Friday, May 29, 2009

HelpPoint for Kids

Somehow, playing a sort of online golf game on HelpPoint for Kids will raise money for children's charities.

Unfortunately, the only way to raise this money is for me, and 18 of my close personal friends, to give some insurance company our contact info. No thanks. But the golf ball globe is very cool!

If anyone actually registers and can report back, please post in the comments.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Under the Sea

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?

Under the sea, under the sea
Darling it's better down where it's wetter
Take it from me
Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away
While we're devoting full time to floating
Under the sea, ha ha...

The race is on to see who can reap the most wealth from under the world's oceans. Suddenly there is a scramble to lay claim to the ocean's bed. According to The Economist, the deadline for claiming your share of the ocean floor was May 13.
The rules for this carve-up derive from the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. These gave all countries that had ratified the treaty before May 13th 1999 ten years in which to claim any extension of their continental shelf beyond the normal 200 nautical miles (370km).
(The United States is not a signatory to this treaty.)

In addition to the expected conflicts over Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean claims, a new "cold" war may be in the making for the Arctic Ocean. In 2007, Russia planted a flag under the North Pole. Meanwhile, Canada is telling the rest of the world, Hands Off! "The message is simple: This isn't an unclaimed wasteland. It's active, it's a home - and it's ours."

Possibly conflicting claims in the Arctic Ocean.

Via Kelso’s Corner

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Friday, May 22, 2009

NPR Road Trips

National Public Radio has correspondents all over the world who tell stories about the people and places they cover. Many of the best of these stories have been collected on a series of CDs titled NPR Road Trips.

NPR Road Trips: Postcards from Around the Globe: Stories That Take You Away:
Meet Colin Angus and Julie Wafael, who spent two years circumnavigating the globe using theirhands and feet. Turn on the radio in Katmandu and hear music from the 70s. Learn how robot jockeys are solving a human rights problem in Dubai. (It has to do with camel races.) Join in the wild festivities of Carnival in Rio. And walk through old Beijing before it’s demolished for high-rise development.
Includes introduction by Noah Adams.

Map postcards for the ears?

Also available:
NPR Road Trips: Roadside Attractions
NPR Road Trips: National Park Adventures

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maps on Stamps

When I started this blog, nearly two years ago, my intention was to highlight my own scattered collections of map memorabilia. In fact, I have scanned many map postcards from my collection, as well as shirts, mugs, Christmas ornaments, advertising, etc. However, the one thing I haven't covered yet, in spite of being the first thing mentioned in my masthead, is stamps. I have a small collection (compared to serious stamp collectors) of stamps featuring maps. Unfortunately, I have not got around to scanning them.

However, this morning, while searching for something else (a simple way to compare the area of states and countries) I came across this image of a Mexican stamp, issued in 1977, to mark the resumption of diplomatic relations between Mexico and Spain:

On his website, Dan of Dan's Topical Stamps, points out that here is a difference in scale between Mexico and Spain. If Mexico were drawn to the same scale as Spain, it would be about four times larger. While it might have been a geographically correct stamp, it might not have been politically correct, nor as aesthetically pleasing.

While browsing through Dan's Topical Stamps, I found several other interesting map stamps.

Here is a drawing of Gandhi caricatured as India:

A Dutch stamp with a Frisian cow whose spots are maps of European countries, including the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland and Italy:

The first postal map stamp issued by the United States was issued in 1904 to commemorate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase:

Hopefully in the next few months I'll get around to sharing some of my own map stamps.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Tibetan Monks and Mandalas

All last week, a group of Tibetan Buddhist Monks from Drepung Gomang Monastic College in India, were at the Dayton Metro Library creating a sand mandala.

The finished product:

with a MAP of sorts in the center:

and, as Buddhism teaches, all things are impermanent. After it was finished they swept up all the sand, carried it out of the library and spread it on the river.

More photos here, here and here.

UPDATE 5/20: Ron created this video showing some of the detail work:


Friday, May 15, 2009

3-D Aerial View of Manhattan

Beautiful aerial view of Manhattan in 3-D from Pixelcase. Zoom in and rotate, along with spacey music.

Via Kelso’s Corner



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Geography of Despair

Does it suck to be in Kentucky?

U.S. Mood Map: Kentucky Saddest, Hawaii Gladdest? from National Geographic News:

A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through telephone surveys, asked American adults about their mental health.
This county-by-county map shows the percentages of residents who reported "frequent mental distress" (FMD)—defined as 14 or more days of emotional discomfort, including "stress, depression and problems with emotion," during the previous month. Three days of mental distress is considered average, the researchers say.
The bad news is that Kentucky had the highest level of frequent mental distress. It doesn't look so good for West Virginia or Mississippi either, but they say life is good in Hawaii.

HT to Gwen

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Map Bookshelf

Exhibition, just missed at Timothy Taylor Gallery in New York, work by Ron Arad:

I don't think I even have a single wall in my home long enough to accommodate this bookshelf. Maybe I could get a copy of the Midwest...

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Red and Blue Stem Cell Divide

In Salon today: Stem cell division By Peter Dizikes. "The growing blue state-red state gap over this research shows that science has serious economic and political muscle in America today."

Illustration includes red and blue cells, divided, on a map of the United States.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lost Highways

In Michigan I grew up less than a mile from Dixie Highway, a four lane thoroughfare running through the Township. As a kid, I thought it funny that our highway was named for a Civil War song... It wasn't until many years later that I understood that this was just one part of a series of roads and highways connecting the Midwest with the South; from Sault St. Marie all the way to Miami.

The Dixie Highway
was part of the National Auto Trail; an attempt in the early days of automobiles to connect state roads and highways into an cross-county system. It was first proposed in 1914, and was planned, built and expanded from 1915 to 1927 by the Dixie Highway Association, a group of individuals, businesses, local, and state governments. The route was marked with signs, sometimes painted on trees and telephone poles. The symbol for the highway was a red stripe.

The highway was inspired by the success of another inter-state highway, the Lincoln Highway, connecting Times Square in New York City with Lincoln Park in San Francisco.

Dozens of these named highways were developed all over the country. Eventually, they were superseded by the U.S. Highway and later the Interstate Highway systems. Some of the roads that were the Dixie Highway, became US-25 and I-75.

Very little remains of these "Lost Highways". Many states still have roads named Dixie Highway. Here in Ohio there remain two stretches that run north and south of Dayton. For those interested in tracing the paths of these old National Auto Trails can purchase a copy of this poster published by Mark R. Everhart:

"Lost Highways"
depicts 48 major Named Auto Trails along with their corresponding pole marker signs on a full-color 22.5” X 28” poster on smooth 80# stock. Below is some of detail of the poster showing Michigan and Ohio, criss-crossed by named highways, including Dixie, Lincoln and the National Road:

The Lincoln Highway, previously on Cartophilia

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Friday, May 8, 2009

A Rebel in Siam

Showing off the latest addition to my map postcard collection:

It's not very clear what year this antique map was made, but no matter. It shows parts of what is now Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma and China. All areas underrepresented in my collection.

It was sent to me by "Rebel", an American (or Aussie?) blogging from Thailand: Rebel's Work In Progress - Thailand Edition!
After spending my post-college decade stuck in unfulfilling office jobs, I decided to strike out and see the world. First stop - Thailand.

Thanks, Rebel, for pausing to send this postcard!

UPDATE 5/14: Rebel tells me that she is "American as apple pie... you know the kind you get in a little cardboard box at McDonalds. ;)"

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

The YouTube River flows into the Google Ocean

Article today on about how Google will incorporate YouTube into it's new social networking initiatives.

YouTube River Diverted Into The Google Social Ocean As Well, accompanied by this metaphorical graphic:

Can anyone identify the location of this satellite image?

HT to Hunter

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Photocartographies: Exhibit in LA

Photocartographies: Tattered Fragments of the Map

At the g727 gallery, Los Angeles, California, May 16 - July 3, 2009.
Photography and cartography are entwined in similar processes of subject orientation that structure our experience of social, environmental and virtual landscapes. A map is not a representation so much as a system of propositions. This project reveals mapping itself as a generative process of knowledge creation, a liberatory method for re-imagining and re-imaging our world, its built and natural environments, and the relationship between space and place.

In other words. Maps in art is cool...


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Maddow Map Room

Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC political commentator and Air America radio personality, has opened The Maddow Map Room. The site is a collection of links to maps, infographics and primary documents to supplement the viewing of the Rachel Maddow Show.

Among the news related map links is this map of Taliban Presence in the Islamabad Region from the Long War Journal:


Pizza Box Diplomacy

High School students on a trip to Costa Rica, created their own homemade Diplomacy game board out of a pizza box.

From the Practical Leadership blog, via Boing Boing.

Diplomacy is the classic game of negotiation. With incredibly simplistic movement mechanics players can only win by negotiating with other players, forming and breaking alliances.

Previously on Cartophilia: The Rubicon of a Diplomacy Player

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Monday, May 4, 2009


Kidlandia is offering personalized fantasy maps, perfect for a kid's bedroom wall:

Type in the kid's name, names of family members, friends, pets, favorite food, etc. and create a unique art gift. The online map is free, posters can be purchased.

HT to Matt


Ringworld Manhattan

Several people sent this one to me:

Here & There is a map of Manhattan looking uptown from 3rd and 7th, and downtown from 3rd and 35th. It puts the viewer simultaneously above the city and in it where she stands, both looking down and looking forward.

Of course, science fiction fans immediately think of Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama:

and Larry Niven's Ringworld:

Television's Babylon 5 also took place inside a circular space station:

and video game fans can't help but think of Halo (a blatant rip-off of Ringworld):

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Disunited States of America

We just can't stop talking about Texas Secession. [Secession, previously on Cartophilia.]

This got me thinking about all of the other Secessionist Movements currently going on in this country. During the 2008 Presidential Election, there was some hubub surrounding Todd Palin (husband of the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin) and whether or not he was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. Citizens of several other states still claim the right to revert to independent status. Vermont and California like to remind everyone that they were an independent republic before they became states, and Hawaii was an independent kingdom before annexation.

What if all these secessionist movements actually succeeded? What might a map of the United States look like?

I created this map based on the Wikipedia list of active autonomist and secessionist movements in the United States. (Click on map for larger view.)
  • Southern Neo-Confederates dream that the South Shall Rise Again! But, the New Black Panther Party envisions a Republic of New Afrika in the southeastern "black belt".
  • Marxist-Leninists in Minnesota have proposed a North Star Republic, made up of Minnnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Who gets the Mackinaw Bridge?
  • Chicano Nationalists have proposed the creation of Aztlán as a homeland for Aztecan people, perhaps in combination with states of northern Mexico.
  • A movement within the Lakota Sioux tribe is calling for a reassertion of sovereignty over thousands of square miles in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The Republic of Lakotah would be completely surrounded by the remaining United States.
  • The Republic of Cascadia is the dream of a group of environmentalists in the Pacific Northwest. This new nation would include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, British Columbia and the Alaskan panhandle. Proponents of this movement hope to counter what they see as "improper stewardship" of the land. Would this lead to an underground Lumberjack Liberation Front?
  • The narrow strip of what will be left of the "United States" would run from New Jersey to San Francisco.
All of these secessionist appear undeterred by the bloodshed and heartache the last time states tried go it alone.

If these secessionist dreams come true, perhaps no one will be more pleased than Professor Igor Panarin, who has made a career in Russia predicting the disunion of the United States.

Also, previously in Cartophilia:

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