30 March 2010


Ok, I know this map doesn't seem that cool but the phenomenon that it measures sure is!..
I bring to you: the mysterious sliding rocks of Racetrack Playa


As the majestic Mississippi River winds its way through the landscape of our imagination - so are the days of our lives.

Um, yeah...these are just beautiful maps really.
check them out at: Radical Cartography.net


This map doesn't have anything to do with Justin Timberlake (regrettably), but it does show the world we live in as only one of four possibilities; left-aligned, centred, right-aligned and justified.
(Given the crap unbalanced state of the world we live in, it is perhaps ironic that the actual existing layout of our world is a justified one!)
 Click here to see more (random) works by this artist, then click on different parts of the red line


Who knew that piling the peripheral highways of 27 of the world’s largest cities on top of each other would look like a pretty rosetta?!  (I didn't, but I do now)


In the words of Gilbert H Grosvenor (Editor of National Geographic, 1903 - 1954):
"A map is the greatest of all epic poems. Its lines and colours show the realisation of great dreams."
Indeed this sentiment is almost palpable in the beautiful maps displayed at bibliodyssey.  Each river and each mountain represents a great voyage of discovery and indeed of concerted cartography.

23 March 2010


Sometimes a book is more than a book, sometimes a book is a journey - sometimes its a place to go, sometimes its somewhere to escape to (other times its just a door-stop, or a table-prop). So it makes sense that a shelving system for books does in fact reflect the beautiful metaphor of potential that a book offers - this is why this street-map shelf and Ron Arad's USA shelf are so darn appealing.

16 March 2010


Just like George Costanza from Seinfeld, I always wanted to be an architect. Sadly, that dream never eventuated, so instead whenever I can, I just integrate it into my day to day life regardless of how much sense it makes... like now! This somewhat unusual structure is actually a real-time map of Seoul, Korea's air quality.  As you look up thru it to the sky, you also see information on the sky. ooooh. Also, who would have thought you could turn facades of boring old buildings into intriguing topographic forms?  Well, Urban Art Projects did!

15 March 2010


There is a staggering amount of data powering this
pretty map, which depicts ongoing population changes across the entire earth between 1990 and 2015.

However, the coolest thing about it, I think, is that it bares a remarkable likeness to one of my favourite album covers; Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures.

Were Joy Division clandestine cartographers? Population prophets alluding to some Armageddon?!
Is it too spookily coincidental that their album cover in actuality is a printout of a pulsar star’s emissions
– not unlike LIDAR which are laser emissions used in mapping!

More importantly, perhaps, how cool are these shoes?

11 March 2010


Dear reader, I would like to make you aware of a very serious and debilitating disease known as Cartocacoethes.  It begins as a simple enjoyment of maps (occurring simply in the ocular cavity) but eventually it spreads through a person's mind (manifesting itself as an uncontrollable itch to see maps everywhere).  In the final stages the body actually begins to resemble a map (as in Geographic tongue [pictured] ).  Unfortunately, it is a terminal disease, but luckily its a pleasurable way to go!


According to the authors of To the Ends of the Earth: 100 Maps that Changed the World this is the oldest authenticated map (and town plan) in the world!
This map is perhaps 4000 years older than the oldest known alphabetical writing system - Boom! (plus it comes complete with an erupting volcano in the background - Kaboom!)
The 6200 BC map of Çatalhöyük in Turkey prefaces many discussions of maps and mapping.  It is used to situate contemporary mapping as part of a long trajectory – “humans have always made maps.”


Yep, word is that this is the smallest map ever made! 

The scale is 1: 1 trillionth !

The map was created by manipulating light on a submicrometer scale in tiny strips of silicon called waveguides or photonic wires.  The different colours are caused by interference effects in the different layer thicknesses of silicon.  These silicon photonic circuits can pack a million times more components on the same footprint as today’s commercial glass-based photonics.

Just a thought: If you intend to use this map as the base layer on a PDA you might want to upgrade to a bloody sharp pointer-pen to navigate around it!


Ever wonder what all those spatial updates would look like animated over time? No? Well, the people at flowingdata.com certainly did... (Get your headphones ready the soundtrack is cool)


Whilst many of us have probably always considered maps to be beautiful or aesthetically endearing, maps are actually works of art in their own right.  In fact, this is such a large and growing branch of mapping, that its hard to keep up with all the artists out there working with this awesome medium (who knew?!)
Here are a few to get you going anyway:

Stefana McClure makes cool 3D sculptures out of thin strips of paper maps.

 Nina Katchadourian is mixing things up.

Kathryn Rodrigues arts maps.

Jason LaFerrera is creating beautiful collages of wildlife specimens


This week's entry is the result of what happens when somebody has a love of maps, and way too much time on their hands... cool though!


The rumour is that this is the world's largest book, and oh yeah... its an Atlas!

An exhibition at the British Library is aiming to challenge people's assumptions about maps and celebrate their splendiferous magnificence!

Have a read (I know i know; you're visual people, but it is quite an interesting article)


Maps are always statements! (fact)

Maps are always fashion statements! (double fact)

Be bold, wear your map on your sleeve, try on some of the clothes from The savvy traveller.com


Is science all just one big... thing?
What would it look like as its own organism?
Perhaps this map and this map will help answer this pressing random question?!  It was constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 published papers into 776 different scientific paradigms based on how often the papers were cited together by authors of other papers. (Ironically, it appears to look like one big brain)


Biomapping is a community mapping project in which people explore their local area by walking the neighbourhood with an electronic device and on their return a map is created which visualises points of high and low arousal (geographical arousal, what the?!)


Maybe you just can't get your head around this crazy style of map projection...or, maybe... you're asleep?!! Don't you want to be above the map and in it?... Don't you just want to wake up?!


We may move through different life stages and shift our eyes to far away hills but we always retain a sense of belonging - we always retain a sense of place. I know sometimes I wish I could hold in my hands my favourite topographic landscapes - if only for a time, if only for a reminder.

How would you like your place in one of these formats?:
- broaches, lamps, fruit bowls and more
- jewelery
- table cloths, placemats and plates
- metal sheet cuts


Ah, carto-zoology - sweet sweet carto-zoology. Your obscure and intriguing way of twisting geographic shapes into animal forms is simultaneously cute and mystifying to me.
Are you intended as some sort portentous sign (like these animals of the Chinese zodiac)
or are you some sort animal protector/guide like these
animals of the London underground I just don't know.


Because the earth isn't perfectly round there will always be some distortion if you represent it on a flat surface. If however you project it based on the features you're interested in eg rivers, rather than choosing a single point on the globe, then you can create some accurate maps. The only catch is that this is really complex.  But with the advances in computer processing now-a-days we can finally produce some accurate awesomeness; Myriahedral Projection may not look like the Earth you are used to seeing but get used to it because the world is changing.

Perhaps this humourous YouTube video clip from the drama West Wing might help you visualise what i'm talking about.


Just like when they say in a movie the title of the movie - yes this is the entry about the map thats on the title banner of Choice Map Tuesday.  Some say this is a hoax (the map, not this blog).  Apparently the pen was a briefcase containing a GPS device and lines of the drawing were the paths the briefcase took around the globe.
Too crazy to be true? possibly, but check out the details anyway.
If that was a hoax though i'm certain that this Ayn Rand fan was dedicated enough to follow through with their delusions of mapping grandeur

10 March 2010


Words on maps are often just viewed as the proverbial cherry on top; simple signifiers of something other - but be warned, words have a life of their own!  Be careful they don't take over completely!

The revolution is beginning on the twitter site trendsmap - discussion topics are dynamically and spatially represented in a word cloud format.
(be warned, it can be a bit slow to load though)
Wordle is staging its form of mutiny too - this site lets you create your own word clouds.

(Put in about 10 words then change their layout, font etc. Quite fun!)


The culmination of many a clandestine Women in GIS breakfast meeting! Working with communities to help understand their neighborhood through participatory embroidery.


Negativity can be a positive thing!

It might seem like a simple idea to literally cut out all the bits we don't find worthy of mapping, but the hours of patience with a razor blade and a steady hand do prove something valuable - they reveal what it is that we truely do value on a map.

click here and here to see more examples of cut out coolnesses


In the words of the great Napoleon Dynamite: "I Love Technology".  In the words of the great Phil Lee: "Check these three links outs:"

Sixth sense technology utilises the freaky minority report coolness thing

Augmented Reality is the next big thing in taking mapping to the streets.

this award winning device implements Augmented Reality