Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You Can't Bike Through the Arlington Cemetery

An NPR reporter takes A Bumpy Test Ride With Google's Bike Map.

Google acknowledges that their Biking Directions are still in beta: "Use caution and please report unmapped bike routes, streets that aren't suited for cycling, and other problems."

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mapping Tim Pawlenty

Is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty running for president? Ever since he announced he would not seek a third term as governor, he has been spending a lot of time on the road, including states like New Hampshire and Iowa... To feed the speculation, Minnesota Public Radio News is mapping all of Pawlenty's scheduled engagements:


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lost States Revisited

Back in 2008 I was excited to tell you about a little book about states the might-have-been. Michael Trinklein's Lost States: Real Quests for American Statehood was a small but amusing soft-cover collection of maps and stories about almost-ran states like Franklin, Lincoln and Jefferson (why should Washington get all the love?). Alas, that book is now out of print (sure to become a collector's item). Fear not cartophiles, the author has a new edition of the book, expanded with new maps and new stories, in a beautiful hard cover from Quirk Books.*

Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made it

The cover unfolds into a map poster!

Among the stories told - the proposed State of Navajo:

While the intent was to give the people of the Navajo Nation greater representation, one of the biggest drawbacks would be the elimination of the Four Corners!

Some folks have different ideas on how to divide the Minnesota Territory:

Wiser heads prevailed. (What a barren wasteland West Dakota might have been...)

When rivers change their course, it sometimes takes decades for nations to sort out their borders, creating opportunity:

These stories and maps and more can be found in Lost States. I would love to scan and post more of these maps, but I'm sure Mr. Trinklein and his publisher would object... fortunately, they have started a new Lost States Blog to promote the book, reproducing more of the maps.

More videos from Lost States.

*Full disclosure, the publisher sent a review copy to me, but I would have most certainly purchased a copy if they had not.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homer's GPS

What? More Simpsons? What else can I do when maps and map devices show up in popular culture?

The Simpsons Showcase the Disastrous Possibilities of GPS Navigation:

Via The Map Room
(Although, I did watch that episode. I don't know why I didn't jump on this earlier...)


Why There Is No Jewish Narnia

C.S Lewis' Narnia stories are based on Christianity. J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth were influenced by Norse and other Northern European mythologies. In the Jewish Review of Books, Michael Wiengrad asks Why There Is No Jewish Narnia? Why are there so few fantasy novels based on Judaism?
So why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature? And a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian? Why no Jewish Lewises, and why no Jewish Narnias?
In the course of this discussion, Weingrad reviews two examples of "Jewish fantasy" novels, The Magicians by Lev Grossman and Ha-Mayim she-bein ha-olamot (The Water Between the Worlds) by Hagar Yanai. The latter novel, written in Hebrew, includes a map of an alternate-history Europe and Middle East dominated by the Babylonian Empire.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

On the Map

BBC Radio 4 has a new radio programme debuting today, featuring Mike Parker, author of Map Addict (previously discussed on Cartophilia).

On the Map will offer ten 15-minute reviews of modern maps and map making. In the first episode, Parker will explore the maps he fell in love with as a teenager - Ordnance Survey maps. The series is scheduled to air on BBC 4 at 15:45 GMT (11:45am EDT). You can listen live online, but I cannot yet tell if they will archive the programmes for future listening. I will update this post if I learn more.

UPDATE: BBC 4 has a "Listen Now" link for the first episode, The Map Makers, that is supposed to be good for seven days.

Additional details about the programme at Collins Maps.

Mike and Bill looking at the map


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Canada's Really Big

In case you didn't know, Canada's really big!


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Springfield Subway

Yet another piece of the geography of The Simpsons' mysterious Springfield was revealed last Sunday. In "Postcards From The Wedge", Bart discovers their town's long forgotten subway system:

The Simpsons' Springfield previously on Cartophilia:

Simpsons 20th Anniversary

More Springfield, USA

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

What if all 300,000,000 Americans lived in one place, packed as densely as Brooklyn? Where would we fit?

Surprise! It's New Hampshire.

Via Rethinking the United States

UPDATE 3/22: A helpful reader, kshep, tells me that this infographic was created by Shane Keaney as part of a contest on Thanks!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

You Must Remember This

Christoph Niemann: Why have I not been reading your New York Times blog, Abstract City, all along? I'm loving all your illustrations, not just the mappish ones (See last week's New York City in Legos - and yes, Mr. Anonymous, I'm still spelling it that way... deal).

This month, he shares some Google Maps "His Way", including this reference to one of my favorite films:

The film, Casablanca, of course has many great maps in its opening segment:

Here's looking at you, kid.

Via The Map Room

UPDATE 3/18: Thanks to "Anonymous" for reminding me of the great map on Captain Renault's office wall!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


At Map of the Week, Dug has pulled together several examples of GPS map art, including this homage to Space Invaders by bicycle trail GPS:

Check out Map of the Week for additional examples...

Which all reminded me of the Internet hoax from 2008, when the artist finally admitted that he didn’t use GPS & DHL shipping to create the ‘Biggest Drawing in the World’:

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New URL for Cartophilia

Testing testing...

Blogger made me change the URL for my blog because of FTP something or other.

This blog is now located at

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to



Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The Official Carto-Home® is currently in disarray as we are "re-doing" the kitchen: Crumbling walls being repaired, new electric circuits, re-painting old cabinets, and new tile on the floor.

Have no fear, our Carto-Cat® is not dead... he's just big boned.

I tried to convince Mrs. Cartophiliac® to consider a map-tile map mosaic on the kitchen floor, but it was a no go.

The best I could do is talk her in to Carto-Dishtowels®

The "Mercator Projection Dishtowel" does not actually appear to be a Mercator map of anything, but looks good anyway.


Friday, March 5, 2010

New York City in Legos

Christoph Niemann’s illustrations have appeared on the covers of The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration. His newest book, I LEGO N.Y., shows us another view of New York, with Legos, including maps:

His project started during the cold and dark Berlin winter days...


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Power Grid - Brazil/Spain & Portugal

One of my favorite board games of all-time, Power Grid, has come out with a new expansion map: Brazil/Spain & Portugal.

Ms. Cartophiliac, with her interest in Spain, and the Spanish language will also be pleased.

Buy Power Grid at your favorite local game store, or online at Funagain Games.

Other Power Grid expansion maps:



Benelux/Central Europe

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More California Secession/Division talk

Over at GeoCurrent Events, Martin W. Lewis has posted an update on the latest schemes to solve California's problems with long division:

The New State of Coastal California?

Related posts on Cartophilia:

Lost States

Disunited States of America

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Lost Maps

Fans of the ABC television program, Lost, are excited that the final season has begun. Maybe... just maybe they'll finally get some answers... I tried to watch a bit of the show in the first season but generally couldn't bring myself to care.

However, just any other fantasy world (see Lord of the Rings, etc.), Lost fans enjoy creating maps:

The folks at have pulled together a collection of Lost maps and diagrams, including "Inside the Hatch" and a transit map!:

No spoilers here... My prediction: The series will end as equally satisfying as the finale of The Sopranos.

Via The Map Room


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