Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Medieval Map of Mars

Eleanor Lutz created this wonderful medieval style topographic map of Mars.
Details can be found on her blog, Tabletop Whale. The medieval look is enhanced by the the text, font choices, and cute addition of "Here there be robots" to the title. The more modern looking landing sites detract from that look a bit, however.
 Some notes from her site:
To add a little something extra, I included the history of each place name on the map. Martian craters are named after famous scientists (for large craters) or small villages on Earth (small craters). Since the base map is hand-drawn I also added an overlay of actual NASA topographic imagery. This way even if some of my lines are a little off, you can still see what the actual ground looks like underneath.
The map is partially based on this wonderful USGS topographic map (click warning-huge image, will load slowly)
The USGS map uses the Mercator projection to show the areas between 57 degrees north and south and has separate polar projections for each polar region. Lutz's map covers the same Mercator north-south region but for some reason shows only the areas between 50 degrees east and west, a vertical slice of the above image.

The Mercator projection means that the equatorial craters are drastically undersized compared to those at the higher latitudes. Nobody lives there as far as we (or David Bowie) know so hopefully the Greenland Problem does not offend too many people but its still good to be aware of it.

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