Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Sea Turtle Threats

One of the best visualizations that I missed in 2019 was this one showing the threats to sea turtles in the Aegean Sea by Jonni Walker.
The map has a strong National Geographic feel to it-packed with dense information, some of it interactive. One of the things that is amazing is that it was created using Tableau, a data visualization software instead of using traditional cartographic software, although Mapbox was used for some of the cartographic display.
Turtle hotspots are indicated "firefly" style in the bright blue. Below the National Marine Park of Zakynthos is highlighted. It is the first national park established for the protection of sea turtles in the Mediterranean. The airport on this island banned overnight flights because that is when the turtles lay their eggs and they are susceptible to the noise and light. 
One of the biggest threats to these turtles is plastic debris. They will ingest floating bags because they look like jellyfish to them. The graphics below the map area are interactive. You can hover over them for further information.
I also like the way he did the legend though some people think this kind of legend is hard to read. I've been criticized for using this kind of legend in a map but I think it's better to see the colors and symbols against the map background than stuffed into a white box.
It looks like there are supposed to be some controls for interactively changing the angle and orientation of the map but i have not been able to get them to load on my computer. This is a problem overall that the visualization s very large and difficult to load. You can explore it here but be patient with the slow loading.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Rubber Terrain Map of Japan

Last week I was at the New York Public Library Map Room and asked to see this rubber terrain map that was featured on their Instagram page in 2018.
I was surprised that it was n fact available for public viewing and that they were willing to fetch it for me and even let me (very carefully) touch it. They brought it out in a huge box that took up almost half of one of their large tables.
Below is the magic that awaits when you open the box.
It caused quite a stir as many visitors in the room began circling the table for their own looks. Here are some close up pictures from my phone.
This map is dated January, 1945 and was created by the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the CIA)'s Topographic Models Section at the height of the war with Japan. According to The Mapmakers Craft: A History of Cartography at CIA, many models were made from plaster. I'm not sure why they chose rubber for this one or even how it was done-possibly melted into a plaster mold? I have not been able to find much information on this map. Here are some more topographic details.

The line from Otaru to Sapporo and on where Hokkaido suddenly gets flatter.
The Korean volcanic island Quelpart, now Jeju.
Mount Fuji.
Tokushima on Shikoku island with the Yoshino River valley making a deep cut in the land. This picture and the next one I took for another perspective on the Seto Inland Sea, featured in a recent post showing a 20 ft long scroll map that I saw at the Osher Map Library.
Finally, a look at the ancient capital Kyoto and the modern Osaka-Kobe metropolis.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Puposeful Wanderings in Pyongyang

While North Korea begins the year with lots of bellicose bluster here is Artist/cartographer Gareth Fuller's take on Pyongyang, the capital.
The artist, who likes to go by just "FULLER" usually begins his work with a very thorough exploration of the places he maps. His "Purposeful Wanderings" is a series of kaleidoscopic maps of the places he has spent time. However in North Korea he was constrained to the government's rules and encouraged to marvel at their socialist wonderland. Here is the Party Foundation Monument,
the Ryugyong Hotel, a signature building of the city,
and their shuttlecock-like ice arena-kind of a sports mismatch.
For more on this project take a look here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Islands

It is Christmas and Its been a busy time so please enjoy these maps of Christmas Island (aka Kiritimati)
Via Enderra
 Or, if you prefer the Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

30-Day Map Challenge

For the month of November, Topi Tjukanov announced a 30 Day Map Challenge on Twitter.
I did not take the time to participate but was amazed at the people who did, many of them every day-and some of the results are pretty fantastic.  I will highlight some of the ones I liked (mostly showing the tweets) though I did not see everything that came along.
For example, here is Lego Oaxaca.
Mangroves vs Hurricanes
European Hydrology
More from Maarten Lambrechts here.

Here is elevation data from the Philippines from Carl Churchill-his other work can be seen on his Flickr album.
New York CityBike data as animated hexagons-press play.
Commuter Rail in the Northeasten USA
London Fried Chicken Territories
and whatever this is.
For more here is a huge gallery of submissions.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Jerusalem Over and Under

This month's National Geographic has a remarkable map showing Jerusalem's buildings and sites throughout its many eras of settlement. The fold out map is best seen on paper in the magazine but here is an image of it from Twitter,

and a still frame from the animation above.

The tweet above begins an interesting thread of tweets detailing some of the challenges in creating these graphics. Here is another tweet from that thread showing some of the 3D buildings

One minor issue I have is the size comparison below. While most of us on the east coast of the United States understand this, I'm not sure how meaningful this is to people in other areas of the world.
For bonus content their web page lets you scroll through historical eras to see models of various buildings.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Atlas of Boston History
Via University of Chicago Press
 My wife bought me a copy of the newly published Atlas of Boston History for an anniversary gift. Editor Nancy Seasholes has enlisted a great team of cartographers, historians, planners and even economists to put together a well written and illustrated history. While it is tempting to take photos of some of my personal favorite maps and diagrams, in honor of copyrights I will stick to what is shown on their look inside pages. Sorry for the mediocre image quality.

The book progresses through history so a good start is the geologic setting. The two main colors represent two types of bedrock in the basin, Cambridge Argillite and Roxbury Conglomerate or Puddingstone. The green shapes are drumlins, glacial deposits smoothed into small hills. I really like the diagram below showing the layers of (mostly) glacial deposits from different eras, some from river or undersea deposits and a top layer of where the swamps and bays were filled in. This page also shows buildings and other features made from these rocks.
Here is a map showing the conflicts with the Natives of the area during "King Philip's" War.
Boston in the Revolutionary War era.
Here is a part of a map showing the Abolitionist Movement in the first half of the 1800's.
Some transit maps - the streetcar lines,
and the subway or elevated lines from 1918.
Finally, here is Boston's "racial dot map" for 2010, showing a city with a majority non-white population.
Lots more to see here. A nice holiday gift for the Bostonophile in your life.