Thursday, June 28, 2012

O Map of "The Humanity!"

Here's and interesting treat: A map recovered from the Hindenburg disaster... the 75th anniversary of which was last month. Here's an article about it at the Smithsonian website.  It's kinda odd because I feel like the Hindenburg event was farther back than 75 years.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012


This is an over-the-top advertisement for Dzus Fastener.  Beautiful, sure. But a bit over done, no?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mapping Summer Solstice

I know we're a day early for a First Day of Summer post, but this pair from Jim Meddick's Monty. works better for a Tuesday Two-fer. The second one is deeply geeky with projections:

Monday, June 18, 2012


The Buckets by Greg Cravens. Note the globe on the desk, helping to re-affirm the imagery of "classroom".  It's nice that this icon of geography is a universal symbol of learning.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Water water everywhere

Here's a pair of fascinating images showing fisrt, all the water on Earth in comparison to the size of the Earth (and accompanying video showing the frighteningly smaller amount of freshwater),

...and second, an equally scaled image of all the water on Jupiter's moon Europa:

Mindblowing, no?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Slime maps

I've seen things like this a few times now and I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it. The scientist makes a large petri-dish-type tray that they've shaped like this or that nation and then places bits of slime mold food at the locations that would mark the population centers of that nation on their geographically-shaped petri-dish-type tray.  Then they seed the place with slime mold and film the result and play it back as a time-lapse video and expect the audience to be amazed that the resulting routes that the slime molds take to the different population centers are "astonishingly" similar to the road and freeway networks that the humans have worked out to their corresponding cities. The accompanying commentary/paper/article/write-up yaps about how this represents something significant about the elegantly organic nature of the development of transportation infrastructure or the intelligence of slime molds or something or other.  But I'm simply not that impressed.  I've not read the papers so maybe I've missed where they might have actually performed a geospatial analysis to see how closely the slime-mold and human networks actually correspond (though I doubt it). But I can't imagine that there's actually that much statistical correlation. The humans largely build straight-line routes from city to city with the variations-from-straight happening because of geomorphology and connectivity to minor centers of commerce.  The slime-molds can't go in straight lines, but they do figure out where the nearby food sources are and head towards them fairly efficiently, which is more-or-less straight-liney. What's the big deal?  It makes for a reasonably adequate excuse to put some time-lapse video to a soundtrack. But more than that I find nothing very profound.  Anyway, there's actually quite a number of these things out there so enjoy and do let me know if you think I'm missing something deeper.... or if you find any more nations represented.... or if you do one yourself.



Tokyo rail system:

The Netherlands:

The Iberian Peninsula:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

XKCD lambastes geography (and everything else)

Randall Munroe's XKCD, how we love thee! Today's post is from an xkcd a few weeks ago where Mr. Munroe posted the parody lyrics to the tune of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Modern Major General" (or Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if you prefer, the rhythm still works) about how every major has its problems.  One of the majors lambasted, of course, is geography (in the 18th panel) and the detail image below shows what Sci-Fi author Terry Pratchett had to say about that:

At the actual webcomic, hovering over the image reveals this additional message in the "title-text":
Someday I'll be the first to get a Ph.D. in "Undeclared"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

PVP two-fer

Scott Kurtz' delightful webcomic Player vs. Player webcomic just ended a long story arc involving some minor characters and a D&D quest.  The story starts here and ends here.  A few of the episodes, of course, mention maps:
Garrett decides to even an old score
Change maps!

Monday, June 11, 2012

South Africa submission

This has been a fun submission. Amanda has submitted this comic by Jonathan "Zapiro" Shapiro of South Africa (background and explanation here).  Note the anthropomorphized map of South Africa there cheering his comrade on. Amanda found our "Maps in Comics" blog here when it was referenced in the Diana Maps blog a few weeks ago.  I would encourage you to check that one out.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bermuda Triangle

Well this couldn't possibly be more appropriate for our blog here now could it... especially in this week where we've done a few pirate-themed posts and this map showing part of the classic pirate hunting grounds  I was made aware of this one by Jerome, a former exchange student my parents hosted many years ago.  This illustration comes from Fuchsia Macaree, and illustrator with portfolio with a few other map-ish items.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Merry-Go-Round Broke Down supercut

OK, let's just do this one. Here is a 10-second excerpt from an almost-7-minute-long supercut of stills from every WB Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon ever made, from 1930-1969, all set to various covers of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" theme song. I picked these particular 10 seconds beacuse right in the middle of them there is Napoleon with his battle map from the 1956 short "Napoleon Bunny-part" (which I posted already here):

I love watching how the style and quality of the animation changes over time... although there at the end it's kinda obvious that the artistry took a very serious turn for the worse as the crapfest that was the Hanna Barbara era of animation took over the marketplace.

Here's the original:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dilbert and the Pirates

Since we had a pirate-themed comic yesterday, we'll do another today, this time with a lucky sales guy who Scott AdamsDilbert takes an understandable hatred towards.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether

This is simply a delicious treat of a webcomic that has been running for just less than a year now.  Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the ineffable Aether by Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett (note the map in the background of their drawing/photo).  The story is in a decidedly Steampunk style that has very Old West, if not "WIld, Wild, West", elements. The plot has so far focused on the acquisition of a prophetic map (because what's a proper pirate tale without a treasure map... of sorts), which will very likely play a key role in much of the rest of the story.  Here's the episode with the money-shot of the map:

Here's where she begins the explanation of the power of the map:

Note the fun cartographic elements in the form of the globe in the heroine-captain's cabin... but that's not Earth, and with floating islands of land and flying, hyperspace-travelling sailing ships, this is a very different place than where we live:

I'd suggest starting at the beginning of the story and enjoying the whole thing. Avast mateys! Map-based Webcomic Ho!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Quilted map

Portland, OR baby blanket
Remember a few months ago when we did the woodcut maps?  Now here's a company that gives us quilted maps.  Haptic Labs makes off-the-shelf and custom quilts from maps.  This would make an astoundingly amazing gift for your favorite geography junkie:
Great Lakes

 Article in Fast Company about Haptic Lab's Emily Fisher.