Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Milwaukee Supervisor Gets "F" in Southwest Geography

Peggy West, Milwaukee County Supervisor, has apparently never looked at a map of the Southwest United States (beyond Texas).

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal:
In supporting a proposed county boycott of business with Arizona, she said Arizona did not share a border with Mexico. The gaffe was captured by WTMJ-TV (Channel 4).

"If this was Texas, which is a state that is directly on the border with Mexico, and they were calling for a measure like this, saying that they had a major issue with undocumented people flooding their borders, I would have to look twice at this," West said. "But this is a state that is a ways removed from the border."

Perhaps she saw the Gadsden Purchase in some history book and thought it was the 51st State...

I wonder how she would hold up in a Geography Quiz vs. Miss Teen South Carolina:

Peggy probably wouldn't come in 3rd place in The Amazing Race!

Via Lost States


Barbara reminded me about Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson and his worry that Guam will flip over and capsize if too many soldiers are stationed there...

And of course, who can forget Sen. McCain's Iraq Pakistan border gaff?

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

T-Shirt Tuesday: The Way to a Man's Heart

They say, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach"... and here is a road map:

An anatomical treasure map t-shirt from Threadless Tees

What is T-Shirt Tuesday?

Other map T-shirts on Cartophilia

UPDATE 7/1: oops! I'm getting old and forgetful... I already featured this shirt just a few  months ago...


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Friday, June 25, 2010

Settlers of America: Trails to Rails

This week, I am at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio; one of the largest gaming events in the United States. At this event, Mayfair Games is introducing Settlers of America: Trails to Rails, the lastest addition of the Settlers of Catan Histories series of games (see Catan Germany and Rome).

In Settlers of America, players are part of the American expansion West. Like most of the other Catan games, players collect and trade resources, in order to build settlements and other technological advances. In addition, players build locomotives and railroad routes to race with other players to deliver the most goods through the rapidly developing transportation network. All this on a game board map of the United States.

Settlers of America: Trails to Rails on BGG

Longtime readers already know of my love for rail games (see Railroad Tycoon and Ticket to Ride).

I had a chance to play this game on the Wednesday eve of Origins and found it quite fun. The rails add a new level of complexity and strategy to what is already of the of most popular games in the world.

Catan and rails: What's not to love!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Decorating with Maps: It's a Good Thing

The July 2010 issue of Martha Stewart's Living includes an article on map textile decorating projects, titled "States of Play. Lots of ideas on how to use those vintage dishcloths, tablecloths, handkerchiefs and scarves, printed with maps. (see Photo gallery)

The suggestions include framed dish towels:

or transform a tablecloth into a roller shade by fusing the fabric to linen:

Maps. It's a good thing.

HT to Mrs. Cartophiliac

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

T-Shirt Tuesday: Cartographers Know Where It's At

Cartographers Know Where It's At

A topographic t-shirt!

However, this t-shirt model doesn't look like she's inviting you to check out her elevation.

From Threadless Tees

What is T-Shirt Tuesday?

Other map T-shirts on Cartophilia

HT to Phil


Friday, June 18, 2010

Toilet Seat Maps

Texas artist, Barney Smith, has a museum where he displays more than six hundred examples of his toilet seat art. A master plumber before he retired, he has been creating toilet seat art for 30 years.

At least two of his masterpieces incorporate maps:

Read more about Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum at

View more images of his art at Damn Cool Pics.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 Election Interactive Maps

The New York Times has their 2010 Mid-Term elections interactive site in place. From here you can view all of the House of Representatives, Senate and Gubernatorial races in all the states and districts, as well as a calendar of all the remaining primaries, and of course results in November.

Most of the states and districts naturally lean towards Republican or Democrat, but several states and districts are still considered a "toss-up". Those will be the ones to watch.

Via The Map Room


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

T-Shirt Tuesday: 4 Chord Transit Map

Australian comedy group 'Axis Of Awesome' perform a sketch mocking the simplistic chord construction of most pop song hits. Amusing, but what is really awesome is that the keyboardist is wearing a transit map t-shirt!

Can anyone identify the transit system represented on his shirt? Is is Melbourne? Sydney?

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Friday, June 11, 2010

We Are All BP

We are all BP? Do we all share some responsibility for what has become the Second Worst Oil Spill in History?*

Bullet hole in the Earth by Rangutan88:

Bleeding Bullet Hole XXL by ~Rangutan
Designs & Interfaces / Logos & Logotypes
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a major disaster to nature. It is not only BP that is responsible but ALL those that demand crude oil by using it. If you don't live in the jungle, the Arctic or a deserted island, YOU are guilty too! Give BP a break, hypocrites?
I'm not sure I'm ready to give BP a break just yet... but do we all, as petroleum users, share some of the blame?

*According to The First Post (UK), the worst oil spill in history was:
The Gulf War oil spill. In 1991, retreating Iraqi troops blew up Kuwait's oil wells, leaking up to 11 million barrels of oil into the desert before they could be capped. It would take until June next year for the Macondo well to leak this much oil.
I do think, that an argument could be made, that this is the largest environmental disaster caused by an oil spill...

UPDATE 6/13: I'm surprised no one has called me on that last statement... I have since read of at least one significantly worse environmental oil spill disater; this one in Nigeria. I stand corrected.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vexillophilia and Ausflag

Yours truly, Cartophiliac, loves maps. It's in my name. Many times, while discussing maps, I find an excuse to also mention flags. [Flags on Cartophilia]. For example, when creating and drawing maps of imaginary countries, it is often necessary to create flags for these imaginary countries. [See Flag of Quastolia.] It is time to come out of the closet. In addition to being a Cartophiliac, I am also a Vexillophiliac. A flag lover. [See Vexillophile]

So, fellow cartophiles, if you care to join us, I have begun a new blog project: Vexillophilia: Flags and Flag Fun. In this new venture, I have been joined by Michael5000, my favorite blogger from Portland, OR, and fellow cartophile and vexillophile. Michael and I have already written about flags in history, flag days, flag songs, and Michael has undertaken to give a letter grade to every national flag of the world (à la Josh Parsons).

Today, Michael5000 wrote about The Great Australian Flag Debate describing the movement in Australia to replace its Union-Jacked flag with something more... "local".

"Ausflag is an apolitical, non-profit organisation seeking to secure the popular support of the Australian people for the adoption of a truly Australian flag."

What I love about this logo is that instead of a flag with a map on it... it is a flag, that looks like a map! (See, I eventually came back to maps.)

Good luck, Australia, I'll love your flag, whatever you decide...

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

T-Shirt Tuesday: Suburbia

Several time since starting Cartophilia, I have highlighted interesting and fun map t-shirts. [T-shirts on Cartophilia] What better way to show your love of maps than to wear one? Lately I've come across several more... rather than bore with with shirts every day, we'll have a special "T-shirt Tuesday" every week (till I run out).*

Trying to find your way around the suburban jungle? Check out this "Surburbia" t-shirt.

Who hasn't felt lost sometimes at one of those confusing clover-leaf super highway intersections?

I immediately recognized this design as based on an actual intersection in the Detroit suburb of Allen Park, where I-94 and the Southfield Freeway (M-39) intersect:

However, my favorite, over-developed freeway interchange is just a few miles to the north where I-96 and Southfield meet:

In the comments, feel free to post a link to a map of your favorite/least favorite highway interchange.

UPDATE 6/16: Thanks to everyone for the interchange links (see comments). However, BoingBoing has offered the ULTIMATE highway interchange:

Of course it is a Photoshop montage... but still frightening...

*Some of the t-shirts come from very nice T-Shirt sellers, like Threadless Tees, who want to give me referral fees if you buy one. Win/Win all around! You get to see fun Map T-shirts, and maybe I'll get a couple bucks out of it.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Typeset World

Yesterday's NPR report on Lingua Globa: How English Became 'Globish' includes this old style printer's typset map of the world.



Friday, June 4, 2010

Mystery Bottle

Mystery Bottle by Kristen Balouch:

A boy in Brooklyn receives a package from Iran. When he opens up the mysterious bottle that lies within, a great wind transports him over the oceans and mountains, straight into the arms of his grandfather. Despite being separated by politics and geography, the boy and his Baba Bazorg can share an extraordinary gift, the bond of their love.

Nearly every page of this delightfully illustrated children's picture book uses maps in the background; from Brooklyn, to the Atlantic Ocean, to Iran.

This book received the 2007 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

How Big is the Gulf Oil Spill?

Just how big is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Put it into perspective by overlaying the oil slick on your own hometown:

If It Was My Home

Via Utne Reader

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Not Gay States of America

Tom The Dancing Bug asks, "If we don't want gays in the military today, how can we accept the results of having gays in the fighting forces of our past?"

Click for larger view

Don't ask, don't tell, don't settle...?

Looks suspiciously like the 2008 electoral map...

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