The Chicago Tribune Reviews Two Map Books

mind-the-mapcartographic-groundsWriting for the Chicago Tribune, Patrick Reardon reviews two map books I’ve mentioned before, albeit briefly: Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary, edited by Jill Desimini and Charles Waldheim, which comes out in a few days; and Mind the Map: Illustrated Maps and Cartography, edited by Antonis Antoniou, Robert Klanten and Sven Ehmann, which came out last September. “Each of these books aims to show a wide spectrum of map-making,” writes Reardon, “and together they cover just about the entire waterfront.” [WMS]

Previously: Cartographic GroundsMind the Map.

Don’t Make a Map

Martin Burch, data developer for the Wall Street Journal, has posted his presentation from the GeoJourNews 2016 conference. Called “Don’t Make a Map,” it explores situations where presenting your data in the form of a map is actually a bad idea, and looks at some better alternatives. “Always make a map,” he concludes, “but don’t always publish it.” Very much in the vein of similar pieces by Darla Cameron (of the Washington Post) and Matthew Ericson (of the New York Times). [Carla Astudillo]

Previously: The End of Maps in Seven Charts.

Cartographic Grounds

cartographic-groundsNext week sees the publication of Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary by Jill Desimini and Charles Waldheim (Princeton Architectural Press). From the publisher: “While documenting this shift in representation from the material and physical description toward the depiction of the unseen and often immaterial, Cartographic Grounds takes a critical view toward the current use of data mapping and visualization and calls for a return to traditional cartographic to reimagine the manifestation and manipulation of the ground itself.” Cartographic Grounds’ ten chapters each focus on one cartographic technique; each of these techniques is illustrated in Atlas Obscura’s post last month about the book. [Benjamin Hennig]

Comparing Google and Apple Map Styles

Justin O’Beirne, who has previously mused about the possibility of a Universal Map and looked at how Google Maps has changed over the past few years, has now embarked on a multi-part comparison of the cartographic designs of Google Maps and Apple Maps. “We’ll take a look at what’s on each map and how each map is styled, and we’ll also try to uncover the biggest differences between the two.” The first part is already up: it looks at city labels, highway markers, road labels, and points of interest, and reveals some interesting divergences in terms what each platform chooses to put on the map. (Note that it’s a very big page, and even on a fast connection the images may take some time to load.) [Cartophilia]

An Ordnance Survey Roundup


  • Concomitant with the Survey’s map of Mars was a competition to design a map symbol to represent landing sites. The winner has been announced: the OS will use Paul Marsh’s symbol, which incorporates the Mars symbol with landing gear, on its Mars maps in the future.

Eduard Imhof Profile

A profile of Swiss cartographer Eduard Imhof, famous for his work on relief mapping, from a 1983 Swiss TV program. Captioned in English if you can’t understand Swiss German for some reason. (Thanks to Henrik Johansson for the link.)

More on Imhof at Relief Shading, Terrain Models and Wikipedia.

Previously: Imhof’s Cartographic Relief PresentationCodex 99 on Berann, Imhof and Everest.

The W. K. Morrison Special Collection

Jacques Nicolas Bellin, “Carte de l’Accadie et Païs Voisins Pour servir a l’Histoire Generale des Voyages,” 1757. Map, 21 × 33 cm. NSCC W. K. Morrison Special Collection.

Nova Scotia Community College’s Centre of Geographic Sciences has begun digitizing the maps from the W. K. Morrison Special Collection. Morrison, once a cartographer at the Centre, left them his collection of more than 2,500 maps when he died in 2011.

It is a mixed media print collection of historical maps, atlases, periodicals and books that is unique in the Province in terms of its focus on the early mapping of Nova Scotia and specifically the 18th Century nautical charts of J.F.W. DesBarres’ Atlantic Neptune. The collection also contains a complete run of the Gentleman’s Magazine from 1731-1802, and other early European periodicals containing maps not present in other collections. In addition to the maps that cover the advances in geographic knowledge over five centuries, there are a number of important atlases dating from the 18th and 19th Centuries as well as an interesting collection of Nova Scotiana from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

So far about 270 maps have been digitized; they’re available hereMedia release (from last December), Chronicle Herald. [WMS]

The Great Lines Project

With the Great Lines Project, Karen Rann explores the history and origins of the contour line. In addition to her rather heavily illustrated blog, there’s a related exhibition, the Great Lines Exhibition (naturally enough), which opens today at the Lit & Phil (Literary and Philosophical Society) in Newcastle. Free admission. Details here and here. [WMS]

Update, 9 June: More from CityLab.

Traffic from Social Media

A funny quirk of social media is that despite having more followers on Twitter than Facebook (4,100 vs. 2,400 at the moment), and even with Facebook algorithms that seem to reduce page views for any post with commercial intent (e.g. product links) so you can pay to boost it, The Map Room consistently gets twice as much traffic from Facebook as it does from Twitter. Go figure. (Google+ traffic is 10 percent Facebook’s; Tumblr’s is a rounding error.)

A-Z Adventure Atlas Series

az-adventure-atlasLondon Hiker reviews the A-Z Adventure Atlas series of maps. “They contain 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey maps, but in a book format, like the A-Z street map books you’re probably used to. […] Many of the new A-Z style map books are extremely convenient and are fast becoming a favourite with me, depending on the circumstances.”

More: A-Z Maps blog post from 2013Amazon UK.

Map Auction News: Early American History

Elihu Barker, “A Map of Kentucky from Actual Survey,” 1793. Map, 44 × 99 cm. Library of Congress.
  1. The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky: “A rare 18th-century wall map depicting frontier Kentucky that was put up for auction Thursday in New York has sold for $37,500—more than twice its high estimated value.” (See the Library of Congress’s copy of the map above.) [WMS]
  2. “Two large maps and six sketches of military defenses hand drawn by French military engineers in 1781 and used during the American War of Independence, the last such documents in private hands, will be auctioned off at a chateau in France next month,” Bloomberg reports. “Salvaged in 2007, the maps—that only barely escaped becoming mouse food—show British defenses along the East Coast, including fortifications near New York. They are being sold by the eighth-generation descendants of Marshall de Rochambeau, the commander of the French expeditionary force sent by King Louis XVI to aid the American rebels.” [WMS]

Map Books Update

More books have been added to the Map Books of 2016 page: have a look. Some are available right now; others you’ll have to preorder. As usual, buying via this website helps support The Map Room.

I thought about doing a similar page listing map colouring books for adults, but it seems redundant when you can just refer to the colouring books tag (or the coloring books tag, if you’re going to be insistently American).