Friday, February 27, 2009

United States Pie

I can always count on to provide illustrations making clever use of maps.

This is not George Bush's budget by Mike Madden discusses how "President Obama's first budget marks a sea change from the past eight years."

If you have comments about the content of the article, or your opinions about the President's budget or the stimulus package... take them to Salon. I just want to talk about the great map illustration...

Have some pie?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nessantico in A Magic of Twilight

I am currently reading A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle by S. L. Farrell. George R. R. Martin has called it Farrell’s "best yet, a delicious melange of politics, war, sorcery, and religion in a richly imagined world."

Whenever I read a fantasy novel in a "richly imagined world", one of the first things I look for is a map of the imaginary world. Following the acknowledgements, I was pleased to find this map:

But wait! There's more! I turned the page to find these two maps:

And finally, not three, but four maps:

Each map zooms in on the city of Nessantico, providing a useful guide to this detailed setting. Very helpful. No fantasy author should be allowed to publish without some sort of map in their book!

I have enjoyed other books I've read by Farrell, most notably, Dark Waters Embrace (writing under the name, Stephen Leigh).


If that wasn't enough, I just noticed a detail on the book cover illustration (blown up below) by Todd Lockwood. The throne room in Nessantico City includes a globe!


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Secret Atlas

Being a member of the of the Royal Cartographer's family can be a dangerous job. Not only do you draw the maps, but you must do the exploration as well. In Michael A. Stackpole's latest fantasy series, starting with the A Secret Atlas, the author tells the story of this family, and the wealth and power that their secret knowledge brings. Unfortunately, their explorations uncover new discoveries that can bring chaos to their King's realm...

These fantasy novels appear to offer a new kind of magic. I especially like the title of the second book, Cartomancy. Yes, there IS magic in maps... I'm sure the story is quite gripping. I'm just not sure I can wade into yet another fantasy series to find out. If you've read it, please let me know how it was...

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Why are we changing maps?

"You can't do this."

"Why not?"

"Because it's freaking me out."

Via Eric at Following the Equator

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Be My Cartographic Valentine 2009

Be my Cartographic Valentine:

Alison Murray Whittington

UPDATE 2/14: And now I can reveal this this print is also the Valentines Day gift to Mrs. Cartophiliac.

Zero Per Zero

Two Writing Teachers

Eric Rasmussen

More aerial photo valentines at Damn Cool Pics.

Be My Cartographic Valentine 2008

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. A few maps in commemoration:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site:

The Route of Abraham Lincoln's Funeral Train:

The Lincoln Highway:

"Now he belongs to the ages" -- Edwin Stanton

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Milky Way Transit Authority

Samuel Arbesman is a researcher at Harvard Medical School, and an amateur astral transportation cartographer... His interest in astronomy and transit maps has led him to create this fanciful Milky Way Transit Authority map:

Our galaxy is unimaginably vast, and we really have no idea what is out there. We are discovering new planets in other star systems all the time, learning new facts about the galactic core, and even learning about whole new portions of the galaxy. This map is an attempt to approach our galaxy with a bit more familiarity than usual and get people thinking about long-term possibilities in outer space. Hopefully it can provide as a useful shorthand for our place in the Milky Way, the 'important' sights, and make inconceivable distances a bit less daunting.
Arbesman's page also includes links to several other idea-based transit maps, some that I hadn't seen before, such as modern music and creative and important people in history.

Gracias to Señora Cartophiliac, La Gringissima, for the tip.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Map Scroll

The Map Scroll is a new map blog (January 2009) with an emphatic Mission Statement: "You know what you need? A blog that updates with one new bitchin map every goddamn day." The blog's author, "Chachy B. Terwilliger", is doing just that. Every day he has posted a map, some I've seen before, some new; but each of them has been interesting. For instance:

The Greatest Journeys Ever:

The Skin Color Map:

and the Place of the Week: Pitcairn Islands

I admire Chachy's persistence. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep up the pace... but one way or the other I look forward to his next post.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Interimaginational Institute for Fantastical Exploration & Cartography

Alison Murray Whittington is the Chief Mapmaker at The Interimaginational Institute for Fantastical Exploration & Cartography, her Etsy shop, where she offers prints and original map art and illustrations.
Strike out on fantastic journeys through imagination! Search for treasure and excitement! Inked with dip pens and illuminated with watercolor, each of these maps is a wonderful navigation tool for explorers, pirates, storytellers, map lovers, and adventurers of all ages.
Here we see the Land of Many Tales:

Just what every traveler needs... a definitive map of fairy tale land. (This is my first map with locations that I did not create but I assure you, all sources are in the public domain.) With this map, you can navigate your way across the landscape of traditional fairy tales and stories and perhaps come up with a few new stories of your own.

Stop in for a cup of tea with the seven dwarves, peek through the window at Sleeping Beauty, snack on cookies at the home of Red Riding Hood's grandma, visit the Marquis de Carabas and his faithful aide, Puss-in-Boots, and climb up Jack's Beanstalk (this one being a newly grown beanstalk, naturally, since Jack chopped the first one down. While you're reading the small print, please use appropriate safety gear when climbing any beanstalks).
Follow Alison's adventures in "paint and ink" at her blog or on Twitter.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sporcle Risk

Sporcle, the online trivia quiz site, has posted a Risk Quiz. Can you name all of the territories on the Risk game board? I got 100%!

Someone should write a book... "Everything I Know About Geography I Learned from the Game of Risk".

Related posts:
Sporcle: Can you name the most populous US cities?
The Rubicon of a Diplomacy Player

Additional Sporcle Geography Quizzes:

Name the States

Renamed Places

Longest Rivers

Countries of Africa

Countries of Antarctica!

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Steelers Nation

Thanks to the Steelers for winning the Super Bowl. I get to use my Pennsylvania/USA graphic afterall:

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Anthropomorphizing America

Serendipitous map fun today.

On Twitter this morning, @pascal_venier knew I would be amused by this pic posted by @ggatin "Assuming the brain is under the hat?"

This image is on a T-shirt available from BustedTees... which led me to its corollary:

Lest Canadians and Mexicans be offended... the search for these images also led to this YouTube video, "This Country's Getting Dumber":

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