Friday, January 29, 2010

Island on a Lake on an Island on a Lake on an Island....

In the Philippines, you can find the world's largest volcanic island on a lake, on a larger island, on a larger lake, on another (bigger) island.

Slideshow available on Treehugger

UPDATE: Josh Calder points me to the World Island Info blog that disputes The Philippines claim to the "largest volcanic island on a lake, on a larger island, on a larger lake, on another (bigger) island." Canada claims the title!

Thanks for the tip, Josh.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

50 Equal States

Tired of little states being over-represented in the Senate? Do you wish that all states had equal electoral vote power in national elections? Neil Freeman at Fake is the New Real has a solution. Redraw all fifty states so that they have relatively equal populations:

Interestingly, the only state that gets to keep most of its original shape is Missouri. Does that mean the Missouri already has the "perfect" population to represent 1/50 of the US population?

Via The Map Room

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Josh Dorman's Topographic Fleurs

Let's take a time out from sports and transit maps to take a look at mapping the soul. I am always drawn to artists who incorporate maps into their work. Josh Dorman often uses maps as an element in his paintings, or as in this case, he paints on the maps:

Four Fleurs
2008 acrylic on antique maps

The antique maps appear to be old United States Geological Survey topographical maps. Why paint on maps?
I collect outdated (pre-photography) textbooks, topographic maps, manuals, and documents. Paper that has lived a life and shows its age compels me to paint. I am intrigued by systems I do not understand and by information that is no longer relevant.
Josh's work is currently on exhibit at the Mary Ryan Gallery in New York. Time Out New York says:
Layering snippets of engraved illustrations redolent of Victorian encyclopedias over yellowing vintage maps, before adding painterly touches in ink and acrylic, Dorman conjures an imaginatively reordered universe teeming with organic and artificial life. Often transforming his topographical grounds into sweeping rural landscapes, he sprinkles each scene with incongruous groupings of flora and fauna, machinery and architecture, achieving a semi-improvised orchestration of multiple diverse parts into something like a symphonic whole.
HT to Kathi Flood


Sunday, January 24, 2010

2009 UCF Conference Championships

Conference Championships this weekend in the United Countries of Football.

Congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. We'll see these two Football "Countries" fight it out in two weeks! Peyton Manning will play against his old "home team" (he was born in New Orleans, and his Dad, Archie Manning, used to play for the Saints).

So, were all these playoffs necessary? At the end of the day, the two teams with the best records in their conference go to the Super Bowl.

My early prediction is that the Colts will win another Super Bowl. But good on the Saints for finally making it to the big game.


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

History of Vietnam in Maps

"Curzon", one of the contributors to the always interesting international affairs blog, Coming Anarchy, has created an animated map showing the history of Vietnam, from ancient times to the present:

Click to see the animated version

This is only the latest in a series of historical geography maps from "Curzon". Other nations covered previously: Ethiopia, Poland, Armenia, Persia, Russia, India, Britannia, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some Recent Magazines and a Book

For your amusement, a smattering of recent magazine and book covers using maps as an element of their design.

From The Nation: President Obama must decide on future American involvement in Afghanistan.

Stores Magazine suggests that Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico (VIM?) are the countries to watch for new muscle in emerging markets.

Time believes that California, in spite of being "an apocalyptic mess of raging wildfires, soaring unemployment, mass foreclosures and political paralysis," is still the future of American innovation and growth.

Finally, in his book, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, Ethan Waters maps out the way the United States shapes the expression of mental illness around the globe.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day - The Dayton Puzzle

Today is the day that Americans honor the memory of civil rights leader and peace advocate, Martin Luther King Jr. As in many cities, Dayton commemorates the day with marches, rallies and speeches. It was a cold day for a march but spirits were warm.

Dayton has a special tradition that I always enjoy. Marchers gather at points north, south, east and west of the downtown and converge at the steps of the old County Courthouse. Each group is led by a piece of a puzzle. When combined the four puzzle pieces create a map of Dayton and the Miami Valley (the Great Miami River and its tributaries flow through Dayton).

This ritual is especially poignant for Dayton, because historically there has been a racial divide in the city of Dayton: Blacks on the West Side, Whites on the East Side. Over the years the lines between these divisions have blurred, and that's a good thing.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

2009 UCF Divisional Playoffs

Divisional Playoffs this weekend in the United Countries of Football.

As a sports fan, I was happy to see the Colts win and the Cowboys lose. As a poor mapmaker, I was happy to see the Ravens lose so that I wouldn't have two purple Football Countries.

Next week, for the first time in NFL history, both Conference Championship games will be held indoors. I'm looking for a Colts/Saints Super Bowl.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Dayton's Miami Valley Rail Authority

Transit Map Theme Week on Cartophilia concludes with a look at transit maps close to home.

Dayton, Ohio, is the only city in the United States that can claim more than 120 years of continuous electrically-propelled public transit. In the beginning, it was electric trolleys. Today, the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority operates eight different electric bus routes, in addition to standard diesel buses.

For more info on Dayton's electric transit system, visit The Dayton Railway Historical Society.

However, at one time it seems, Daytonians had dreams of a light rail mass transit system for Dayton. The Third Rail tells the story of DART Derailed—Light Rail Frustrated in Dayton, Ohio. At the tail end of the article, reference is made to Darrek Jones' brilliant Miami Valley Rail Authority website. Unfortunately, the parody website no longer exists, but through a search of The Web Archive and Robert Reynold's Whimsical uses of the subway map theme, I've been able to piece together a couple images.

Theses images appear to have been created between 1999 and 2000. According to Reynolds, "The original pages for MVRA constituted a hoax web presence for the entire operating company, with pages describing all phases of MVRA operation and containing an introduction to all key personnel... a tour de force!"

What detail! But why? Was it just a hoax? A labor of love? Neither Reynolds nor I can determine what became of Darrek Jones. He no longer appears to live in the Dayton area... If anyone can fill in more details about this fantasy transit system, let me know.


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ike Underground and Simplified

Transit Map Theme Week continues here at Cartophilia.

The representational diagram style of the London Underground map has become the worldwide standard for maps of rail systems. Why not highway systems? Several variations of the United States highway system presented as a simplified diagram have turned up lately.

As a tribute, Cameron Booth has created his own Eisenhower Interstate System in the style of H.C. Beck's London Underground Diagram:

In detail:

Last year, I highlighted Chris Yate's The Eisenhower Interstate System (simplified). This month Chris informed me that he has created a new, revised edition that addresses many of the errors and omissions of the original:

Finally, for your amusement, another take on simplification: A Numeric Topology of the United States Eisenhower Interstate Highway System available as a poster from Hedberg Maps:

Hedberg Maps; their motto says it all: "Life's Too Short for Bad Maps"

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New York City Subway Map Fabric

I'm catching up on fun maps during Transit Map Theme Week here at Cartophilia.

The City Quilter of New York City "specializes in fabric for the urban quilter and sewer" (oh, sew-er, I had to re-read that before I understood they weren't talking about the underground sanitary system...) including New York themed fabric patterns like this:

The New York City Subway System is available in three backgrounds (white, beige and black).

Other New York City themed fabrics; taxis and the New York Times:

Via The Map Room

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Netflix Queues: Chicago Loves Benjamin Button

The New York Times has pulled together 2009 data from Netflix to show rental patterns by neighborhood, in a dozen cities.

A Peek Into Netflix Queues

The #1 Netflix rental for Chicago (and in most other communities) in 2009 was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

HT to Matt

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MapMarks Transit Blog

This week is Transit Map Theme Week at Cartophilia!

In the last several weeks I have either happened across, or had links to interesting transit maps sent my way. So many in fact, I don't want to cram them all in to one post.

Today, I will introduce you to a new blog by Transit Map maven, Mark Ovenden: MapMarks. Mark promises to share with us about "maps, metro's, cartography, transport and a handful of other nonsense."

Mark Ovenden is the author of two recent books on transit maps:

Transit Maps: The World's First Collection of Every Urban Train Map on Earth
Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations, and Design of the Metro

UPDATE 1/12: This book just got a
review in the NewYorker.
Via The Map Room

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

2009 UCF Wildcard Weekend

Last week I introduced the end-of-2009 NFL season United Countries of Football map.

Tonight, after an exciting overtime win by the Cardinals, the Wild-Card round of the playoffs have ended. Four Football Nations have been vanquished: Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New England and Green Bay. The new map stands at this:

Aside from my disappointment at the Bengal's loss and the Cowboy's win, I did pick 3 out of 4 correctly. However, I have a problem with the map. Once again I used poor color choices and now the Minnesota Vikings' and the Baltimore Ravens' territory is colored with the same shade of violet!

Therefore, next weekend, I will find myself rooting for the Vikings over the Dallas Cowboys (I would anyway), and I will naturally be rooting for the Indianapolis Colts over the Ravens. Then all things will be map-color-well.


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Saturday, January 9, 2010

George of the Jungle Deep in the Heart of Africa

As a kid in the 1960's, I was a fan of the wacky humor in the George of the Jungle cartoon show (including Tom Slick and Super Chicken!). I never saw the Brendan Fraser live-action Disney film version that was made in 1997 (and doubt I ever will) however, I happened across a YouTube video of the intro and caught sight of this goofy little map that shows they still retain the wacky sentiment....

Deep in the heart of Africa:

Here's the Disney version video:

But I still prefer the original:

"Ah ah ee ee tooky tooky!"

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Say No to Graduate School (Especially in the Humanities)

Happy New Year, Carto-fans!

I am already well on my way to succeeding with my New Year's resolutions:

New Year's resolution #1: Break that crack cocaine addiction once and for all. So far so good... haven't had a craving once this year... or ever.

New Year's resolution #2: Continue to resist the urge to go back to graduate school.

Since graduating from Library School, back in the dark ages, before Al Gore invented the Internet, it has been suggested to me that I ought to go back for a second master's or a PhD. I have occasionally given it more than 30 seconds of consideration. But fortunately, I have consistently resisted the urge. I could spend years, and thousands of dollars, but who can guarantee that it would pay off with a better job... or any job?

Last year, Thomas H. Benton gave this same advice in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I include this link to his article, Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go, because (1) it is good advice to undergraduates, and (2) it comes with a spiffy map related graphic.
Most undergraduates don't realize that there is a shrinking percentage of positions in the humanities that offer job security, benefits, and a livable salary (though it is generally much lower than salaries in other fields requiring as many years of training). They don't know that you probably will have to accept living almost anywhere, and that you must also go through a six-year probationary period at the end of which you may be fired for any number of reasons and find yourself exiled from the profession. They seem to think becoming a humanities professor is a reliable prospect — a more responsible and secure choice than, say, attempting to make it as a freelance writer, or an actor, or a professional athlete — and, as a result, they don't make any fallback plans until it is too late.
Cartophiliac Jr. often speaks of getting a PhD in his chosen field in the Humanities. I hope he also works on his burger grill and deep-fry skills...

Just Don't Go, Part 2

New Year's Resolution #3: Continue to provide amusing map related illustrations whenever I see something that tickles my fancy, and I have the time and/or inclination to post it here.

There, I think that covers everything.

Happy 2010!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 United Countries of Football

The NFL 2009 regular season has come to an end. For the third year, I am playing around with the imaginary United Countries of Football.

What if the fans of each team formed their own country, and by the end of the season, Divisional Champions have "conquered" their foes? Why the cartogram? See the original post for more details.

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