Basking in the glow of a hand made globe of the world

Wednesday, 23 October, 2013

One of the front rooms, that may be a study or home office, of a house I walk passed some evenings, occasionally glows in the dim light of a vintage illuminated world globe, that sits on the room’s mantlepiece.

From what I can see of it, the room itself, complete with leadlight windows, is something of a period piece, whose layout is possibly intended to be reminiscent of a Victorian era sitting room.

While this room very much appeals to me, I’m not big on Victorian age clutter, but have always thought a world globe would be a fine adornment to a minimally furnished home office… were I ever to have one. This as opposed to setting up camp at one end of whatever dining, or kitchen, table that is available, as I currently do.

If I ever follow through with the plan to have my own, purpose dedicated office, fitted out with with a world globe, preferably one that is illuminated, it would have to be one of these hand made models.

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Mapping a city according to the age of its buildings

Tuesday, 15 October, 2013

Image by Justin Palmer

Portland based developer Justin Palmer has created an eye catching series of maps of the US city based on the age of its buildings and houses, a process that has brought a number of patterns and historical trends to the fore.

In short, lime green structures date from the late nineteenth century, purple the middle of the twentieth, while the most recent are shaded light pink.

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Imagine if the world was made up of equally sized districts

Tuesday, 24 September, 2013

World of equal districts

Another way of looking at the world’s population density… imagine if we lived in districts – that may, or may not, be sovereign states in their own right – inhabited by ten to eleven million people each.

Very interesting. I can’t seem to track down who is behind this project though. Anyone know?

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Tonight on the tube we dine on vanilla ice cream and barley twists

Friday, 6 September, 2013

London tube food map by James Wannerton

British systems analyst James Wannerton has not only visited every station on the London Underground network, an amazing accomplishment in itself, he also discerned each stop’s unique taste, and has drawn up a map of the transit system accordingly.

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There was once a place called Doggerland in Europe, check this map

Tuesday, 3 September, 2013

Doggerland, map by National Geographic Magazine staff

A landmass that connected what is now Great Britain to continental Europe, once existed up until about eight and half thousand years ago, and is known as Doggerland… at least by more contemporary geologists and scientists, that is.

(Map by National Geographic Magazine staff)

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Ian Silva’s made up maps of a made up place

Friday, 23 August, 2013

Sydney trainer driver Ian Silva spends his spare time producing intricate, highly detailed, maps of the Koana Islands, a fictitious nation situated in the Indian Ocean, about half way between Australia and Madagascar.

Koana Islands (pronounced Co-AHNAH Islands), officially the Republic of Koana Islands is an Oceania country situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It’s closest neighbours are Australia to the east, Madagascar to the west and India to the North. The capital city is Megopolis. The Koana Islands is made up of 32 islands, of which 11 are uninhabited and are national parks. The biggest island, Koana Island, has an area of approximately 574,925 square kilometres and is home to the vast majority of Koanians. All up, the 32 islands provide an area of 931,223 square kilometres, roughly the size of Spain and Sweden combined.

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A detailed map of asteroids orbiting near Earth’s orbit

Wednesday, 21 August, 2013

PHA orbit map by NASA

The blues lines in the above image, prepared by NASA, represent the orbits of PHAs, or Potentially Hazardous Asteroids, through the solar system.

It might look rather crowded out there (full size image), but that doesn’t mean any of the 1400 objects plotted here necessarily pose a threat to us… they just happen to cross the path of Earth’s orbit around the Sun at some point, and that point could be millions of kilometres from where we are now.

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The map that tells, rather than shows you, where to go

Tuesday, 20 August, 2013

Photo by Nobutaka Aozaki

New York based artist Nobutaka Aozaki is currently mapping out Manhattan. He’s not working alone though, in fact, posing as a tourist, he enlists the help of people he meets on the streets to put his map together, by asking them to hand write directions from their current location in the city, to another.

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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.

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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.

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