Google Earth for the iPhone is now available. I’ve been playing with it in on my iPod touch this evening. My instant reaction: Google has absolutely nailed the interface — Multi-Touch was meant for Google Earth, and using the accelerometer to provide tilting was inspired — but it’s not as feature-complete as the desktop version, as you might expect from a mobile implementation. Only five layers are supported — and street data isn’t one of them. (I suppose you can get that from the bundled Google Maps application.) I anticipate that more will be added to this application in the future.
Further to my previous posts on mapping the results of the recent 2008 Canadian federal elections, here is Elections Canada’s preliminary map of the results. Nothing interactive about it — it’s a print-quality, 4.4-megabyte, 39-megapixel PDF. But I like it. (You can find similar maps for past elections as well by poking around the Elections Canada site.)
The folks from MapQuest — remember them? — have released a version of their site optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch; visiting mapquest.com from one of these gadgets will automatically load the appropriate version. I’m afraid I have to agree with Gruber: “[N]o matter how good their maps and directions, it seems hard to compete with the built-in (Google) Maps app with a web app that doesn’t have access to CoreLocation.” And in the usual MapQuest fashion, the first page you’re presented with is a search box, not a map.
I’ve heard good things about the Times Comprehensive Atlas, the 12th edition of which came out in the U.K. last year; it’s being published in its U.S. version on Tuesday, according to the Amazon page. David Mumford of HarperCollins writes to say that this atlas and its smaller, cheaper and less comprehensive cousins now have a dedicated home page: The Times World Atlases. An interesting site, as promotional sites go. Its page outlining all the different atlases, from the £150 Comprehensive to the £7 Mini, is extremely useful. Also interesting — purely from a vicarious perspective — is the “bespoke” Luxury Edition, which allows well-heeled purchasers to customize their Comprehensive in terms of binding, embossing, endpapers and suchlike. (For a moment I got my hopes up that you could customize the content, but alas, no.)
- Buy The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, 12th Edition at Amazon.com
- Buy The Times Concise Atlas of the World, 10th Edition at Amazon.com
- Buy The Times Universal Atlas of the World at Amazon.com
More coverage of some atlases we’ve already seen:
- BBC Radio 4’s Today looks at the Worldmapper team’s Atlas of the Real World, a collection of newsworthy cartograms (see previous entry).
- CNN covers Earth, the 30-kilogram, limited edition, hella-expensive and gigantic atlas I referred to last March.
- Buy The Atlas of the Real World at Amazon.com
The Santa Barbara Independent looks at a new map of the Santa Barbara backcountry (in California), the Matilija and Dick Smith Wilderness Map Guide, and its creator, Bryan Conant. It’s his second map of the backcountry; the first was the San Rafael Wilderness Map. It gets a good review: “Like the San Rafael map, the new one is printed on waterproof, tear-resistant stock, is well laid out and easy to read. The detail is superb and includes accurate mileages thanks to the GPS and is color coded to show which trails are in good condition, which are somewhat overgrown, and which are so overgrown as to be virtually impassable. For those who’ve hiked the backcountry much you’ll understand how valuable these classifications are.”
Tony Campbell made an announcement on MapHist a few days ago: “I have today [Oct. 8] posted on the Thefts pages of Map History an account by the map dealer George Ritzlin of his experiences in dealing with Joshua McCarty. McCarty was implicated in the theft of maps from Ted Canaday’s shop in early 2007 and, more recently, of books from the Hayes Presidential Library.” (Links added.) “The rare book and map trade is a small world,” writes Ritzlin, “and the incidents described below show the importance of keeping lines of communication open among dealers, librarians and collectors. Anyone discovering a theft should act promptly to spread the news widely” (his emphasis).
Previously: Travis McDade on the Hayes Library Thefts.
An exhibition of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s amazing aerial photography is coming to New York next spring: Earth from Above, the exhibition, will run from May 1 to June 28, 2009, at the World Financial Center Plaza. The Big Picture has a selection of Arthus-Bertrand’s photography; you can also go to his site to download wallpaper images. Via Kottke.
Previously: La terre vue du ciel.
Cedric Sam has put together maps of the 2008 federal election results as Google Earth layers (at right, a screenshot). It’s well done: the riding are coloured to make a choropleth map, and contain pie charts to measure popular vote at a glance. Via Ogle Earth.
The Toronto Star has put together maps of the results in the Greater Toronto Area — seven so far — which you can get to from this post and this post. Heat maps showing the popular vote for each party in each riding, turnout rates, second-place parties and margins of victory are all mapped, using Google Maps as a base.
Previously: Interactive Maps of the Canadian Federal Election.
There’s more to a disputed boundary than just a dotted line on a map; the Indian magazine Frontline looks at the history of the disputed India-China border. (It’s worth noting that you’d be hard pressed to find two countries more sensitive about maps showing the correct boundaries than India and China.)
Previously: Google Earth and Disputed Borders and Names.
Influenced by the organization inherent in cartography, the twelve Brooklyn-based artists in BAC Gallery’s latest exhibition, Creative Cartographies, present viewpoints both personal and political, mapping their own thoughts, journeys, and observations. Collectively, the artists show that structure and expression are not mutually exclusive and utilize a variety of materials to create imagined and real geographies. Maps traditionally suggest stability and a sense of purpose; they originally served to chart new territories and make the unknown less intimidating. In the age of Google maps and GPS, art inspired by maps continues to aid the viewer in navigating unfamiliar territory, but it also veers from the scientific and factual to the creative and subjective.
On the agenda at the Northwest Government Information Network’s fall meeting on November 7, 2008, according to Carlos Diaz’s e-mail announcement: “The featured program will be To Catch a Map Thief: The WWU Story of Purloined Maps. Rob Lopresti and Julie Fitzgerald of WWU Libraries will be detailing the story of stolen maps from its collection and others by James L. Brubaker. The program will also detail security improvements at the library.” Via MAPS-L.
Beginning in January, Californians will be able to use windshield-mounted GPS units; Minnesota is apparently the only remaining U.S. state that prohibits mounting navigation units on the inside of your windshield.
Meanwhile, Egypt is one of only three countries — the other two are Syria and North Korea, auspicious company — that prohibits the unrestricted commercial use of GPS — approval from the authorities is required, but in practice that means that, for example, GPS-equipped camera phones are brought into the country under the table. Via Electronista.
L.A. Unfolded: Maps from the Los Angeles Public Library opened today at Los Angeles’s Central Library; it runs until January 22. “The exhibition focuses on Los Angeles and California and features topographic surveys, tourist guides, real estate maps, pictorials, illustrations and more. Highlights include a 1791 Spanish explorers’ California coast map; a 1975 Goetz Guide to the Murals of East Los Angeles; and Artist-Historian Jo Mora’s masterly illustrated 1942 city map. The exhibition draws exclusively from the Los Angeles Public Library’s own map collection, one of the largest collections owned by a public library in the U.S.” More at Angelenic. Via MAPS-L.
Webmapper explores the question of Tele Atlas’s questionable map quality and the reasons why Google may have dropped Navteq for ostensibly poorer map data — a question I raised in this post. An interesting post, but perplexing given its speculative nature; I thought that, unless I’ve missed something, Edward worked for TomTom, whose takeover of Tele Atlas closed in June. That caveat aside, go read.
Edward also says that my post reflects “a rather North-American bias. Google still uses map data from other providers as well, such as AND and Europa Technologies (small-scale world maps), Zenrin (Japan), PSMA (Australia), and MapABC (China).” I stand corrected; I was focusing on errors in my neighbourhood in the context of reports I’d seen about the Navteq-Tele Atlas switch.
A rare 1612 map of Canada will be auctioned at Sotheby’s next month. Is it the same map that went missing from Harvard University? Harvard discovered that its copy of Samuel de Champlain’s map was missing in 2005, during an investigation undertaken in the wake of the Smiley affair. Smiley never admitted to that particular theft, and the map has never been recovered. Now Harvard curators are looking into whether this map is theirs.