Travel broadens the mind, so does looking at maps of the world

Tuesday, 20 August, 2013

Talk about a picture speaking a thousand words… there’s a lot to be learned about the way the world is, and was, from looking at maps that set out anything from people’s attitudes to foreigners and sexuality, through to writing systems, religious beliefs, ethnic diversity, and economic inequality, among others.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

Monday, 12 August, 2013

I guess we’ve all heard stories of explorers, sailors, and even people lost somewhere, who have managed to reach their destination, or a place they were hoping to find, solely through navigating by the stars.

It’s a method of navigation though that has always struck me as problematic because, you know, the stars are always in motion… how is anyone supposed to figure where they’re meant to be going when the goal posts are constantly changing, as it were?

As it happens there are only a few stars and constellations you need to know of to work out basic bearings, and from there you can, hopefully, work out the direction you need to be heading in.

For instance, the top and bottom stars in the Southern Cross, or Crux, to use its Latin name, always point south (and therefore north in the other direction), so working out other compass points becomes a lot easier.

The North Star isn’t visible below the equator. Instead, look for the constellation Crux – it resembles a kite. If you draw a line from the top of the kite to the bottom, it’ll point you south.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,

Some colourful new direction for street maps

Friday, 2 August, 2013

New Delhi map by Jazzberry Blue

An illustrator and artist, going by the name Jazzberry Blue, casts the street maps of cities in a new light, and colour.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

The bright lights of London are best reached by… anagram

Friday, 19 July, 2013

London Underground anagram map

In the passed I’ve lived in Ah Balm, and near Bort Nix, among other places, according to this anagram-ised map of the London Underground.

Via Kottke.

And… on the subject of anagrams, look what result turns up when you Google the word.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,

The stars of the big screen are now stars in the night sky

Friday, 28 June, 2013

Hollywood Star Chart, designed by Dorothy

I found a movie map, created by Manchester design studio Dorothy, based on an old street map of San Francisco, about a year ago, and now they’ve followed up with a series of Hollywood Star Charts, where constellations have been assigned film names, and their constituent stars the names of said movie’s actors.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

A political map of the supercontinent known as Pangea

Tuesday, 11 June, 2013

Pangea landmass, political map, detail

300 million years ago all the world’s islands, continents, and other landmasses, were part of a single supercontinent known as Pangea.

Assuming this massive expanse had not broken up – as it was doing about 200 million years ago – and the nations that we’re familiar with today had formed as, and where, they are now, this is what a political map of the world would look like.

For those interested, Pangea was not the first such supercontinent, it is thought to have been preceded, in the super distant past, by at least two other such bodies, Columbia, and Rodinia. It seems the Earth’s landmasses have regularly joined together, then drifted apart, during our planet’s 4.5 billion year lifetime.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,

This old Moscow Metro map has some style of it’s own

Thursday, 30 May, 2013

Moscow Metro map, 1980

From the London Underground to the Moscow Metro, circa 1980… while apparently not an official map of the then Soviet capital’s transit system, it is nonetheless an eye catching instance of transit map design.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

The London Underground map get some styles… cascading styles

Thursday, 30 May, 2013

It’s uber geeky but I how could not link to this map of the London Underground made entirely by way of Cascading Style Sheets.

Bookmark on your mobile phone browser for future reference.

Read more posts on related topics

, , , ,

So, before sinking Atlantis set sail for the Indian Ocean?

Friday, 1 March, 2013

Beneath the waves of the Indian Ocean, somewhere between India and Madagascar, may lie a sunken microcontinent

Evidence for the long-lost land comes from Mauritius, a volcanic island about 900 kilometres east of Madagascar. The oldest basalts on the island date to about 8.9 million years ago, says Bjørn Jamtveit, a geologist at the University of Oslo. Yet grain-by-grain analyses of beach sand that Jamtveit and his colleagues collected at two sites on the Mauritian coast revealed around 20 zircons – tiny crystals of zirconium silicate that are exceedingly resistant to erosion or chemical change – that were far older.

Could this be the landmass that the legendary Atlantis is based on, even if it is residing in the wrong ocean?

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

Does the shape of a country say something about its economy?

Tuesday, 19 February, 2013

Could a country’s territorial morphology, or its shape, which can fit into one of five types, perforated, elongated, compact, fragmented and protruded, have any sort of influence on its economy? Seemingly, yes, it can:

But there is a serious, geopolitical concern behind this attempt at classification. For a country’s shape has a profound impact on its economic success, and even its political viability. Case in point: Lesotho. Being completely surrounded by another country does your economy no good. Four out of 10 Lesothans live on less than $1 a day, and the country ranks 160th (out of 187) on the UNDP’s Human Development Index. Even compared with the wildly unequal society that is South Africa, Lesotho stands out as a pocket of deprivation.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,