On 12 May map dealer Jonathan Potter gave a talk for the Maps and Society lectures at the Warburg Institute. A précis of that talk, “A Map Dealer’s Reflections on the Last Forty-Five Years,” is now available online. [WMS]
Londonist has a “first peek” at the new Tube map, scheduled to be released next month. “Open it up, and you’ll see something straight away that is new—for the first time, TfL has added in the trams, even though they’ve been running since May 2000.”
There are more map colouring books out there than I realized (I’m going to have to compile a list). For example, A-Z Maps’ Maps: A Colouring Book, which came out last October. From the publisher: “This adult colouring book includes a number of street maps from around Great Britain including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Manchester, together with some more unusual designs—contour lines around Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon and some fascinating map mandalas (intricate patterns created by repeating sections of mapping around a central point).” Buy at Amazon. [A-Z Maps]
What’s old is new again. Maps created by engraver William Hole to illustrate Michael Drayton’s 17th-century, 15,000-line poem Poly-Olbion are being reprinted—as an adult colouring book called Albion’s Glorious Ile, coming out next month from Unicorn Press (pre-order at Amazon).
As the Guardian article about the book points out, hand-colouring maps and illustrations was a common activity before full-colour printing was a thing, so the current mania for adult colouring books—Gretchen Peterson’s City Maps: A Coloring Book for Adults is The Map Room’s best-selling book this year by a large, large margin—can in some ways be seen as a reversion rather than a new thing.
Previously: City Maps: An Adult Colouring Book.
As I mentioned earlier this month, the 27th International Conference on the History of Cartography takes place on 9-14 July 2017 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. If you want to look even further ahead, it’s just been announced that the 28th ICHC will be held in Amsterdam on 14-19 July 2019. ICHC page. [WMS]
Here’s a CBS News story on the persistence of paper maps in the digital age. Featuring quotes from University of Wisconsin cartographer Daniel Huffman and Library of Congress map librarian John Hessler, it’s more about the persistence of non-smartphone (read: non-Google) maps rather than paper. [WMS]
Last August Nokia sold its Here map service to a consortium of German automakers for roughly half what it paid for it (when it was Navteq) in 2007. What has Here been up to since? This interview with a Here vice-president doesn’t really offer much in the way of specifics, and rather a lot about data and business partnerships rather than consumer product.
“New Orleans and surrounding areas continue to sink at highly variable rates due to a combination of natural geologic and human-induced processes,” according to the findings of a new study that maps the rate at which New Orleans is sinking.
The maps were created using data from NASA’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR), which uses a technique known as interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). InSAR compares radar images of Earth’s surface over time to map surface deformation with centimeter-scale precision. It measures total surface elevation changes from all sources—human and natural, deep seated and shallow. Its data must be carefully interpreted to disentangle these phenomena, which operate at different time and space scales. UAVSAR’s spatial resolution makes it ideal for measuring subsidence in New Orleans, where human-produced subsidence can be large and is often localized.
Speaking of London, Londonist has published an illustrated history of the Tube map, with examples both pre- and post-Beck.
It shouldn’t surprise me that there’s a mobile version of the London A-Z Street Atlas. There are, in fact, several, the most recent of which is the Greater London A-Z Street Map, which covers some 3,743 km2 of territory and stores all its maps—the same maps you’d get in the paper edition—on the device. (Which makes it a fairly significant download: 603 MB on iOS, 382 MB on Android.) The iOS version costs £5 and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad. The Android version is available on Google Play and costs about the same.
Greg Milner’s Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Technology, Culture and Our Minds is out this month from W. W. Norton. (The British edition, published by Granta, comes out in July.) Pinpoint explores the social impact of GPS, which sounds very interesting. I’ll have to lay hands on a copy. Reviews: Will Self in the Guardian, Kirkus Reviews and Maclean’s. Amazon, iBooks.
The project is to select one candidate landing site and design an actual map that you envision will be useful in surface operations. We ask that you do not create simply a geologic map, but rather a product that can be used by the astronauts during their approximately one-year long mission within the Exploration Zone. This requires creativity, and it is also useful to have a good knowledge of surface features, surface hazards, science goals and the use of the proper cartographic tools.
The contest is open to students, young professional cartographers, and graphic artists in any country of the world.
If the attempts by India, China and other countries to control how they’re mapped seem like a throwback to an earlier age, it’s probably because they are: last September Justin O’Beirne looked at the recent, rapid changes in cartography and came to the realization that, thanks to the ubiquity and accessibility of modern mobile maps (especially Google’s), “for the first time in human history, the majority of the world might soon be using the same map.” Bespoke maps that speak to your particular world view are, in the face of global corporations on the one hand and global crowdsourcing on the other, quaint. A cry for special, partial treatment; frustration at having lost control. [Afflictor]
Writing for The Wire, Sumandro Chattapadhyay and Adya Garg discuss the recent Indian draft bill that proposes fines and jail terms for publishing a map that shows the “incorrect” Indian borders. They provide some background, setting out the government’s past history of trying to regulate maps of India, and point out some flaws in the proposal:
The regulatory measures proposed by the bill do not only cause worry but also bewilderment. Take for example Section 3 that states that ‘no person shall acquire geospatial imagery or data including value addition of any part of India’ without being expressly given permission for the same or being vetted by the nodal agency set up by the Bill. If implemented strictly, this may mean that you will have to ask for permission and/or security vetting before dropping a pin on the map and sharing your coordinates with your friend or a taxi service. Both involve creating/acquiring geospatial information, and potentially adding value to the map/taxi service as well.
Let’s take an even more bizarre hypothetical situation—the Security Vetting Agency being asked to go through the entire geospatial data chest of Google everyday (or as soon as it is updated) and it taking up to ‘ three months from the date of receipt’ of the data to complete this checking so that Google Maps can tell you how crowded a particular street was three months ago.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret pact among the Triple Entente to partition the Ottoman Empire into their respective spheres of influence. Above, the map delineating those spheres of influence, signed by diplomats Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot eight days earlier. [NLS Maps]