Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Rivers of Plastic

There has been a large increase in both the amount of plastic in the oceans and in public awareness of the issue. National Geographic and Nature have both done a good job of covering this issue. Cartographer John Nelson made a wonderful map, inspired by the rivers/mountains type of diagrams that I recently featured here, showing the three most contributing rivers in that style.
For better resolution click above - here is a detail from the Yangtze River.
I like how he managed to give this not only an old style look but also make the river colors and textures look a bit like plastic.  Also it is worth noting that the boxes on the bottom of each river represent the weight of about five cars, this weight is multiplied by the number of boxes EACH DAY.
For more on Nelson's map click here

National Geographic also recently published an excellent graphic story on this subject. Here are rivers with circled sized by level of contribution of plastics,
and here is a graphic view. This is just for Asia,
and here is the rest of the world.
Note that the scale on the two above images is close but not exact. To see these side by side scroll through the article.

Finally, a map of the Yangtze basin showing the sources of mismanaged municipal plastic waste.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sheep and Wheat

Sheep and wheat together.
This charming map, downloaded from the National Library of Australia is one of a series of maps by geographer Thomas Griffith Taylor. It is one of a series  from the 1920's called "The New Oxford Wall Maps of Australia." Taylor liked to show multiple variables, in this case density of sheep in green overlaid with wheat in a black line pattern. Helpful text tells you where there are "No Sheep" and "Some Sheep" with a thick boundary separating the sheep and non-sheep areas.

Also, though there is some shading in Tasmania, there are "no very important wheat areas" there. Similarly, here are cattle and minerals.
Cattle follow a similar pattern to sheep (neither animal does well in the desert) except in the north where cattle do better. The "V.F.C." and "FEW" text bits add charm. Minerals are identified mostly as points rather than areas, except for some more defined gold areas in the west.

Here is his vegetation map. There is a lot of Mulga. I had to look this up - it refers to bushy, sandy lands containing mulga trees, a type of acacia. Mallee, common in the south is a semi-arid climate region with scattered eucalyptus trees.
More of his maps can be seen on this page from ABC (Australia) news.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Random City 1

Last night Maptime Boston helped me indulge my occasional hobby or hand drawn maps. Here's the map I did.
I had no thoughts ahead of time of what to do but I started with a river, then thought about where the major roads would need to go and it took off from there. I tried to create a nicer north side and more industrial, gritty south side (sort of London-esque) but ended up making some nice parts of the south side too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Pirates of the South Atlantic

This map is from imgur. Like so many things on that site, there are no credits. I like the exaggerated rivers and goofily drawn state boundaries.
[Map] Pirates of the South Atlantic and their flags

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Comparative Mountains and Rivers

Continuing last week's theme of comparative maps, here are a few examples of a genre of map that compares mountain heights and river lengths.
This map was originally published by Henry Tanner (1836) and modified by S, Augustus Mitchell (1846), both of Philadelphia.  Like last week's map, the geography is arranged to fit the space with the shortest rivers cleverly positioned atop the tallest mountains.

The peaks are numbered. On this and the other maps from this period the highest known peak was Dhaulagiri in the Himalayas, now the seventh highest. In addition to mountains, the heights of cities and lakes are shown. Below Quito, Ecuador is shown beneath Pambamarca.

Down at the bottom are some of the Pyramids of Egypt, the "Falls of Niagara" and lakes such as Ontario (42), Erie (36) and Superioir (32). Above that is Caracas and the limit (this is a guess) of where bananas grow. Also along the bottom are various cities and landmakes such as the mines of Huancavilica and the Philadelphia Shot Tower. More of this map can be seen on the David Rumsey Map Collection page here.

Here are a couple more variations on this theme You can click them to see enlarged views from the Rumsey collection. This one published in London by William Darton in 1823 has everything arranged on one side.
I like the treatment of the rivers here.
This one (Joseph Thomas, London, 1835) has the rivers at the bottom and the mountains in several rows.
Finally, for a local view, here are the rivers of Scotland.

Many more examples of this theme can be seen on this excellent blog post from the Rumsey collection.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Comparative Lakes and Seas

Here's a beauty from the David Rumsey Map Collection. Comparing lakes and seas all at a uniform scale.
The full title of this map is "Comparative Form and Extent of the Inland Seas and Lakes of the Globe" followed by the text "Drawn to uniform scale with indications of the nature and country in which they are situated." There are four panels, one for each continent (Australia was not included).
Lakes are placed where they fit on the page and are only arranged geographically if they are connected or otherwise grouped such as the Great Lakes or the lakes of central Manitoba-which are clearly not south of Chicago.
Here is part of Asia - the major seas are arranged geographically while the rest of the lakes are fitted in where space (land) allows.
 Published in 1852 by William Blackwood & Sons of Edinburgh and London, it is Plate 3 from the Atlas of Physical Geography, Illustrating, In a Series of Original Designs, The Elementary Facts of Geology, Hydrology, Meteorology and Natural History.  This atlas has some other gorgeous details such as this "chartography" from the frontispiece.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mapping the A:shiwi Perspective

The A:shiwi Map Art Initiative is an indigenous mapping project sponsored by the A;shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center on the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico. The project seeks to challenge ideas of what maps are. To the Zuni, or A:shiwi people they are more about telling stories than about scale and direction.
Little Colorado River - Larson Gasper, 2009 via Emergence Magazine
There is an excellent article on this project with videos and maps in Emergence Magazine. According to Jim Enote, the museum's director more native lands have been lost through mapping than through physical contact. These maps seek to reclaim their land, names (including their own people's name) and memories.
Ho'n A:wan Dehwa:we (Our Land) - Ronnie Cachini, 2006 via Emergence Magazine
In the map above the modern road network intersects an otherwise dream-like landscape.
Migration of Salt Mother - Larson Gasper, 2009 via Emergence Magazine
Shiba:bulima - Levon Loncassion
These maps are in a traveling exhibition that has appeared in New York, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Flagstaff.
Most of these are in the form of traditional paintings but there are also a couple of digital paintings.
"The maps represent landscapes but also historical events, such as Zuni migrations and Zuni relationships to places throughout the Colorado Plateau. The maps also guide viewers through Zuni cosmological processes where water, plants, animals, and even the sky make up the unique Zuni world. The exhibition shows how Zuni see their own history, their ancestral migrations, their ancient homes, and the parts of nature that sustains them."