map Room

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

George W. Bush's America

The January February Issue of The Atlantic Magazine uses a map of the United States to provide quantifiable changes between 2000 and 2008.

Then and Now: the Bush Years. Click on map for larger image:

Via The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

El Grande

I recently replayed one of my favorite boardgames. In El Grande:
players take on the roles of Grandes in medieval Spain. The king's power is flagging, and these powerful lords are vying for control of the various provinces. To that end, you draft caballeros (knights) into your court and subsequently move them onto the board to help seize control of provinces. After every third turn, the regions are scored, and after the ninth turn, the Grande with the most points is deemed the winner.

The game board is based on medieval Spain. Throughout the game, players take turns sending their Caballeros to the provinces, trying to garner the greatest influence. Intrigue and trickery ensue, as each player tries to outwit the others.

El Grande was the 1996 winner of the Spiel des Jahres and a GAMES Magazine Best Family Strategy Game for 1998. Recently the publishers celebrated the tenth anniversary of the game with a Decennial version, adding additional variants, as well as an opportunity to expand influence into Portugal and the New World Colonies.

Labels: ,

I'm a Twit

So, I recently wrote about (and mocked) the whole Twitter thing. However, enough folks out there assure me it is really cool and fun... so, I'm going to give it a try. If you other Twits out there want to follow my Tweets (I can't believe I'm even writing this) my feed is available at:

In addition, for those of you wasting time like me on Facebook, I have joined Networked Blogs and you can follow my blog there as well.

Hope you all enjoy it.

Knock yerself out.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Scotland Towed

"Every June, Scotland is towed 1000 miles south so it can have a summer. Only 10% of people in Scotland know this."

It's true! Would your Uncle Cartophiliac lie to you?

From Great Lies to Tell Kids by Andy Riley; the somewhat deranged, but very funny author of The Book of Bunny Suicides.

Who doesn't enjoy telling small "tall tales" to kids?... you know, just to mess with their mind...

Other good lies from the book:

"In Denmark, they use bacon as banknotes."

"There used to be a ship in that bottle but it sank."

"Most birds wear parachutes in case they suddenly forget how to fly."

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2008 UCF Divisional Weekend

Down to four NFL teams left.

Once again, my Super Bowl predictions are in the crapper... So, now I'll predict a Pittsburgh v. Philadelphia (All Pennsylvania) Super Bowl.

With my track record that is, of course, the kiss of death.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not an Island

Back in November, I pulled together several map postcards of islands; from Nantucket to Thasos. While sorting postcards, I erroneously put this one in the islands stack:

St. Paul de Vence is of course a commune (city) in the French Alps, but the way the postcard has the hilltop community clipped, it sort of looks like and island... and if you see how it is isolated on the top of this hill, in a way it is an island... sort of...

UPDATE 1/10: When I happened to look at the postcard image in thumbnail form, the first thing I though of was, "It looks like a cut of meat on a bed of greens..." mmmm meat...

Labels: ,

Monday, January 5, 2009

Emily Wicks: The Fifty United States and their Mottos

Emily Wick has posted her linocuts and paintings on her "Two Eyeballs Galleries", including the beautifully cartographic The Fifty States and Their Mottos,a composite of 50 individual linocuts:

From the artist's statement:
I began making linoleum prints in 2003 and began studying classical realism under master painter David Hardy in 2006. I like to carve lino blocks while I am relaxing. I enjoy painting so I can slow down and learn this ancient magical trade of optical illusions. Seeing Things Differently to see a new world is my purpose: both imagination AND reality are important ingredients.
In addition, Emily Wick is a filmmaker and blogs about food!

Posters, original linocuts, and T-Shirts are also available.

HT to Orange!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 UCF Wildcard Weekend

Last week I introduced the end-of-2008 NFL season United Countries of Football map:

I am Indianapolis Colts fan, and was disappointed that they lost on Saturday and will not go forward. I found I had an unusual basis for the teams I rooted for on Sunday. As you can see on the map above, I made some poor choices of colors. I gave the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens the same shade of purple, and I gave the San Diego Chargers and the Miami Dolphins similar shades of orange! What if the wrong teams win and their colors mix, or I have to change colors? Thanks to the Eagles and the Ravens, that is no longer a problem...

Now I have each team with a unique color. I am predicting a blue and blue Super Bowl this year, Tennessee Titans v. New York Giants... we'll see... I'm usually very wrong.

I should have taken map color advice from John Krygier's book, Making Maps.


Labels: , , ,