Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Your in a Good Pool with Allstate

In this same July/August 2009 issue of The Atlantic magazine I mentioned last week, I came across this advertisement from Allstate Insurance:

The text copy that ran with the ad basically says, "Hey, don't just regulate us. If your going to regulate us, regulate everyone."

Whatever. I just like the illustration.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Origins 2009

I spent three days in Columbus, Ohio, last week at the Origins Game Fair, the second largest gaming convention in North America. (See comments about last year's event.)

This year, I came across a bonus map. It's a game... AND a map postcard!

Against the Odds is a magazine about war games. This postcard is an actual min-wargame. Cut out the pieces, and the rules are on the back. This game re-enacts the famous Morgan's Raid of the American Civil War.

In 1863, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan led one of the few raids into Union states, by riding over 1000 miles through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, before being captured trying to escape across the Ohio River. This game offers the player to try alternate routes through Ohio.

Another postcard game is Showtime Hanoi, a little game about bombing raids during the Vietnam War.

In addition to board games and war games, role playing gamers and LARPers. In the Exhibitor's Hall, role players can buy costumes, including this tooled leather map corset... Wear this and you'll encourage cartophiles to explore...


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Long Island the 51st State?

More on secession:

Last week, The Daily Show reported on yet another secession movement in the United States: Long Island.

Secession is a big word for these intelligent revolutionaries.

More here, here and here.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

The Ignorant View of the World

I saw this cartoonish map on BuzzFeed the other day, but had not intended to blog about it:

Since I could not determine the source of the map, I could not decide if the author was being ignorant or ironic.

But then today a friend sent this one to me, and decided I am now seeing a theme...

I think someone is trying to suggest that U.S. Americans are a bit ignorant of geography.

Tell that to Eric Yang!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Little Miami Scenic Trail - Part 2

Earlier this month, Mrs. Cartophiliac and I set out to bicycle the Little Miami Scenic Trail before the end of the summer. Today we completed the second leg today: Yellow Springs to Xenia (actually Xenia to Yellow Springs and back again); 20 miles.

More pleasantly flat former railroad right-of-way.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

How to Fix the World

The July/August 2009 issue of The Atlantic magazine is "The Ideas Issue": How to Fix the World

Ideas include: Privatize the seas, welcome guest workers, scrap the vice presidency, teach teens to drink and buy a better quality super glue.

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Google Maps Loves Gina

Someone loves Gina so much, he left a message that can only be seen from space...

Via @PostSecret



3,033 States

Matt Maldre promises a new idea every weekday at spudart.org. Here's one of his ideas: What if we deleted all of the state boundaries and instead, let each county be a state?

Of course, that would mean 6,066 members of the Senate, and a minimum of 3,033 members of the House of Representatives... Where would they all meet? I suppose they could meet at the Nationals Park... in the off-season or when the baseball team is on the road...


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Henry Hudson 400

2009 marks the 400th anniversary of explorer Henry Hudson's voyage to what is now New York City. His exploration up the Hudson River laid the claim for the Dutch colony of New Netherland and the town of New Amsterdam.

The Henry Hudson 400 Foundation, a joint effort by New York and Amsterdam, has created a bilingual website to commemorate the event, including an interactive map to retrace Hudson's famous voyages:

Previously on Cartophilia: Manhattan Euro

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Geography Place Mat

Teach your children geography while they eat their breakfast cereal with this map placemat:

From Crocodile Creek.

Via Wired's Geek Dad


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tonka Map

Eighteen years or so, back when I lived in Michigan and our (now 20-year-old) babies were only toddlers, my very good friend, M--, and her family visited our home. They ended up leaving a boy's shirt behind:

What a great shirt! A Tonka truck and map motif. I always thought we'd get the shirt back to them, but not too long after that, we moved to Ohio. So, into my collection it went. Thanks to Facebook, M-- and I are back in touch.

Do your want your shirt back? I don't think it will fit...


Monday, June 15, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking City

This weekend I was back to Michigan for some family stuff. Coincidentally, on the road I was listening to The KunstlerCast podcast that I had just downloaded to my ipod a week or so ago. In this particular podcast, James Howard Kunstler gave a virtual walking tour of Detroit, Michigan, using Google Street View.

Since I was already very familiar with many of the sights and landmarks he noted, I did not need to see the Google views to appreciate the podcast, but I think it is terrific combination of two popular (and free) technologies. I hope he does more of this.

The Kunstlercast is a weekly podcast "about the tragic comedy of suburban sprawl" and other urban issues. Another recent topic was President Obama's high-speed rail proposals. Kunstler describes himself as "one of the world's loudest critics of suburban sprawl and the impending fossil fuel shortage."

Sunday evening, after returning home, while catching up on map blogs, I came across this one from The Map Scroll: The Shrinking of Detroit.

In the last 50 years, the population of Detroit has lost more than half of its population. "About 30% of Detroit is now vacant land — about 40 square miles, by one estimate. Forty square miles is roughly the size of San Francisco."

In an article, posted last week, The Telegraph notes that several U.S. cities, including Detroit and Flint, are dealing with vacant houses by tearing them down and creating new "green space".

Will Urban Agriculture be the next step?


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Thursday, June 11, 2009


Via The Electoral Map via FamousDC

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Daytonology North

Last month, in a post about Lost Highways, I wrote about the National Road and the Dixie Highway as part of the national road system prior to the numbered U.S. Highways and Interstates.

The Daytonology blog has posted a brief history of transportation routes north from Dayton as part of a series of articles discussing development of Vandalia and other points North.

Maps include rivers, canals, railroads and highways.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inflated Washington

Another take on Saul Steinberg’s famous 1976 New Yorker cover, The World As Seen From New York’s 9th Avenue, an "inflated view" of Washington D.C.:

"Ruben Bolling" is the pseudonym of the author of Tom the Dancing Bug, the long running comic that appears in Salon.com. While the message is no less true today, this comic appeared in 1999!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lego Globe

Kohsuke Kawaguchi, staff engineer at Sun Microsystems, used a LEGO CAD software to design, then build a Lego Globe:

[T]his globe is fully filled inside without any empty space. I built 8 pieces of 6x6x5 brick (because of the dimensions of a lego brick, this is the perfect cube), with 3 1x4 brick with studs on the side, so that when assembled together, the resulting cubic core has studs in all the directions. I'm actually not quite happy with the result, as many of the distinctive northern hemisphere coastal shapes are no longer visible, but Africa and South America are still quite recognizable.
He's already working on an even bigger one!

HT to Lance!


Island Girl

"George Washingmachine" is a jazz musician from Australia (check out his music samples... good stuff!). He also dabbles in map art and he sent me a sample:

I'm yet to work on a specific 'art of mine' web site. I've been doing Island girls for a little while, had an exhibition earlier in the year in my home town of Sydney. The Island girls were a little while in development. But cheese cake poses from the 40's & 50's are perfect.
Beautiful women... maps... what else do you need?

Thanks, George!

Post #400! Woo hoo!


Friday, June 5, 2009


An oldie-but-goodie from The Onion, October 2, 1996:

U.S. Ambassador to Bulungi Suspected of Making the Country Up

WASHINGTON, DC—Chad Halpern, U.S. Ambassador to the West African nation of Bulungi since 1994, has been asked to return to Washington to face allegations that the country does not exist.

"I want to stress that nothing has been substantiated as of yet," President Clinton told reporters at a press conference Monday. "But there is a possibility that Ambassador Halpern made the country up."

Read the rest...

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

General Failure

The Detroit News has created an interactive map that shows just how far reaching is the impact of the General Motors bankruptcy:

From factories and dealers to parts suppliers and retirees. Nearly every state will be effected. Additional maps show data on Canada, Mexico and other parts of the world.

Via The Electoral Map


Bicycling the Little Miami Scenic Trail

Mrs. Cartophiliac and I are pleased to announce the newest addition to our family... bicycles!

Neither of us have done a lot of bicycling since our teenage and young adult years. We are not serious bicyclists, and these bikes are not for serious biking. We just like to toodle around town. Last week, during Memorial Day Weekend, we visited family on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, near St. Louis. So, we took the bikes with us and tried them out on the Mississippi flats (the flood plain). Seventeen miles altogether (there and back). No small feat for an old, out of shape cartophile.

And of course, we had to map our route!

This novice bicyclist also discovered something... the "flats" are not completely "flat". It was noticeably more difficult to ride "upstream" than down. Well, duh. Even on a large river, there's a reason the water flows downstream, there is a slight change in elevation.

Nevertheless, Mrs. Cartophiliac and I were inspired to continue our adventure by attempting to cover the entire Little Miami Scenic Trail here in Ohio. Designated Ohio Bike Route #1. Primarily created along the right-of-way of the old Little Miami Railroad:
The Little Miami Scenic Trail is over 78 miles long. The trail starts at Springfield in Clark County. From there the trail runs South through Yellow Springs and Xenia in Greene County. Then the trail travels through Corwin, Oregonia, Morrow, Foster in Warren County, Loveland, Milford in Clermont County and Terrace Park in Hamilton County...
The trail ends just short of the Ohio River, but there are plans to extend it.

So, our summer project is to complete the trail. On Sunday we road from Yellow Springs, up to Springfield (the northern terminus of the trail) and back. Twenty miles or thereabouts. Then made up for all the calories burnt with a pitcher of Abita's Purple Haze at Peaches Grill. A good day.

This time, we made sure the first leg of the ride was "uphill" before returning "downstream".

I'll keep you informed of our progress... with maps.

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Monday, June 1, 2009


Say Hello to Mapumental:

"Mapumental is the culmination of an ambition mySociety has had for some time - to take the nation’s bus, train, tram, tube and boat timetables and turn them into a service that does vastly more than imagined by traditional journey planners."

A new tool still in "private beta" testing. I'm still not sure what it will all be about, and how far this can go... just watch the video. For more info and updates: Mapumental

Via MegPickard