Monday, December 31, 2012

Maps in Calvin & Hobbes 05: Ant-pathy

One of my geology professors in college had a cartoon on their door showing some kids with an ant farm shaking it up and laughing about how the silly ants would simply rebuild their tunnels exactly the same way after every time the kids did this.  Then an earthquake hits, and the ants are shown to be chuckling at the sudden distress of the humans.  Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes here takes a different tack on the same theme.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Global musical tour

Let's have today's animated map session be a visit with the kings of musical viral videos, cdza: 18 songs that round the globe with the help of Google Earth.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Break the bank

This is by Dwayne Booth, aka Mr. Fish.  This one was related to the events surrounding the beginning of the current financial crisis.  May still be apropos. .  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas two-fer

Since this year Christmas falls on a Tuesday we'll do a Christmas two-fer:

First, an editorial GPS-themed Christmas cartoon by Cameron Cardow (is it me, or does that "reindeer" look like a bear with antlers?):

Then a Mapquest-swiping Christmas card from David Malki's Wondermark:

And finally, Christmas flamingos from Over the Hedge by Michael Fry & T. Lewis:

Merry Christmas y'all and may the new year find you in a geographically pleasant place.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

World's end

Welcome to the end of the world...

But since I already posted that one, here's one that's kind of related by Bill Whitehead

Thursday, December 20, 2012

... can hear you scream

Why am I posting this particular Sheldon comic by Dave the Thursday animated map slot?  Because of this short and fascinating TED video by Derek Sivers:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting directions from The Oatmeal

Recently I updated a post about the Travelling Salesman problem that invbolved movie theaters with an item from Matthew Inman's The Oatmeal.  Here's a new observational humor item from The Oatmeal that is part of a larger series entitled "Minor Differences":

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Apple Maps fails 4

Here's another batch of Apple Maps visual jokes, just in time for Google re-releasing a better-than-ever Google Maps app for Apples mobile platforms.:

Friday, December 14, 2012


When I was littler I remember being very excited about all the images and data about Jupiter and Saturn coming in from the Voyager spacecraft.  The shear number of moons around those planets just floored me.  And the newer images coming from Cassini have only made things better.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just go already

Recently there has been a host of people suggesting on the White House's suggestion box about states seceding from the Union... most prominently Texas (of course). That renowned explainer of things CPG Grey explains whether this is possible or likely (no and no...unfortunately?).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

There and back again

With more Tolkein flooding the pop culture ocean this season yet again, let's do another instlalment from Ruben Bolling's "Tom the Dancing Bug" that uses a bit of mall map and a bucket of parody. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time for a change, Atlas

Here's a couple of climate change-related Atlas-themed cartoons...  
This first one might not seem like it until I mention that the shipping pallet is the topic of this Slate article about the global climate and global economy.

This Robert Mankoff New Yorker magazine cover from 1990.  We've not only had his work on the blog before, we've had an Atlas-themed piece from him before.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dumb ways to die (warning: earworm)

The following is an excerpt from a darkly cute animation called "Dumb Ways to Die" made for Australia's Metro Trains Melbourne.  The excerpt features the rim of the Earth suggestive of its geography.

Here's the full video:

And, of course, a parody about NASA's Curiosity rover by Cinesaurus entitled "Cool Things to Find":

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dig Dug at 30 two-fer

Over at ShiftyLook they've been posting contributions by various artists to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dig Dug, a seminal 1980s-era arcade video game.  Most of the contributions were posted earlier this year, however they recently finished up a longer Thanksgiving-themed story arc by Scott Kurtz of Pvponline.  Here are a pair of examples of some of the earlier contributors that feature maps:

This first one is by Mary Wolfman and Cat Ferris:

This one is by Dave Shabet and I'm calling that kinda-Earth-like blue-marble rim below Dig Dug in the last panel the map-related thing.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New weekly feature: Maps in Calvin & Hobbes

Quite a while ago I posted an example of college-student-era Bill "Calvin & Hobbes" Watterson's editorial cartoon work. That has proven to be one of the most popular posts of this blog, currently in solid 4th place for most visits ever.  In that post I promised that I would post more map-related Calvin & Hobbes comics in the future... and then I never did.  But now, thanks to the help of the new Calvin and Hobbes search engine developed for fun by one Michael Yingling, I was able to find virtually all the map-related Calvin & Hobbes comics that exist.  So over the next several months I'll be posting one per week on Mondays for your viewing pleasure... for a regular dose of Calvin & Hobbes is pleasure indeed.

I'll do them chronologically as they appeared in newspapers.  We'll start with this one from January of 1986:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Here comes the sunglasses

When I first saw this thing it was listed for $260.  It appears to be on sale now. Perfect for Christmas, eh?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sandy's emotional tweeting

The following is an animated "heat map" style map from SGI and the University of Illinois showing the positives/negative nature of tweets as Hurricane Sandy passed through. It's similar to me to the Sandy-related flight delays map from FlightStats that I posted about a few weeks ago. Thing is, SGI is supposed to have this amazing visualization technology as frankly this video, while interesting, leaves me unimpressed.  Why did they leave this as a choppy snapshot type almost stop-motion animation rather than showing the heatmap fluidly morphing over time?  That would have been very much easier to follow and see the patterns develop in relation to the hurricane. Did they only collect tweet data hourly or something?  Why so infrequently?  Is continuous tweet data not available? I can understand the wisdom of packaging the data in hourly tranches, but its very hard to follow this data in this animation with it being show choppy.

And, to get a little nit-picky, I'd like to see how this animation compares to a similar animation showing the "background" or "baseline" emotional tweet data.  In other words, what would this type of heatmap look like during a less meteorologically exciting period or baseline?  How did the emotional nature of tweets during Sandy differ from a similar, more mundane period?

This does, however, remind me of a pre-Twitter art project that's still running called "We Feel Fine"  that I posted about last year where somebody mapped the emotional nature of posts that it found on webblogs.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Archie's aliens

See that little blue-marble-style globe there in the aliens' main display?  We'll count that as a map in this Archie comic.  I've never seen the appeal of Archie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Debatable end

You may be sick of them, but I still have this one final batch of election-related maps in comics .  These generally deal with that last presidential debate that was supposed to focus on foreign policy, so it was natural for cartoonists to adopt a geographic and/or global theme:
Nate Beeler

Bob Englehart

Jen Sorensen

Mike Luckovich

Jimmy Margulies

John Deering

Steve Greenberg

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet you at the station

This is sort of a strenuous punchline.  Especially since the map only shows the two different ways anyway, no third way that could be a Lakeview trail... especially since that Mai Way would seem to offer some pretty excellent views of the lake... Why would a blocked highway prevent pedestrians from walking it?  Isn't that ideal pedestrian conditions for highway travel?  I think there's even a bit of a risk of wandering into reference to My Lai if they're not careful.

I appreciate the effort, but this is simply an overstretched punchline from the webcomic Basketcasecomix by Kelly Ferguson.... which is probably supposed to be part of the humor...let's hope.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

One Minute Physics

One Minute Physiscs has lots and lots and lots and lots of quick sharpie-illustrated videos that explain interesting and whimsical things about physics. Here's a rather map-ish one (well, globe-ish anyway):


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Somebody tell Nebraska

Nebraska needs an intervention in this Sheldon webcomic by Dave Kellet.  It's got a reference to secession that is prescient given a recent rash of sore loser requests for secession on the White House petitions page.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hurricane Candi-dates

As an election/Hurricane Sandy round-up, here's a batch of hurricane + election + maps editorial cartoons:
Bill Day

John Cole

Bob Englehart

Jeff Koterba

Markus Szyszkowitz

Monday, November 19, 2012

GPS kudzu

This item is from "Six Chix", a collaborative comic that's authored in turns by a variety of female artists. Today's installment come's from Isabella Bannerman.  Kudzu, for those of you who may not know, is an incredibly fast-growing invasive weed that has conquered many southern states, especially along freeway corridors.  As I found this one on Comics I Don't Understand, the point of the humor is a bit obscured... which, actually, may be the point.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Space Oddity

Here's a fun treat: graphic artist Andrew Kolb has illustrated (but not published) this children's book version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity".  I've inclued just one still from it below.  The whole thing is here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bruce Springsteen performances and other time lapses

Here's an animated map showing everywhere Bruce Springsteen performed. I'll give it interesting, but, I'm sorry, I've never been much of a Springsteen fan. Still: Animated maps are cool:

The thing is, animated time lapse map technology has been around for ages, but only this summer has it been made more accessible in the Google Maps platform. Here's a few more: Las Vegas grows:

The Amazon is raped and pillaged:

Drilling activity in North Dakota:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Swingin' Ohio

We'll do a couple weeks of election round up in the Tuesday two-fers.  The first set is a collection generally about swing states but specifically about Ohio.  I want to start, however, with a pair that features a number of states that I'm going to count on our list of states specifically featured/mentioned on the blog. The first shows several of the swing states. The only one that is recognizable that we haven't posted yet is Colorado... and given that Colorado didn't even get featured during the Aurora shootings this may be the closest we'll get:

Daryl Cagle

 The next is a collection of envious anthropomorphic states who are getting sick of Ohio.  Here we'll get Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, and Oklahoma clearly recognizable.  That only leaves nine states that we haven't posted about yet: Alabama, Delaware, Missouri, North Carolina, both Dakotas, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia.  Which one do you think will be last?
Jeff Koterba

Jimmy Margulies

Jeff Darcy

Joe Heller

Nate Beeler

Kirk Walters

Daryl Cagle