Flag geekery

Alas, New Zealand’s proposition for a new flag design has been voted against a few weeks ago: But flags are always an interesting topic of discussion, from a design, cultural, historic, or simply aesthetic point of view. Via my friend Frank Ostermann I’ve learnt about Flag Stories, a website dedicated to the design elements (patterns, … Continue reading Flag geekery

Minard’s march – a hallmark visualization, rightly so?

Some days ago, Martin Elmer (@maphugger) tweeted Numberphile’s video in which they highlight the famous Minard map. Martin and I exchanged a series of tweets on the topic: Martin had some substantial criticism of Minard’s graphic. Maybe, graphic is the crucial word here: A part of Martin’s and my discussion was about the (too?) subtle geographic … Continue reading Minard’s march – a hallmark visualization, rightly so?

The road from Longa Tonga to Willa Minga Honga: Shetland and Orkney placenames

Shetland: Near Scalloway (CC-BY-SA rodtuk)
Shetland: Near Scalloway (CC-BY-SA rodtuk)

I can attest: Shetland (and presumably also Orkney) is a great place to visit. Not just for its landscapes, Shetland ponies and puffins, but also for its people, their language and – turns out – placenames!

On Shetland, you can travel from Rumblings to Quilse of Hageneap, from Poverty not to riches but at least to Longa Tonga, from Willa Minga Honga via Pund of Grutin and Cuppa Water to Drooping Point. Turns out, Mid Dublin is on Shetland as well as something called Fografiddle! If you are a cunning geographer, you should at least once travel to Cunning Geo!

Shetland placenames (Source: Big Think)
Shetland placenames (Source: Big Think)

Orkney features similarly curious placenames: Continue reading “The road from Longa Tonga to Willa Minga Honga: Shetland and Orkney placenames”

Evolution of NYC

Interesting for history/urbanism/New York buffs: The evolution of the New York skyline and The evolution of the New York street grid (review of a book): The Commissioner’s Plan of 1811, the map and surveying scheme that set the blocks at 200 by 800 feet all the way up the length of the island, was an audacious … Continue reading Evolution of NYC

Enclaves, Swiss-made

I’ve highlighted the NY Times’ Opinionator blog before. Back then, Franc Jacobs wrote a piece about the delimitation of the rather fuzzy geographic entity called “Europe”.

Today, there’s a new blog post about Enclave Hunting in Switzerland. After the mandatory clichées (the relevance of the “National Yodeling Festival” can probably be gleaned from the fact that it takes place only “once every three years”… – as opposed to, say, the Montreux Jazz Festival), the piece gets more interesting when it explores the many national (intercantonal) and in fact two international enclaves of Switzerland. The curious topology of the two Appenzells and Sankt Gallen are dealt with as well as the enclaves of e.g. Fribourg and Geneva.

The two international enclaves of Switzerland: Büsingen and Campione (Source: NY Times)
The two international enclaves of Switzerland: Büsingen and Campione (Source: NY Times)

Continue reading “Enclaves, Swiss-made”

“Everything is a remix”, presumably also this title

If you’re into creativity, you may have heard about Everything is a Remix. Its premise is that many things we consider original ideas are rather derivatives or combinations of existing ideas. It all comes down to COPY — TRANSFORM — COMBINE  Everything is a Remix is a four-part video series which digs into the creative process. I’ve … Continue reading “Everything is a remix”, presumably also this title

Where’s Europe?

Via the GIS Doctor (in itself a fun blog) I got introduced to NY Times’ Opinionator. The Borderlines category on the Opinionator is maintained by author/blogger Franc Jacobs who “writes about cartography, but only the interesting bits.” Borderlines writes about interesting stories around country borders. So far, I’ve read the superbly entertaining and well informed … Continue reading Where’s Europe?

Map of the Universe

For once for a slightly different map: PopSci has a geo-centric map of the visible universe as it was acquired over time, from 1950 (top) to 2011 (bottom), precisely: Different object categories are coloured differently in the map. For example, the inner green ring above consists of minor planets, the blue dots are stars. In … Continue reading Map of the Universe