Maps are about territory. And in history, cartography has often been (ab)used to political ends. Due to its big popularity and global visibility Google’s geo-products have attracted their share of border and naming debates and disputes over time and the change of a border’s status or the name of a proportion of land in, for … Continue reading Google in Libya
Generalisation… The London Tube map is known for its iconic design. However, as most later public transport maps adhering to some or all of Harry Beck’s original design principles, the Tube Map features marked spatial distortions. They are introduced through the adopted simplification or schematisation which, for example, strives to orient public transport lines in … Continue reading Distortions of the Tube map visualised
A while ago I reported on a collection of historic maps of undersea cables. In today’s post I’d like to highlight an interactive and up-to-date version of such a map: For every undersea cable, Greg’s Cable Map by Greg Mahlknecht shows characteristics such as a list of landings of said cable, bandwith, length, construction date and … Continue reading World’s wiring scheme in an interactive map
Esri’s move will considerably strengthen its stand in the 3D realm and maybe we will at some point see BIM (Building Information Modelling) by Esri? Spatial Sustain points out correctly that Esri hasn’t usually grown by acquisitions, but steadily by its own activities. Before that background, Esri’s move into 3D via Procedural seems rather outstanding and meaningful!
The New York Times’ Abstract Sunday of this week features the World Map of Useless Stereotypes by Christoph Niemann of I LEGO N.Y. fame. Obviously, the geography has been messed with a little. And New York and its five boroughs (minus Staten Island) are prominently displayed completely out of scale with the rest of the ‘map’. … Continue reading The World Map of Useless Stereotypes
A while ago I blogged about The Real Underground, a website which allows visitors to morph the current London Underground Map into the famous 1931/1933 design by Harry Beck and into a geographically accurate depiction of the Underground network. Now, The Economist presents a reworked version of the Harry Beck design by London-based Designer Mark … Continue reading A new take on London’s underground
The Urban Earth project by The Geography Collective aims at representing humanity’s habitat by walking across some of earth’s biggest urban areas. The motivation is critical of media and their portrayal of our living environments:
The media distorts the way we see our world(s) with stereotypical images highlighting the most extremes of places. Urban Earth aims to expose what our cities really look like away from the bias and spin of commercial agendas.
(This reminds me a bit of the distorted body image in the media and, for example, Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. For an ever-astounding short film [1:15 mins] click here. End of short side-track.)
The recipe of Urban Earth is very simple: Walk across a city taking a photograph every 8 steps (roughly) and put them together sequentially into a movie. Photographs are always taken looking forward, without focusing on specific landmarks or ‘nice’ parts of the cityscape. The thing about an Urban Earth walk is that it tries to find normality within each city:
Geography is more important than many people think. A random route across a city may expose many things, but an Urban Earth walk is special because it attempts to reveal what a city is like for the people who live in it. Urban Earth is not about following the tourist trail or tracking down the most extreme places… it is about finding normality.
Boing Boing highlights this map of undersea cables of the Eastern Telegraph Company system printed in 1901. At Boing Boing’s source a person points to a treasure trove for anybody interested in the history of undersea cables or, specifically, related cartography. Above map with its salient red cables clearly highlights the Europe- and US-centric history of … Continue reading Old maps of undersea cables
Living in Switzerland you don’t get to experience many weather phenomena as dramatic as hurricanes and tornados. However, a former colleague of mine investigates the movement patterns of hurricanes to find similarities between individual storms. And in 2004, I was professionally dealing with hurricane Ivan. Ivan was a Category 5 hurricane and is, apparently, the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Back then we ordered a Quickbird image (and were lucky enough to get one without too much cloud coverage) and did both a qualitative and quantitative damage assessment of Grand Cayman Island.
These have so far been my only exposures to the study of extreme weather events and, specifically, to the analysis of storm-induced damage captured by means of remote sensing. But some days ago NASA’s Earth Observatory has released a stunning image of a tornado track (of one of the several tornados which have struck Massachusetts in early June 2011) that is well visible from space. Head past the break for the image and more info.
With the 2010 BP oil spill in the Golf of Mexico and the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, environmental disasters have gotten big coverage in the mass media over last months. However, when the biggest shock and public outrage has passed the aftermath of such disasters tends to be less newsworthy to traditional media outlets.
“Big Energy has their communications war room. Counterspill.org is ours.”
This is the claim of Counterspill whose assumed mission is to “promote awareness about the impact of non-renewable energy disasters through a living archive that combines best-in-class reporting, research, social media and community engagement.” Basically, the idea behind Counterspill is to provide on a one-stop portal a counter-narrative to the non-renewable energy industry’s narrative. Counterspill has been launched in April 2011. Its sponsors and partners are primarily philanthropic and environmental organisations as well as NGOs.
The information in the disasters rubric on Counterspill’s website can be accessed directly from the front page. It features an interactive world map and timeline mapping accidents including gas, oil, nuclear and coal in space and time. The timeline can be dragged to select a time window. Using filters one can include only accidents of a certain kind, with a defined size of cleanup costs or involving certain companies. (I assume said cleanup costs also control the size of the circles on the world map, though, this is not explained anywhere)