Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Retrospective Part II

Continuing my look back at some of my favorite posts from each month in 2009:


When Al Franken was finally confirmed as Senator from Minnesota, his Stupid Human Trick came to light once again. He can draw all fifty states from memory in under two minutes!


There were many great posts in August, including my delight at being mentioned in a map book, however, I would not be a red-blooded American heterosexual male if I did not choose Mapkini and Curtain as my favorite of the month...


Upon closer inspection, Stephen Von Worley's map of the contiguous United States, visualized by distance to the nearest McDonald's looks a lot like fat globules.


In October we got a look at the path of the Olympic torch on its way to Vancouver, Canada. I thought it reminded me of one of Billy Keane's Family Circus circuitous routes...


In November, I learned that Michigan is not the only state that can be portrayed by the human hand. West Virginia has its own unique way of representing its geography.


Finally, in December I made my own Icosahedron Earth.

I hope you've enjoyed maps as much as I have this past year. As usual, the number of posts fell during December because of non-cartophilic real-life stuff (I recently became re-involved with community theatre... now there is a real time suck), but I have a huge backlog of interesting maps to share with you in 2010. I hope you'll stick with me.

Happy New Year!


Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 Retrospective Part I

As 2009 comes to a close, I'll take a look back at some of the cartographic fun I've had with this blog. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. Following are my favorite posts from each month.


The United States of Football. No one else seems to like them... the only feedback I ever get is from a fan who feels their team's territory has been misdrawn. However, I enjoy making them, so I will continue to create these maps of the United State as the NFL playoffs progress. Since the 2009 season does not end until January 3, you'll have to wait until next month for the first installment.


In February, I found several more examples of Cartographic Valentines, including this map of Terra Romantica by Alison Murray Whittington (that later became Ms. Cartophiliac's valentine).


The stained glass globe at the Mapparium in Boston was a special treat in March.


In April I enjoyed a serendipitous convergence between a library reference question and one of my favorite boardgames with Real Power Grids.


The Teabaggers in Texas could not stop talking about secession in 2009. The very thought of the Kenyan-born Barack Obama as president was just too much to handle. This led me to imagine what the map of the United States might look like if other secessionist movements were able to succeed: The Disunited States of America


In the Spring, Ms. Cartophiliac and I purchased new bicycles and in June we set out on a goal to bicycle the full-length of the Little Miami Scenic Trail before the end of Summer. (We finished in September.)

Part II coming soon.



Thursday, December 24, 2009

NORAD Tracks Santa

NORAD has been tracking Santa Claus since 1955. Why? To make sure they don't accidentally mistake him for a nuclear warhead and shoot him down! That would kind of suck, wouldn't it?

Where is Santa right now? Follow him on NORAD's Santa Tracker:

This screen capture was made when Santa was on his way to Thailand.

Happy Christmas to you all.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

More Springfield, USA

An update to my post about yesterday's 20th Anniversary of the Simpsons.

Cartofan Dan sent me two screen captures that depict a rare map of Springfield on the show. Both are on the wall at Chief Wiggums' Police Department Headquarters:

I had challenged Dan to find some screenshots for me, and he delivered. From Dan:
I did a quick search and found a couple screenshots that show the map shown in the police station in the show (found on the great Simpsons fan website, and also included a map of ancient Constantinople, though these are considerably easier to find and I'm sure you've seen much better.

As for the Springfield- Constantinople connection, Springfield is shown with the very distinct shape of Constantinople's walls and Golden Horn shoreline, and the red line on the Springfield map that seems to be a highway corresponds nicely to the Mese! The Simpsons has always shown a pleasant awareness of history, and I do know many of its writers studied history in their college careers, so this may have been deliberate. If not, it's a nice coincidence.

Thanks, Dan!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have You Hugged Your Planet Today?

The perfect piece of décor for the fashionable cartophile's living room sofa. A real globe but soft. Twelve inches in diameter, accurate and up-to-date. It's the classic Hugg-A-Planet Earth:

For all you Men From Mars, your own Hugg-A-Planet Mars:

Sorry ladies, no Hugg-A-Planet Venus.

HT to Hunter

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Simpsons 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago tomorrow (Dec 17), The Simpsons graduated from a short animated bit on The Tracey Ullman Show to their own series on the fledgling Fox network. Since then, Matt Groening's dysfunctional family has become a pop culture icon.

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson all live in the elusive town of Springfield. Where is Springfield? Scholars have studied this question for years, to no avail. However, the geography of Springfield itself has been carefully charted by Jerry Lerma and Terry Hogan in their Interactive Map of Springfield

Meanwhile, while searching for Simpsons related maps, I found this very strange Simpsons map of Europe:

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Icosahedron Earth

Check out the latest post at Black Maps wherein the Sunshine Superboy goes on about Bucky, Tattoos, and New Cartographic Directions and various attempts to "peel" the Earth and create a flat map with minimal distortion. Among the projections featured is the Dymaxion Map by Buckminster Fuller

Further reading on the topic led me to the Earth Icosahedron* cut-out project found on the Views of the Solar System website:

Click on image for larger view

Within about 15 minutes, I had cut-out and assembled my own Icosahedron Earth:

*Dungeons & Dragons players: Think d20.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Potato Chip World

By the looks of it, someone got bored with their basket of chips at the bar.

Artist Unknown

Potato(e)s previously on Cartophilia

HT to Carol

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Heart of America

Public Option Please advocates for a publicly-funded health insurance program to come out of the current health care reform debate in the United States. The winner of their recent promotional art contest has been announced:

According to the Washington Post:
Amy Martin of Los Angeles, created her striking image of red and blue blood vessels coursing through a map of the United States when she was home sick with the flu, and a few weeks later, organizers said, lost her job and health insurance. “A healthy United States is dependent on healthy American citizens — which is why I presented America as a vulnerable living system.” She’ll spend her $1,000 winnings on insurance premiums, they said.
Via Kelso's Corner

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why Don't We Do It On The Road?

Jennifer Hunt and Dan Baritchi claim to offer "The Best & Most Popular Love and Sex Advice Column on the Internet Today..." So what do you these days, when you have a popular website? Publish a book! (Whatever happened to the Internet replacing the printed word?) Their new book, 1,001 Best Places to Have Sex in America: A When, Where, and How Guide, purports to offer tips to broaden the reader’s "horny horizons".

A careful examination of the cover (which is the extent of the book review you are going to get here) reveals that the best places to have sex are in Georgia, on a desert mesa, on the Golden Gate Bridge, on a water tower, in the Statue of Liberty, on a Ferris Wheel, and at a Drive-In theatre. (Hmm, two out of seven for me...TMI)

I'm not sure I want to know what they do with "hot spot stickers."

Via Breakup Girl

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Fantasy Transit Maps

Aaron M. Renn at Urbanophile offers a collection of Fantasy Transit Maps. Here is one artist's (Michael Tyznik) vision of a subway system for Columbus, Ohio:

You can even buy a poster!

Other Fantasy Transit System cities include Cincinnati, St. Louis, and New Orleans.

Don't we all wish our cities had clean and efficient mass transit systems?

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mexico vs. Great Britain

Sam Hughes likes to write and post Things of Interest. Of interest to me today is The Great British Venn Diagram. This handy diagram helps to clarify (for those who seem to have trouble keeping it straight) the difference between England, Great Britain, the British Isles and the United Kingdom.

Via Catholicgauze, who has created his own diagram to explain Mexico versus Mexico versus Mexico


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fritolaysia Cuts Off Chiplomatic Relations With Snakistan

Breaking News from The Onion:

KARUNCHI, SNAKISTAN—Citing crumbling relations due to years of protracted french-onion diplomacy, the president of the Central Asian doritocracy Fritolaysia withdrew the country's ambassadors from Snakistan Monday.

"We have been supplying the people of Snakistan with pre-packaged consumable goods for over 40 years, and for them to show resistance to our savory products is unacceptable," Fritolaysian President Barbbaku Chedar said, referring to Snakistani officials' unwillingness to adhere to Fritolaysia's zesty new initiative introduced during a between-meals conference at last week's international-trading summit held in München, Germany.

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