Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Map of the Week-What the Future Looked Like

Arthur Radebaugh wrote a syndicated Sunday comic series titled "Closer Than You Think" in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The series featured optimistic scenes of a future with robots, floating houses and smart transportation networks. Here is the "Super-Metropolis Map of 1975" published in 1961. Thanks to the Paleo-Future Blog for this image.

The "regional cities" of tomorrow will be nearly continuous complexes of homes, business centers, factories, shops and service places. Some will be strip or rim cities; some will be star-shaped or finger-shaped; others will be in concentric arcs or parallels; still others will be "satellite towns" around a nucleus core. They will be saved from traffic self-suffocation by high-speed transportation - perhaps monorails that provide luxurious nonstop service between the inner centers of the supercities, as well as links between the super-metropolises themselves.
Here is a cropped image focusing on the map.

People from Atlanta may be horrified to learn that they live in the "Chattanooga Strip" and who knew that Tulsa was going to be such an important city? So do you live in a "strip" on a "rim" or in a "finger" and what's the difference? I'm still waiting for that Monorail!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Map of the Weekend-ABC decides your region

Every week someone at ABC or ESPN or some parent company decides what college football game you want to watch based on what region they think you're in. This week they feel that those of us in the Northeast would rather watch #7 Texas than #2 Ohio State.
Maybe the Texas game will be less lopsided but they didn't consider how the distance factor can water down the hatred. Texas? Meh. But Ohio State-now you're talking hatred! At least to those of us from Pennsylvania. Go Eastern Michigan!

For those of you who want the NFL product, the 506 has your map:

Seems a bit incorrect to show both the early and late games on the same map but then what do I know about football?

Or you could go outside and enjoy the nice fall weather!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Map of the Week-This Gaming Life

I'm not really much of a "gamer" but I'm also not one of those snobs that finds them offensive. I do like the cover of This Gaming Life by Jim Rossignol. Yes the book is two years old by now but I'm often late to discover things-especially when they relate to gaming.

I don't know why the cover makes me think of France. The resemblance is pretty weak.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Map of the Week-Mainegon and Wiscachusetts

Next week I will be traveling to Portland for a workshop.
If I use Andy Woodruff's map of Portland I should be able to find my way, right?

Maybe on the way up there I'll stop in Madbridge, Wiscachusetts. Here is a detailed street map.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Map of the Week-Maine Expedites Wind Power

I just got back our annual trip to Maine. The trip primarily involves the following steps.
1. throw a tennis ball into the lake
2. watch the dog bring it back
3. repeat
4 - infinity. repeat

Remy taking a rare break

In between throws I got a little reading done. This article about wind energy from the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting (reprinted in the Lincoln County News) caught my attention because it's largely about a map the state made under poorly documented circumstances. The map shows sites where wind turbines can get "fast track" consideration. Maine passed a law in 2008 designed to get wind projects moving with a goal of generating 2000 megawatts by 2015.

The map in question does not appear to be freely available to the public. Official records from the meetings where the map was drawn also appear to be non-existent. In fact, the whole process seems to be poorly documented and full of questionable connections between politicians and industry insiders. These projects are causing a rift among environmental groups with some of the groups seeing more harm than good. Beyond the usual "NIMBY" concerns about noise, property values and visual blight, there is also the required cutting of forests, installation of transmission lines, modest power output and much of the power and money being funneled out of state.   

The map was approved by the state legislature as a first step in deciding which projects should be built where and does not guarantee approval. While that map is not available, here is a map from the National Resources Council of Maine showing present and possible future wind projects.

Most of these projects are mountain top sites. The term "In Development" seems optimistic as it appears to mean that permits have been submitted, not necessarily approved. The "Under Construction" category is apparently nowhere-but it seems that the state is hoping the next version of this map will have some yellow stars.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Great Green Wall

Eleven sub-Saharan countries in Africa are working together to create a "Great Green Wall" (La Grande Muraille Verte) of vegetation to halt the growing of the Sahara Desert. This will be a 15 km wide strip of various types of vegetation running the continent from Dakar, Senegal to Djibouti. Local and international organizations are working together to design the route and choose the most effective and useful species of vegetation. The wall's designers hope to help farmers and stem the exodus of environmental refugees.