August 2008

Mapping Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav Tracking Maps

Some are better than others; IbisEye, MSNBC and Wundermap are standouts. Via Anything Geospatial, Google Maps Mania, Kottke and La Cartoteca.

Hurricane Gustav in Google Earth
More Maps
GIS Tools

NOAA’s nowCOAST GIS mapping portal and SHP file data for storm surge probabilities (zip archive); both via Anything Geospatial.

Anything Else?

Have I missed anything? Post links to other maps of Gustav in the comments.

For maps of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita three years ago, see the Hurricanes 2005 category.


Sept. 1, 10:45 AM:

Sept. 1, 12:30 PM:

Sept. 2, 10:15 AM:

The Threat of Internet Mapping

At the Royal Geographic Society’s annual conference in London, British Cartographic Society president Mary Spence complained that satellite navigation and Internet mapping were obliterating knowledge of the landmarks lining the way from point A to B. See coverage from the Independent, the Times, and the Daily Telegraph. There’s also the RGS’s press release, which said that, at the session, Spence was to warn

that the focus of internet maps on providing driving directions produced by internet giants has meant that the whereabouts of the thousands of churches, ancient woodlands, stately homes and eccentric landmarks which make up the rich tapestry of the British landscape could disappear from public consciousness. …
“Corporate cartographers are demolishing thousands of years of history — not to mention Britain’s remarkable geography — at a stroke by not including them on maps which millions of us now use every day. We’re in real danger of losing what makes maps so unique; giving us a feel for a place even if we’ve never been there.”

My own reaction, based on what I have here (I’d love to have seen the full text of the session, which Ed Parsons also participated in), is that I don’t think I should be obliged to use a map showing these landmarks if I’m not looking for them. It’s the cartographic equivalent of forcing me to eat my vegetables — a GIS layer you can’t remove. But Glenn raises the point of spatial reference systems: I might not need to know the location of a cathedral to get from point A to B, but someone else might.

I think we’re looking at competing views of how to do a map: a comprehensive, all-in-one method showing plenty of extra information you might need, and a focused method showing only the information you will need. The fact that one has historically been paper-based and the other has generally been computer-based is not necessarily always true. There’s nothing to stop computer maps from showing cathedrals or other landmarks; as Ed Parsons is quoted as saying, you can have many different maps showing — or excluding — many different things. Where we are, in other words, is at the end of an era in which one map has to perform many tasks. This may well be a difficult concept for some cartographers to grasp.

(I wonder if this is an Ordnance Survey map thing; I don’t think North Americans would assume a highway map would be an adequate substitute for a topo map, or vice versa.)

Spence’s argument about the loss of map-reading skills is something we’ve seen before. (For example, her point about failing to recognize Ordnance Survey map symbols conflates general map skills with a familiarity with Ordnance Survey products.) The democratization of information invariably leads to complaints of a decline in quality — e.g., more people are reading, but they’re reading trash. An argument can be made — and Ed did make it — that Internet mapping is making cartography accessible to the cartographically clueless.

To what extent were Britons who currently use MapQuest or in-car navigation systems previously using Ordnance Survey maps with a high degree of skill, anyway?

Via All Points Blog, GeoCarta, and Vector One.

Previously: GPS Isn’t Making Us Dumb; A Third of Britain Can’t Read a Map.

Nevada in Maps

Colton's Territories of New Mexico and Utah (1855), thumbnail Nevada in Maps is a nice collection of more than 4,000 maps and atlases from the collections of the University of Nevada at Reno and Las Vegas, the State Library, and the Nevada State Historical Society. The collections mostly date from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries, and include topo maps (1863-1968), geologic and mining district maps and atlases (1863-1968), highway maps (1917-2005), and survey plats (1867-1927).

A sub-site, Nevada History in Maps, goes further back, draws on more sources, and focuses on the discovery and settlement of the area. At right: Colton’s Territories of New Mexico and Utah (1855) (Nevada Historical Society and the DeLaMare Library, University of Nevada, Reno). Via MAPS-L.

The Eyes of the Division

A real find via Slashgeo: an internal document about the Imagery Interpretation Section (5 MB PDF) of the U.S. Army’s 24th Infantry Division, dating from 1963. The document’s purpose was to promote the Section’s work to unit commanders. It also gives a real sense of the work of aerial reconnaisance at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the interpretation of aerial imagery was very much in the public eye.


TypeBrewer (screenshots)

TypeBrewer is a site about font choices in mapmaking. “TypeBrewer offers a quick and easy way to explore typographic alternatives and see the impact that various elements of type have on the overall look and feel of a map. TypeBrewer is designed for mapmakers who want to learn more about map typography and get practical design specifications for starting a map project.” Using a Flash-based interface, you can select different type styles and see the impact of font size, density (how much is labelled) and tracking (letter spacing). Via La Cartoteca.

The Journal of Terrestrial Observation

The Journal of Terrestrial Observation is a new peer-reviewed journal that is published simultaneously online and as a hardcopy quarterly. Its mission is “to examine the multi-disciplinary theories, models, technologies, and applications associated with earth observation in the broadest sense. The Journal will cover a wide range of topics including satellite remote sensing, aircraft reconnaissance, and proximate sensing utilizing in situ instrumentation.” Via Slashgeo.

Nikon’s Digital SLR Geotagger

Nikon GP-1 atop a Nikon D90 Hot on the heels of the P6000 with its built-in GPS, Nikon has announced a GPS accessory for its digital SLRs. The GP-1 clips to the hotshoe and has two cables: one that plugs into the new D90’s GPS/remote port, and one for the 10-pin PC connector for higher-end cameras. (If your camera doesn’t have a PC connector or is a D90, it isn’t compatible.) Like other geotaggers, it will apparently embed geolocation data in an image’s EXIF data. No price yet; MacCentral reports it’s shipping in November. See Richard’s take.

Geotagging has been available on Nikon digital SLRs for some time, just through third-party or DIY means. It’s certainly the first geotagger that embeds the coordinates in-camera without requiring a PC terminal, though that’s simply because of the new port on the D90. See previous entries: DIY Geotagging for a Nikon digital SLR; GeoPic II: Another Nikon Geotagger; Jobo Photo GPS; Another DIY Camera GPS Project; Solmeta DP-GPS N1.

U.S. Military Presence Worldwide

Mission Creep (thumbnail) Mother Jones’s interactive map showing U.S. military presence worldwide from 1950 to 2007 is making the rounds online. But it’s a little misleading: it’s a heat map, but its scale is logarithmic, which tends to overemphasize smaller numbers. Trends, if any, are hard too see. And sometimes the numbers in question are in the low double digits — are we mostly mapping embassy personnel? Via Boing Boing.

A Final Post About the Beijing Olympics

Last Olympics post for a while, I promise. This page is a Google Maps mashup that plots all medallists on their hometowns. It’s considerably cruder than the Earthgamz plugin (see previous entry), which also covers all athletes, but is more broadly functional. Via Google Maps Mania.

At the other end of the spectrum, I whipped up some very basic heat maps, using Google Spreadsheets’s map widget, showing the number of Olympic last-place finishers per country in this summing-up post on DFL.

Previously: Mapping Olympic Athletes; More Olympics Maps; Mapping the 2008 Olympics; BBC Olympics Maps.

Trial Downloads Available for MapPoint, Streets and Trips

MapPoint 2009 box (thumbnail) The Virtual Earth evangelist blog reports that trial versions of Microsoft’s MapPoint 2009 and Streets and Trips 2009 are now available as free downloads: MapPoint 2009 North America, Streets and Trips 2009.

Previously: MapPoint and Streets and Trips 2009.

MapQuest Beta Plays Catchup

The most notable thing about MapQuest’s new beta version is that there’s a map on the home page. That should give you an idea of how far down the field MapQuest’s competitors have taken things, and how far behind MapQuest has gotten: the default version still has just address and directions forms. The new version — detailed here and here — does catch up a little bit: there’s an option for a “copy and paste” address field, standard among the competition. It’s still not as easy to zoom, though. See reactions from All Points Blog (“Continuing on its ‘too little, too late’ strategy …”) and Digital Earth Blog.

North Carolina Maps

Americae pars, Nunc Virginia (1590) North Carolina Maps digitizes old maps of North Carolina; in beta (who are they, Google?) for the moment, but plans call for more than 1,500 maps, ranging from the 1590s to the 1960s. It’s a collaboration between the North Carolina State Archives, the North Carolina Collection at UNC Chapel Hill, and the Outer Banks History Center. According to the announcement, about 750 maps are available so far; the Outer Banks Center’s maps are coming in the fall. Via MapHist (thanks again, Tony).

GPS and Car Rallies

A couple of thoughts on the Rental Car Rally, which ran earlier this month between New York and Montreal. First, here’s CNet’s Caroline McCarthy’s take on the event:

The surprising truth? A large number of the driving squads had nothing but paper maps on them, making the overnight rally — with six backroad checkpoints, most of which were marked with nothing but a set of coordinates, to ensure that you couldn’t just take I-87 the whole way — a pretty difficult affair. But even with GPS, there was some head-scratching when everyone’s Garmins and TomToms navigated them right to the shores of Lake Champlain and recommended that they take a ferry. The gadgets were right: teams that drove onto the Grand Isle ferry arrived in Montreal hours before teams that chose to drive around the lake.

As I said, a couple of thoughts. First, car rally rules have changed to make use of available technology. In the car rallies my parents competed in forty years ago, a set of coordinates would never have been used; they counted left and right turns. GPS has changed the game. And on that note, it’s interesting that the rally’s directions were implicitly based on following the GPS, but not every team was prepared to offer their gadgets that implicit trust. Can’t imagine why.

More Olympics Maps

Heat maps of the Olympic medals, using Google Spreadsheets’s map widget: this one generates a map from a live results feed; Google Maps Mania creates a few using static medal numbers for the top 15, but divides the results by GDP and population. There’s a lot of potential for mapping Olympic performance, but there are plenty of variables involved, especially if you’re going to cross-reference a country’s population, income or size of Olympic delegation. There should be cartograms, at the very least.

One more: via Google Maps Mania, a map of the marathon route.

Previously: Mapping the 2008 Olympics; BBC Olympics Map.

A Book Roundup

Updates on the Rivero Case

For the latest developments in the case of César Gómez Rivero, who is facing charges related to the theft of maps from Spain’s National Library, see this July article from El Pais and this more recent article from the Uruguayan version of El Pais. If, that is, you read Spanish. Which I do not. Via MapHist.

Previously: Australia Returns Stolen Map to Spain; Of 19 Stolen Maps, 11 Have Been Recovered; Map Thief Surrenders; Some Maps Stolen from Spanish Library Recovered; Map Theft Updates; Spanish Map Theft Update; Maps Stolen from Spain’s National Library.

Map Hawk

Map Hawk, a side project by Directions Media’s Joe Francica, is a blog that “will cover the use of maps, mapping technology and location-based information in the media”; topics so far include the U.S. elections, the recent Russia-Georgia crisis, and newspaper map design. Via All Points Blog, naturally.

1920s Wristwatch-Style Routefinder

A display of unusual gadgets and inventions at the British Library includes a wrist-based routefinder that used miniature scrolling maps to indicate your destination. The Daily Mail and Ananova (which have pictures) call it the 1920s-era equivalent of satellite-based navigation, but I don’t think that’s the right metaphor — I think it’s more like TripTiks in a wristwatch. Via MapHist (thanks, Tony).

Genetic Map of Europe

The genetic map of Europe, which shows the genetic relationships between various European populations and which was published in Current Biology, “bears a clear structural similarity to the geographic map,” the New York Times’s Nicholas Wade writes. “The major genetic differences are between populations of the north and south (the vertical axis of the map shows north-south differences, the horizontal axis those of east-west). The area assigned to each population reflects the amount of genetic variation in it.” Finland is quite divergent, as is, to a lesser extent, southern Italy. Thanks to Richard for the link.

A Small Country Far Away of Which We Know Little

Google is denying reports that detailed maps for Georgia and the other countries of the Caucasus on Google Maps disappeared as a result of the conflict between Georgia and Russia. The data was never there in the first place; they were simply three of several countries for which detailed maps are not available via Google. Google says that

we never launched coverage in those countries because we simply weren’t satisfied with the map data we had available. We’re constantly searching for the best map data we can find, and sometimes will delay launching coverage in a country if we think we can get more comprehensive data.

However, they’re changing that position:

We’re hearing from our users that they would rather see even very basic coverage of a country than see nothing at all. That certainly makes sense, and so we have started preparing data for the handful of countries that are still blank on Google Maps. Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, as well as other significant regions of the world will benefit from this effort.

It’s not just the Caucasus — Argentina and South Korea are still largely blank.

David Imus’s Map of Oregon

When we last heard about cartographer David Imus, he was getting rave reviews for his map of Alaska. Now the revised edition of his map of Oregon is getting similarly favourable reviews, at least if this article in today’s Eugene Register-Guard is any indication. The article goes behind the scenes and looks at how Imus puts his maps together. To say that Imus is exacting would be a gross understatement. Interesting.

Previously: The Best Map of Alaska?

Georgia on My Mind

Oops. Google News illustrates a wire story about the Russian invasion of Georgia — the one in the Caucasus — with a map whose pushpin is in Georgia, the U.S. state. Hilarity ensues. Those pesky automatic algorithms.

Making Your Own Topo Maps

Two very different ways of making your own topo maps are explained in the following guides: Kevin Kelly talks about how to download free digital versions of USGS topo maps and print them (via Kottke); GPSFileDepot’s tutorial on how to download mapping data and generate topo maps that can be read by a Garmin GPS unit is somewhat more advanced, to say the least (via Free Geography Tools).

Mapping the 2008 Olympics

You may be aware that, in addition to The Map Room, I have another project that I work on during the Olympics: DFL, which chronicles last-place finishes. I’m at it again — this is my third kick at the Olympic can — and I expect it will take up the bulk of my time over the next two weeks. I’ll try to keep up with posting here, but I suspect things will be sporadic (again) until the Olympics are done.

Meanwhile, here are some maps of the Beijing Games.

Previously: BBC Olympics Map; Mapping the Winter Olympics.

Concerns About Planned British Crime Maps

Concerns are being expressed that the British Home Office’s recently announced plan to provide online crime maps for every neighbourhood in England and Wales would have a detrimental impact on housing prices and school enrolment in neighbourhoods with high crime rates; see articles in the Times and the Daily Mail for details.

It’s interesting to compare the reaction: there have been crime maps in the U.S., and I can’t recall a discussion of the downside of having this information available; rather, I suspect that people would prefer having this information available before they move.

The plan is based on a West Midlands pilot project.

Via All Points Blog and Infonaut.

Belgrade Is the World

Beograd je svet Belgrade Is the World. Webmapper explains: “The artist Slaviša Savić discovered an unusual and an unexpected coincidence between the town plan of Serbian Belgrade and the map of the world. … The world’s continents seem to match the cities populated areas. Just as the Atlantic Ocean separates the Old and New World, the river Sava separates the Old en New Belgrade. Just like Greenland is situated in the confluence of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, the island Veliko Ratno ostrvo lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.”

Shanghai in 2020

Photo by Taj Campbell We’ve seen this scale model of Shanghai before, but Neatorama provides some more information: “On the third floor of the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, there is what probably is the world’s largest scale model of a city. The room-sized model of central Shanghai in 2020, as envisioned by the urban planners, fills an area larger than 100 square meters (1,000 square feet).” Photo by Taj Campbell. Via Gizmodo.

Previously: Scale Models of Cities.

Tampa Bay History Center to Receive Collection of Florida Maps

The Tampa Bay History Center opens in December; over the next few years, maps from a private collection of some 2,000 maps of Florida, collected over 25 years by investment firm president J. Thomas Touchton, will be transferred to the Center’s holdings. Last March, the Tampa Tribune ran a piece on Touchton and his maps, the earliest of which dates to 1513. Thanks to Reid for the link.

A Map Exhibition in Arkansas

Maps: From Here to There and Then to Now is a map exhibition, running from August 10 to November 30, at the Old Independence Regional Museum in Batesville, Arkansas. The Searcy, Arkansas Daily Citizen has more:

Of special interest is an exhibition of Carter Yeatman’s Historic Arkansas map collection, which spans the years from 1821 through the 1860s and one dating circa 1920. Each map illustrates the beauty of early cartography and also shows how the boundaries of the state and its counties changed during those decades. …
Other displays include a geological map that shows the rocks and mineral strata and the Fayetteville Shale that is presently being drilled for gas, a Civil War map that shows company movements near Cord-Charlotte and a cemetery relocation map that details how cemeteries were moved before Greer’s Ferry Lake covered them. A tactile map of Batesville that can be used by a blind person is also displayed.

Arctic Maritime Jurisdiction Map

IBRU arctic map Durham University’s International Boundaries Research Unit has produced a map of the frequently overlapping boundaries, jurisdictions and claims of various countries in the Arctic. In the wake of Russia’s planting a flag on the seabed under the North Pole, in preparation for a claim that their continental shelf includes the Pole, it’s expected that the question of who controls what up there will be increasingly urgent. The PDF map “identifies known claims and agreed boundaries, plus potential areas that might be claimed in the future.” Canada’s claim to the entire Arctic Ocean up to the North Pole east of 141° W is mentioned in the notes but not depicted, for example; what we mainly see is territorial waters, exclusive economic zones, and claimed continental shelves. Thanks to Marc for the link.

Update: Reuters article.

Tools for Adventure: Children’s Map Exhibition

Tools for Adventure is a travelling exhibition about maps, targeted at children from grades three through five, produced by the National Geographic Society and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. It’s currently at Baylor’s Mayborn Museum Complex (in Waco, Texas) through September 7; it then moves on to the Macon, Georgia Museum of Arts and Sciences, from September 27 to January 11. Via Contours.

Google, Yahoo Maps Refreshed

Both Google Maps and Yahoo Maps got refreshed last week: Google’s interface was rejigged to reduce clutter (oddly, I get the old interface when I load, but the new interface when I load — localization bug?); Yahoo’s interface changes are less obvious but more substantive, and focus on printable maps, driving directions, and local search.

On a minor note, Google’s driving directions now include the option to avoid toll roads.

Electrician Sentenced for Birmingham University Thefts

An electrician has been given a suspended sentence for stealing approximately £89,000 worth of maps, books and documents from Birmingham University’s library, the Birmingham Post reports. Richard Delaney, 37, was caught after failing to return a van that had been issued by his employer; use of the employer’s fuel card led to his arrest in February. It was while working for that employer that Delaney had access to the Library’s collections. Delaney was, the defence said, suffering from a heroin addiction at the time and was in financial trouble as a result. He pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and one of making a false representation, and was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for 18 months. Via MapHist.

See also this report in the Birmingham Mail from last April (via Tony Campbell’s News About Map Thefts).

Britain from Above

Britain Seen from Above (screenshot)

Considerable buzz about an upcoming BBC series, Britain from Above. This preview (screen capture above; I wish I could have embedded the video here, it’s pretty good) uses GPS traceroutes to show sea, road and air traffic; it also shows telephone network usage (thanks, Neil). The first episode airs Sunday on BBC One and Two. Via MAKE: Blog.

Update: A brief note in the Telegraph (via Mapperz).

Very Very Small Maps of Hong Kong

KeyMap and CardMap How small can a map be and still be legible?, a spinoff of the Hong Kong-based Universal Publications Ltd., is publishing some very small maps indeed. Douglas Li of ZoomMap writes:

[W]e create and publish miniature maps — magnifiable up to 50× — of various areas in Hong Kong and China. When I say miniature, I mean tiny, on the scale of saying “a fistful of maps.” They are provided in two different sizes (KeyMap: 150mm × 230mm and CardMap: 235mm × 355mm), and go for about $25 and $35 Hong Kong Dollars, which converts to $3.3 and $4.6 CAD, respectively.
I believe they’re the smallest professional maps of its kind, as nobody else ever decided to make such small city maps before. They’re in full detail, which means that they contain all the information available on commonly larger maps. When folded, the KeyMap is about the size of a key, while the CardMap is about the size of most credit cards.
They come with a magnifying glass with 2.5× and 4× zoom, as well as a protective PVC cover to protect both the map and the magnifying glass.

Links added. The maps aren’t available overseas, but the concept is very interesting: the smaller a map physically is, the more likely you’ll take it with you. Whether it’s usable in practical terms is another question.

Panamap, Formerly Dynamap, Available Soon

Panamap It’s been a long time, but the mapping technology that was first presented under the name Dynamap in 2004 has finally left the realm of vapourware and will very shortly result in a shipping product. Well, two products, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Oh, and there’s a new name (or at least new since 2005), too: Panamap. Again, tilting the map yields different views of the city: streets, boroughs, transit. Urban Planning will ship maps of Chicago and Manhattan later this month, they say. Via La Cartoteca.

Previously: The Dynamap; Urban Mapping (Was: Dynamap).

Introducing the Calendar

Today I’m launching a new feature here on The Map Room: a calendar of map-related events. It’s meant to cover conferences, talks, and similar events; exhibitions are more problematic because (1) there are so many of them and (2) their lifespan is measured in months, not days, so they’d clutter up the calendar in short order. So I’m leaving exhibitions off for the time being.

This calendar relies on reader submissions; without them, it’ll be kind of empty. It’s kind of empty right now. So send me an event already, why don’t you?

It’s an embedded Google Calendar, so the usual features apply, including subscriptions in Atom/XML and iCal formats.

Let’s see if this works.

Update: Adam Estrada has used Yahoo Pipes to produce a map of the calendar events. Neat!

The Return of Gavin Menzies

A reader wrote me in June:

I was just wondering if you have read the new book (due out this month, June 2008) called 1434 by Gavin Menzies in which he puts forward a hypthesis that the Chinese set off the Renaissance by giving their maps, astronomy, and all their knowledge to Europe in 1434, and that it is the Chinese maps that Piri Reis copied. NOTHING to do with extra terrestrials. Now historians are saying that Menzies is wrong, but they have NO better answer, other than extra terrestrials. I for one think, that the Chinese is a much more logical answer to the Piri Reis map than UFOS and extra terrestrials. Menzies also wrote another book a few years called 1421 in which he posited a theory that Zheng He travelled all over the world — including North and South America — thereby “discovering” it before Columbus. Menzies also says that Columbus did not discover America. He already knew it was there. It was on his maps. He just went to see for himself and to claim the land for Spain.
Do you have any comment?

Do I have any comment? Other than, oh goody, more unmitigated horseshit to refute? More assertions not backed up by stodgy old-fashioned stuff like, you know, evidence? More …

Continue reading this entry.

iPhone Navigation Applications

iTunes application store (screenshot) My original plan was to write an entry about the navigation applications available for the iPhone and iPod touch by buying a few of them myself and trying them. As often occurs with my plans, that didn’t happen. In any event, the fact that I’d be using my iPod touch — no way I’m getting an iPhone, what with the lack of an unlimited data plan in my country and the fact that I don’t use cellphones much — would limit the usefulness of my testing: I could look at the pretty maps, but I’d have no GPS to test, much less cell tower triangulation. So, so much for that.

So instead, belatedly as usual, have a look at some other roundups of iPhone/iPod touch navigation/location applications elsewhere on the Web, which saves me from reinventing the wheel:

Also see TUAW on geocaching with an iPhone 3G.

There’s been some talk about problems with how the iPhone geotags its photos, particularly in terms of e-mailing and sending photos to Flickr; see Richard, Dan and this Flickr discussion.

Haptic Weather Maps

Turkish researchers are applying haptics to weather maps, allowing map users to “feel” climate data represented on the map, the New Scientist reported last March:

The system converts climate data into forces that a person can feel using a haptic device in the form of a robotic arm with a joystick on the end. …
The haptic controller can guide a person’s hand along contours representing areas of high air pressure, or push and pull on their hand to represent shifting winds as the user moves their cursor over the map. Vortices of rising, swirling air are experienced as if the user’s hand is attached to a spring pulling it upwards.

Essentially, the problem is that weather maps can show too much data at once; adding a tactile component allows for more information to be presented with less confusion. Via Vector One.

Previously: Virtual 3D Maps for the Blind.

A Collection of National Geographic Maps

Kolby Kirk shares some examples of his collection of National Geographic maps.

Around 1994, when I moved away from home to attend college, I was forced to get rid of most of my National Geographic magazines — a nearly complete collection of every issue back to 1929. However, I was able to keep all of the supplements/inserts since they didn’t take up much room. I’ve been looking through the three boxes and have found more than just maps, folded posters, and old panoramic photos. I’ve also found one of the reasons why I love travel. I think most people would start to feel a desire to explore the world after looking at a few maps. The beautiful and distinct fonts, the colors, the clarity. A National Geographic map is good enough to hang up on the wall and call it “art.”

His collection numbers in the hundreds; samples (portions of the entire maps, rather than completely infringing complete reproductions) can also be found on Flickr, in addition to the above blog entry.

I have to admit to a weak spot for National Geographic maps myself, and am annoyed that I don’t get more of them with our subscription. (They also tend to be more “thematic” — like the most recent one, of Iran — than the straightforward maps of yesteryear.)

GiSTEQ GPS Loggers Now Mac-Compatible

GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr devices — they’re GPS loggers for geotagging — are now Mac-compatible, with the release of PhotoTrackr software for the Mac; MacNN, MacCentral. Richard notes that the software “is actually a special version of JetPhoto that adds a GiSTEQ driver.” JetPhoto is compatible with a number of GPS loggers. Richard reviewed GiSTEQ’s PhotoTrackr Lite (DPL700) last December.

The OneGeology Project

Brooks Rowlett points to this BBC News article about the OneGeology project, an initiative to make accessible online geological map data from the entire planet. This sounded familiar, like I’d heard about it before, but apparently I never got around to posting about it until now; here’s a story from last March about attempts to get the project under way. The goal is to provide geological mapping data at a scale of 1:1,000,000, which some countries apparently consider too commercially sensitive.