Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2008: The Year in Political Geography

Patrick Ottenhoff's political geography blog, The Electoral Map, was my favorite site this past year for electoral maps, county voting projections, and interesting commentary.

Here, he has pulled together a mappish Year in Review for 2008:

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Napkin Airline Route Map

The Back of the Napkin Blog points out that Southwest Airlines is the only airline to publish their route map on a cocktail napkin:

I can only presume that is true. Any frequent fliers out there with other napkin maps?

On their site, Southwest Airlines offers a flash-based Interactive Route Map. Click on a city, and the map draws lines to the other cities...

HT to Pascal


Friday, March 27, 2009

NCAA College Basketball Tourney Map

Today, U.S. college basketball is in the middle of the "Sweet Sixteen" round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. I'm not really much of a BBall fan, but I'll usually watch a little bit of the tourney.

Want to see the geographic distribution of teams in the tournament? Here is a closeup of a portion of the full 64 team map published on billsportsmaps.com:

Bill (I presume that is his name) has produced multiple maps showing the shrinking field on contestants as the tournament progresses.

It's not exactly a United Countries of Basketball (see United Countries of Football), but it's good fun.

billsportsmaps.com has many other sports related maps, showing the locations of American baseball and football teams as well as European and South American football (soccer) teams.


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sitcom Maps

What was the fictional locale of your favorite TV sitcom? New York City? Milwaukee? Reno? Cocoa Beach?

Dan Meth, as a part of his series of Popular Culture Charts will help you find them on his U.S.A. Sitcom Map:

There are, of course, a disproportionate number of sitcoms that take place in New York City (although they were probably filmed in Hollywood, California):

I'm guessing that perhaps chart #5 will be a map of Southern California?

UPDATE 4/7: UK TV Series Map at meish.org

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Walk Inside a Globe

From Curious Expeditions:
It is a singular experience. No where else on earth can you see, well, earth. Not like this at least; earth the way it really looks, without distortion. As you walk down along the walkway, bathed in a soft blue light from the back-lit stained-glass surrounding you everything sounds strange; you can hear your own breathing as if it was someone else right up against your ear.
D & M are talking about the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, headquarters of the Christian Science Monitor.

The Mapparium consists of backlit stained glass in a room three stories tall. Look up and you can see the North Pole:

The map is of course frozen in time. It was built in 1935 and reflects the pre-WWII, colonial world, but the library has an an ongoing exhibit highlighting the construction, history, and significance of the Mapparium and the changes the world has seen since that time.

I was in Boston only four years ago! How did I not know about this? It will be at the top of my list if I ever get back.

More photos from Curious Expeditions and from the MBE Library.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inflated China

Saul Steinberg’s famous 1976 New Yorker cover, The World As Seen From New York’s 9th Avenue, has inspired yet another "inflated view":

"How China sees the world" from the March 21, 2009, issue of The Economist.

For more detail, see Strange Maps

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Catan Germany and Rome

Klaus Teuber is the inventor of the award winning board game,
Settlers of Catan, first published in 1995 in Germany by Kosmos and later in the United States by Mayfair Games. While this game uses a map, it is a very simple hex grid on an imaginary island. The hex pieces are rearranged each game, but the shape is generally the same, and non-distinct...

However, in 2006, Tueber released the first in a planned series of Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome. This game uses the basic Catan mechanic (collect and trade resources, expand your holdings) on a map of Western Europe:

Last year he released Catan Geographies: Germany. Based on a map of Germany (designed by Michale Menzel), this game still uses trade, building, and settlement, and allows you to build famous German landmarks such as the 'Brandenburg Gate' or the 'Dresdner Dom'. Intended as a family game to learn an celebrate German geography and history.

It will be interesting to see if Tueber will continue these series with other historical scenarios or countries. Catan: Conquests of Napoleon? Catan: American Civil War? Catan: China? The possibilities are endless.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Ken Jennings is the greatest champion in the history of the game show, Jeopardy!. I recently read his book, Brainiac, which tells not only the story of his amazing run on the show, but also explores the history of trivia, game shows, and today's trivia culture, including College Bowl and trivia night at your local tavern.

On his blog yesterday, Ken announced that he is writing a book about me! OK, not just me... but the whole map-lover subculture.

I new a smart guy like that would also be interested in maps.

Ken Jennings previously on Cartophilia.

HT to The Map Room


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cuervo Nation

Recently, This American Life, the NPR weekly program of essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage, re-ran a program from 2002, Plan B. "There's the thing you plan to do, and then there's the thing you end up doing. Most of us start off our lives with some Plan A which we abandon... switching to a Plan B, which becomes our life."

Act One. "It's Another Tequila Sunrise", was narrated by John Hodgeman, who started the story about "Cuervo Man" by mentioning that José Cuervo Tequila had purchased an island in the Carribbean (British Virgin Islands), and renamed it "Cuervo Nation". "They applied to the UN for independent statehood, they encouraged U.S. citizens to defect... they even tried to field an Olympic volleyball team. The whole things was a bold experiment in advertising via nation building."

My ears pricked up on that one. Cartophilia is always interested in imaginary countries and micronations. I had to find a map! The José Cuervo website for the Cuervo Nation opens with an animation of an airliner flying past Gin Island, and the boring Vodka Island, on its way to Cuervo Nation:

Followed by a satelite map of the island.

I've never been a big tequila drinker, nor do I hang out in the kind of bars that Cuervo Man might have frequented, so I missed out on this whole experiment in nation building. Thanks to NPR for bringing me up to date.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Facebook World

Facebook seems to be in the news often lately. What this means, of course is that the Baby-Boomers and other "old folks" have found it. Much to the chagrine of the kids... Heh! You kids! You stay off my lawn!

I always enjoy finding a logo or graphic that incorporates a map. This one appeared next to a Facebook ad. "Help Facebook connect the world. Invite friends to keep in touch on Facebook using any one of our 35 languages."

You can follow this blog on Facebook, if you are so inclined.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Inflated Britain

Add this to the inflated views file.

Last month, The Earth is Square blog reminded me of this map, that I first saw on Strange Maps.

The Tory Atlas of the World (warning, details of this map are not politically correct):

You will need to click on this image to view the larger version (in order to catch all the detail).

Chad at EIS did not identify the source, however SM remembers it from a book published by the Spitting Image satirical British television program during the 1980s. This map was making farce of the Thatcher régime, and a nationalistic-right-wing-British-centric view of the world.


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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Science and the Global Squeeze

In the current global recession, scientists must learn how to tighten their belts...

Nature, February 19, 2009, "Recession Watch: How to survive the recession".

"The global economic downturn brings both predicament and promise. How will science fare and what role should scientists play on the long road back to recovery and growth? Ten of the world's leading thinkers and practitioners provide analysis, experience and advice."

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Flounder Lee: US 1783 to 1894 720p

Big Car at the Murphy Art Center, Indianapolis, Indiana.

March 6: A Music and Video Experiment, featuring video art and experimental music

Big Car's First Friday show for March will feature a bevy of local, regional, national and international video and sound artists... including local artist Flounder Lee (featured previously on Cartophilia). Lee will be featuring a map related video:

So, I asked him, "Am I reading it correctly that the red bits represent Native American reservations? or is that the yellow? and if so what are the red?"

His reply:
The red parts are where there was either multiple tribes that turned over land to the US at different times, or where the US claimed land but then tribes signed a treaty later finally actually releasing it. The yellow is just land that has not been turned over to the US yet or has been turned over and then back as in reservations. The blue is the US. For some reason I can't get it to upload in HD, it looks really nice when it does because the pieces move a lot. They are cowboys and Indians. Not sure if that is clear from the smaller youtube video. I pulled all the data from these out of the library of congress report in the year 1897. There is a lot of detail that is missed due to the resolution of plastic toys :) They represent a lot of area each.

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