The CDC, Cholera Maps and the 2011 Haiti Epidemic

A map on a display at the CDC’s in-house museum hides in plain sight what U.S. government authorities are reluctant to admit: the origin of the 2011 cholera epidemic in Haiti (a U.N. peacekeeping base housing a batallion from Nepal). All the more amazing by its juxtaposition with John Snow’s famous 1854 cholera map of London. It’s as if they wanted us to tell us something while being prevented from doing so.

Mapping the Airways

mapping-the-airwaysOut this month from Amberley PublishingMapping the Airways. “Drawing on fascinating and unique material from the British Airways archive, curator Paul Jarvis focuses on the beautiful map artwork used over nearly 100 years of history to chart our voyages through the skies—from early adverts to twenty-first-century on-board moving maps—and the vital maps and charts used by pilots and navigators.” (The paperback edition seems to be delayed until June on the U.S. Amazon store, though you can still get the Kindle version.)  Here’s a short piece about the book in the trade journal Advance. [Tony Campbell]

Average House Prices in the U.K.

British housing market analyst Neal Hudson posted a map of 2015 average house prices in the U.K. to Twitter last week. London is unsurprisingly dire.

[Maps on the Web]

More on Mapping Pluto’s Geology

Postdoctoral researcher Oliver White talks about creating maps of Pluto’s geology from New Horizons flyby imagery.

pluto-mosaic
NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Oliver White

I have studied this area in great detail, and have defined each unit based on its texture and morphology—for example, whether it is smooth, pitted, craggy, hummocky or ridged. How well a unit can be defined depends on the resolution of the images that cover it. All of the terrain in my map has been imaged at a resolution of approximately 1,050 feet (320 meters) per pixel or better, meaning textures are resolved such that I can map units in this area with relative confidence.

By studying how the boundaries between units crosscut one another, I can also determine which units overlie others, and assemble a relative chronology (or timeline) for the different units; this work is aided by crater counts for the different terrains that have been obtained by other team members. I caution that owing to the complexity of the surface of Pluto, the work I’ve shown is in its early stages, and a lot more is still to be done.

Previously: Mapping Pluto’s Geology.

Cartographic Japan

cartographic-japanCartographic Japan: A History in Maps came out last month from the University of Chicago Press. It’s a collection of 58 academic essays edited by Kären Wigen, Sugimoto Fumiko and Cary Karacas (see the table of contents) that provide, in the words of the publisher, “close analysis of one hundred maps from the late 1500s to the present day, each one treated as a distinctive window onto Japan’s tumultuous history.” Amazon, iBooks. [WMS]

The Trig Pillar at 80

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Blencathra From Skiddaw Trig Pillar. OS BM S1543. Photo by Andrew (CC licence).

The Ordnance Survey are marking the 80th anniversary of the Retriangulation of Great Britain, which began on this day in 1936. More from BBC News. Events include the Trig Pillar Trail Challenge, which invites people to post pictures to social media of one of 25 selected trig (triangulation) pillars (the #TrigPillar80 hashtag is very busy this morning). There are Flickr galleries of various trig pillars from Flickr user Andrew (who took the one above in 2013) and (of course) the Ordnance Survey.

The Golden Age of American Pictorial Maps

The Capital of a New Trade Empire, 1929. Sheet map, 33×30 cm. Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine.
The Capital of a New Trade Empire, 1929. Sheet map, 33×30 cm. Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine.

The Golden Age of American Pictorial Maps is an exhibition running until 3 September 2016 at the University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library. (If you can’t go there physically, there’s plenty online at the link, too.) “Curated by Dr. Stephen J. Hornsby, co-editor of the Historical Atlas of Maine [previously] and author of a forthcoming book on American pictorial maps, this exhibit looks at the golden age of pictorial or illustrated maps from the 1920s to the 1960s. Reflecting the exuberance of American popular culture and the creativity of commercial art, the maps are stimulating to the imagination and dazzling to the eye.” [WMS]

Related reading: The Art of Illustrated Maps by John Roman (previously).

Ireland Mosaic

Irish_mosaic

The European Space Agency has released this false-colour composite image of Ireland based on 16 radar scans by the Sentinel-1A satellite in May 2015. The colours show change over the 12 days of coverage: “The blues across the entire image represent strong changes in bodies of water or agricultural activities such as ploughing. […] Vegetated fields and forests appear in green. The reds and oranges represent unchanging features such as bare soil or possibly rocks that border the forests, as is clear on the left side of the image, along the tips of the island.” [ESA]

The U.S. as Seven Mega-Regions

us-mega-regions

In a piece for the New York Times, Parag Khanna—author of the forthcoming book Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization—argues that super-regions and urban clusters, rather than the 50 states, should be the focus of future planning.

First, there are now seven distinct super-regions, defined by common economics and demographics, like the Pacific Coast and the Great Lakes. Within these, in addition to America’s main metro hubs, we find new urban archipelagos, including the Arizona Sun Corridor, from Phoenix to Tucson; the Front Range, from Salt Lake City to Denver to Albuquerque; the Cascadia belt, from Vancouver to Seattle; and the Piedmont Atlantic cluster, from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C.

Federal policy should refocus on helping these nascent archipelagos prosper, and helping others emerge, in places like Minneapolis and Memphis, collectively forming a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables: a United City-States of America.

Note that this isn’t quite the same as, say, reimagining the U.S. as fifty equal states or Pearcy’s famous 38-state thought experiment: this is an argument against using state boundaries for planning purposes. (The EU has similar regions for similar purposes, I believe.) Makes for a very interesting map, though. [Tim Wallace]

Bespoke Hand-Made Maps for Country Estates

The Financial Times looks at bespoke hand-made maps for country estates:  map artists like James Byatt, Anthony Pelly and Simon Vernon are commissioned to create one-of-a-kind illustrated maps for fairly wealthy clients (prices start in range of thousands of pounds). [WMS]

Consider this another data point, along with hand-made, hand-painted globes and map collecting in general, showing that maps have become a serious luxury/wealth marker.

Beinecke Acquires Map of Harlem Nightclubs

E. Simms Campbell, A Night-Club Map of Harlem, 1932. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has announced that it has acquired “the original artwork for a 1932 map of Harlem nightclubs drawn by E. Simms Campbell, the first African American illustrator to be syndicated and whose work was featured regularly in national magazines. The map, purchased at auction on March 31, provides a ‘who’s who’ guide of the nightclubs that drove Harlem nightlife during and after Prohibition, including the Savoy Ballroom, the Cotton Club, and Gladys’s Clam Bar. It was published in the inaugural edition of Manhattan Magazine and appeared in Esquire nine months later.” [WMS]

Vancouver Archives Digitizing Old Maps

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Guide Map: Vancouver-New Westminster, Burnaby and North Shore Municipalities, 1935. City of Vancouver Archives.

The City of Vancouver Archives: “Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, we’ve recently completed a project to digitize over 2100 maps and plans and made them available online for you to use and re-use. We’ve tried to digitize these maps with enough resolution to support future types of re-use and processing, including optical character recognition and feature extraction.” A selection is available on Flickr. [WMS]