Thursday, March 31, 2011

Maps in Unexpected Places-Savannah Part 1

We just got back from a trip to Savannah, Georgia and saw a few interesting maps in unexpected places. This map, the first of two that I plan to spotlight, is embossed on both awnings of the new Sylvester & Co. Modern General store on Broughton Street downtown.

Here is a close up of one of the awnings. The black on gold is very striking and closely reflects the original map colors.

The map is titled "Plan of the City & Harbour of Savannah, in Chatham County. State of Georgia. A.D. 1818." It is from the "Report on the Social Statistics of Cities," compiled by George E. Waring, Jr., United States. Census Office, Part II, 1886. The map can be found online at the Perry-Castenada Library Map Collection at the University of Texas. Click below for a detailed view.

Savannah was founded in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe, who laid the city with six squares. As the city expanded more squares were added at regular intervals until there were 24. 22 of these squares still exist today in a National Historic Landmark District. These squares give the city a unique feel and charm. Major historic preservation and landscaping efforts protect the scenic and inviting character of the district.

This map, from 1818 shows the first 15 squares, with the area south of Liberty Street still undeveloped and listed as the "City Common." An empty space is cleared for Crawford Square, which sits on a "line of defense thrown up in 1814"  along the perimeter of the city.

Map 2 from Savannah will be featured in an upcoming post.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Maps on Album Covers

I thought it would be a good idea to spotlight album covers featuring maps but it turns out that there are fewer than I expected. I had to dig in some obscure places to find the ones below. Not having an exhaustive music collection I may have missed something obvious or notable. Let me know and I'll add it to the list.

I'll start with one of my personal favorite covers. Nile Rodgers of the disco/funk band Chic came out with a solo album titled "Adventures in the Land of the Good Groove" with a cover featuring lower Manhattan with faux latin place names like "Uptownicus" and "Nova Joysey."

Probably the best known album on this list is Chicago XI-Baby what a big surprise!

Martha and the Muffins went with the topographic Toronto look.

Early American folk music specialists Tasker's Chance used this historic map of part of Maryland.

Representing the world of experimental classical music is the Chicago Sound Map.

Hardcore metal band Slayer's "World Painted Blood" has a collector's edition with four different covers that when put together form a world illustrated with skulls and bones.

 This is more of a globe than a map but I've always been partial to Yes so I had to include "Fragile."

Canadian popsters Barenaked Ladies used an oddly styled Michigan for a live album with the somewhat clever title "Talk to the Hand."

Two Philadelphia area bands previously covered here have some good map artwork. The Strapping Fieldhands map showing sightings of the New Jersey Devil and Slo-Mo's map of the Northern Liberties neighborhood.

Finally, a 4 CD compilation called "Left of the Dial: Dispatched from the '80s Underground" used some map mashups for their covers. Don't try to use the map below for wayfinding!

UPDATE: for more good stuff see the follow up post.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Map of the Week-Nuke Plants in Earthquake Zones

The awful events going on in Japan made me curious about where else in the world there are nuclear plants in earthquake zones. Fortunately maptd had the same idea so they did all the work for me. Click the map below to get to their post and link to a google "heat map" of earthquake areas with a nuke plants overlay.

I was not previously familiar with the maptd blog but they have some excellent coverage of the mess in Japan including before and after pictures. They also include this Fox News "map fail" showing Japan's nuclear plants that includes the Shibuya Eggman, a nightclub in Tokyo. The map also missed several plants according to this wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Map of the Week-Fake Countries!

Micronations are small areas with (generally unrecognized) claims as sovereign states. They tend to be left or right wing attempts at secession, tax evasion schemes, jokes or publicity stunts. There is a micronation wiki on wikia, with a list and descriptions. Some are amusing while others are somewhat disturbing and the level of seriousness is not always clear.

The microfreedom page has descriptions, flags, links to websites and this map. There is also helpful information and warnings for anyone interested in starting their own country.

Here is a detailed view of some of the micronations of North America. The map and country lists do not completely agree.

I have not carefully researched the details of each county but the republic of Molossia has a good website with some interesting details about it's wars with Mustachistan and East Germany.

As this map shows, Mustachistan has made some pretty bold land claims so you can't really blame Molossia for challenging them.

Below are maps of the Battles of Lake Jean and Rattlesnake Rift during the War with Mustachistan. Why two Nevada area republics fought a battle (Lake Jean) in a Pennsylvania State Park is a long story but if you really want all the details follow the links above.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Map of the Week-Libyan Chaos

It's hard to find a good map of the situation in Libya. The ones I've seen often contradict each other and that's not really surprising given that conditions change over there almost as frequently as the spelling of Gaddafi's name does. This map from Reuters via the Daily Mail makes it look like the opposition is really taking over.

The semi-interactive map that appears in The Guardian is more detailed and nuanced. There is a clickable detail of the town of Brega, where control has been shifting back and forth. In another country you might see a map showing areas of control instead of points but I suspect that the population outside the cities in Libya is small enough that a point map makes more sense here.

UPDATE: An anonymous commenter pointed me to the Libya Crisis Map, an excellent source for current information by region.