Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lady Anne Blunt in Northern Arabia

In March the Library of Congress posted a series of maps for Women's History Month on their geography and map blog. Their last post was a map showing the journeys of Lady Anne Blunt through northern Arabia.
Blunt was a British noblewoman who was famous for helping to save the purebred Arabian horse by buying and bringing horses to England. She was the first European woman to cross the Arabian desert in pursuit of these horses. As an interesting side note her mother, Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace is often regarded as the first computer programmer.

Blunt was not a cartographer but her place-specific descriptions of two journeys, in 1878 and 1879, allowed Edward Stanford, a London bookseller and mapmaker (creator of Stanfords Travel Guides) to create this remarkably detailed map.  It shows not just the physical geography of the land, but cultural features such as irrigation and grazing practices, tribal relations and pilgrimage routes.
Here are a couple more zoomed in views.

You can browse and/or download the entire map online at the Library of Congress.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spaces We Love

The American Institute of Architects 2016 Conference opens this week in Philadelphia. The local chapter has put together Spaces We Love - a series of videos in which 11 residents were asked to describe their favorite spaces in the city. This seems like a project in need of a map so I decided to take it on as a learning experience for the CartodB platform. You can interact with it (click the black AIA logos for info and videos) below or see it in full screen here.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Tastes of Sweden

A couple of months ago I featured the Flavors of Finland, a map/recipe mashup from Expedia. Now here's the Tastes of Sweden.

Taste of Sweden by ExpediaSE

The traditional provinces are all represented. From their outreach message:
 Due to Sweden's large North–South expanse, the variations between the local recipes and dishes are quite huge, and this piece enables you to explore these on a local level. What is even more special about the piece is the fact that it draws attention to both infamous and lesser known dishes and their rich histories so that in many ways it doubles up as both a test of our local culinary knowledge, and also a really cool education piece because we can click around the map in order to learn about each and every dish – including the likes of the Southern spit cake, salmon spring rolls from Västergötland, hare burgers from Medelpad, and even a lovely reindeer stew from Lappland.
Here is a lovely screen shot in case of page load problems

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

MIT's Innovation District

Last week the Boston Globe had a clever map of "The Kendall Network"  I posted it on Twitter but have not had a chance to mention it here. It accompanies an article celebrating the 100th anniversary of MIT's move from Boston to an empty warehouse district of Cambridge. For those unfamiliar with Boston, Kendall Square is the area adjacent to MIT and has recently seen a huge growth in tech companies.
The printed circuit board analogy works great because of the somewhat ordinary (by local standards) street network. If this was Harvard, it would have been much more difficult to make this kind of map. The crazy Harvard Square street network there would have required some major schematic simplification. The Kendall Square area only needed minor adjustments. MIT is the chip that is driving the innovation around it. Nice work Globe graphics team!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mapping the Pitches

Cartographer and (Nottingham) Forest fan Kenneth Field recently mapped 92 Football Association (UK) pitches.  In honor of Leicester City's extremely improbable Premier League title (congrats!) here is King Power Stadium.
Each pitch is set against a stark grey background to emphasize the field details.
 You can pan and zoom around Great Britain or choose a team from the list.
Personally, I like Norwich because I always seem to back the hard luck teams. Plus I like canaries.
There is also a poster with all the pitches overlaid to show the subtle differences in dimensions and orientations. The dimensions are specified by the football associations, yet there are still subtle differences in the length and width of each pitch. 
From the poster text:
Overlaid, they create a spirographic pattern. Ranked by pitch size, they show how clean stature and stadia capacity are unrelated.