Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Map of the Decade!

With grandiose visions of making a "Map of the Decade" I went and sought out some lists of the top news stories from the internet. Trying to find lists that were not biased by politics, region, or sector (such as technology) was impossible. The best I've come up with is this list from The list is biased towards the USA and our strategic interests and I have my own disagreements, notably the absence of China (big earthquake, rise as a superpower, hosting the Olympics) but I decided to map their list anyway.

Due to the limitations of the Blogger template you'll need to click on the map to see a readable version.

The background map is from MapQuest because they have the least annoying worldwide projection of the major mapping sites. I used the images from the list though some of them are not very recognizable. I placed them at or near the approximate locations of each story except the global recession. That one got put on the Equator.

Yes the inclusion of Michael Jackson is ridiculous. Tell me something I don't already know! Like for example, what should be on this list instead. Have a happy new decade!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

NORAD Tracks Santa

Santa has begun his difficult journey delivering presents to the good boys and girls of a certain religion. You can follow his progress on Google Maps. Check soon before he takes his well deserved post-holiday break.

He's in Brisbane! Wait, now he's in Alice Springs! He's one fast fat guy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bruce, Bruce and Tom-A Musical Journey

I've always been interested in the geography of musicians-where they come from, where they get discovered, and where they choose to reside when success allows them that choice. I've found a few nice musician maps over the last couple of years. These three artists were chosen because someone made maps for them, more than for any personal preference.

Bruce Cockburn was born and raised near Ottawa but has spent most of his musical career in Toronto. He currently resides near Kingston, Ontario according to his web site. Here is a clickable map of his life in Toronto:

If you prefer the other Bruce, here is a map of  Springsteen's New Jersey titled "Bruceville." Bruce Springsteen is that rare musician who's never needed to stray too far from home and has always remained true to the Garden State.

This map is more fanciful than accurate. The only places that really seem to be located correctly are the Boardwalk, Highway 9 and his father's house. Little Eden is Millville? "The River" is the Delaware? "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" is about Tom's River? * I have my doubts about these things. Thanks to Strange Maps for this.                                                        * After consulting Wikipedia, the undisputed source of all knowledge, it turns out the "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" may actually refer to 10th Avenue in Belmar. If true then the map is close.

Shortly before his Super Bowl XLII appearance, LA Weekly published this map  of Tom Petty's Los Angeles by illustrator Scott Gursky. Although a native of Florida, Petty moved to LA at the beginning of his career and has remained in the area ever since. The article details each place on the map.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Map of the Week- Global Warming

It's snowing here in the northeastern USA so clearly global warming is a hoax! While climate change skeptics and their corporate sponsors continue to bury their heads in the sand, real scientists are gathered in Copenhagen for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. One of the primary goals is to try and limit the rise in temperatures. Britain's Met Office warned of a possible 4 degree Celsius rise in temperatures by 2060 in a study produced for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The British government has produced an interactive map showing the impact of a 4C rise in global temperatures.

The circles represent hotspots for the categories listed at the bottom and can be turned on and off as well as clicked for more info.

Down at the bottom is a "credits" tab if you wish to investigate the data sources more closely.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan

A lienzo is a painting on cloth that was used by indigenous peoples in Central America to communicate knowledge.  The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan dating from the 1530's tells the story of how the Quauhquecholtecans of central Mexico allied with the Spanish conquistador Jorge de Alvarado to conquer Guatemala.  The painting forms a map showing the path of conquest with important rivers and towns represented as symbols.

The lienzo is kept in a museum in Puebla, Mexico. The Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM) in Guatemala City restored the painting in digital form and developed a web site to display the Lienzo interactively with a map, timeline, graphics and historical details. Clicking the Dynamic Web Map link will get you to the interactive experience. However, it will probably ask you to download Silverlight-Microsoft's new-ish web plugin that allows for smoother web browsing. This plugin is free, works in all major browsers and platforms (according to our Microsoft overlords) and should not affect anything else on your computer. It will take a few minutes for the process to run and another couple to load the page.

Here are some screen shots from the interactive map.

This shows the area around Retalhuleu, the first area the allies reached from Mexico. Notice the similarity of the dashed green line on the map above and the path of travel shown in the detail below.
Clicking on the red dots accesses information about the meaning of each area.
There are also pages that interpret the symbols, digital restoration information and lots of other good stuff on the web site.