Subscribe to the New Email Digest

Last April I told you that with Feedburner’s announcement that it would be ending email subscriptions, I would have to come up with an alternative solution for the 500 or so of you who subscribe to The Map Room via its email digest. That alternative is now (more or less) up and running: You can subscribe to the new weekly digest by entering your email on the form on this page. You will receive an automated email asking you to verify that description. Click on that email’s link and you’ll be subscribed.

From now on, email subscriptions to The Map Room will involve a summary of the week’s posts written by me, rather than an auto-post of recent blog entries. If all goes to plan, it will mostly come out on Fridays (if I’ve posted that week), plus there may be occasional announcements at other times.

In the end I decided to go with my own internet service provider’s announcement list tool. It’s very old school and a bit less easy to use than a third-party email marketing service, but far better, I think, on the privacy front. I don’t even ask for your name. Your subscription is between you, me, and my mail server.

Current subscribers were emailed on Wednesday about this change and invited to subscribe. I got a lot of bounced addresses, so it may be that some of you reading this via email did not get Wednesday’s messages. Note that the Feedburner-powered digest will be shut down after this post goes out; if you want to continue (or start) receiving posts by email, visit this page to subscribe to the weekly digest.

(Let me know if you encounter any problems. I’ve gotten reports that people aren’t getting their confirmation messages, so do check your spam folder.)

About 500 of you subscribe to The Map Room via its email digest. That feature is powered by FeedBurner. Last week FeedBurner announced that it’s being moved to new infrastructure. Several features will as a result be discontinued—including email subscriptions. I’ve been investigating possible alternatives. The one that looms largest is Mailchimp; its free plan maxes out at 2,000 subscribers, which is four times what we need right now, so there’d be room to grow—but that limit is a hard limit (Mailchimp’s paid plans are way too expensive given this little website’s income). In any event I’ve got some time—until July, I think—to come up with a solution. Will keep you posted.

The Map Books of 2021 page is now live, but at the moment it has very few books listed. If there’s a book coming out in 2021 that should be on this page—basically, any and all books about cartography, maps and related subjects—please let me know. Ideally books should have a publication date (though I’m well aware that dates can move around a lot) and other details available, but I’ll work with what I can get.

Over the weekend I switched The Map Room over to a new site template. This is the first redesign of this site since I restarted it in January 2016. The old design was a stock template that over the years got modified and customized; I have yet to apply those modifications and customizations to the new design—right now it’s pretty much the stock Toujours template—so there are still a few things for me to do here and there. If things are wonky for a bit, that’s why.

The Map Books of 2020 page has been updated with new book listings, the latest cover art and updated publishing schedules (which have been just as much in flux as they’ve been in previous years, if not more so). It is as up to date and as complete as I can make it, but it’s a smaller list than usual. If I’ve missed something or something on this list is in error, please tell me.

Map Books of 2020

Most of The Map Room’s revenue comes from affiliate links (i.e., I get a cut when you buy something via a link on this website). That generally means the Usual Guys. But the Usual Guys aren’t for everyone, so I’ve signed up with Bookshop’s affiliate program. Bookshop is an online store that offers some support to independent bookstores: see InsideHook’s piece for details. It’s U.S.-only for now, and the selection is basically limited to what can be ordered through Ingram, but for something just getting off the ground it looks like a viable alternative. The Map Room’s Bookshop storefront is here, but direct links to book listings will appear where appropriate.

Updates to Google’s ad system did a number on the layout of this website, spraying ads everywhere, so I’ve disabled ads until I can get that sorted out.

They’ll probably have to come back at some point, because while I like the site without ads, it does cost me money to host this site, and time to work on it. If you like what I do here, this wouldn’t be a bad time to send a few dollars1 toward The Map Room’s hosting bills, or to me directly via Ko-Fi. (Both methods use PayPal; minimum of $10 and $3 respectively.)

As always, your support is not necessary, but it’s greatly appreciated, and I do not take it for granted.

I’ve given the Map Books of 2019 page another update. At the moment it lists 31 books that have come out or are scheduled to come out this year. This list is always changing as publication schedules are adjusted and I learn about new books. As always, if there’s a book that should be on this list, let me know.

The Map Books of 2019 page lists all the books scheduled to come out this year—at least the ones I’m aware of. If there’s a book coming out in 2019 that should be on this page, let me know.

So far there are not many books listed, but that will change as the year progresses. Also keep in mind that publication dates shift all the time: keeping on top of those changes can be a sisyphean task, but I’ll do my best.

So, two things. The Map Room has its TLS/SSL certificate and is now running on a secure server; existing links should redirect to their https:// equivalents. And, because spam via those forms has become a problem, I’ve added a reCAPTCHA requirement to the contact and link submission pages. Hopefully neither change will break anything for anyone, but let me know if it does for you.

So The Map Room has had a privacy policy (of sorts) for years, but since all the cool kids have been updating theirs in preparation for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, I’ve gone and done the same. This policy, posted on my personal website, will apply to all the websites I own and operate: since they’re all one-person operations, and I’m the person in every case, it didn’t make sense to be repetitive. Also, said operations are likely too small, too inconsequential and too uncontroversial to invite scrutiny from European regulators, and anyway at the moment I don’t hold any personal data unless you comment or contact me via a web form. It seems politic to spell that out in detail, though.

Number of blog entries posted: 386 (including this one).

Five most popular posts published in 2017: (1) The Medieval Fantasy City Generator (27 Jul); (2) World Life Expectancy (28 Dec); (3) ‘They Just Wanted to Fix Some Things About the State Borders’ (13 Oct); (4) Mapping the August 2017 Solar Eclipse (21 Jul); (5) The Territory Is Not the Map (27 Sep).

Two posts from 2016 that would have made the top five: Streetwise Maps Is Apparently Closing (31 Aug 2016); Mapping Star Trek (15 Sep 2016).

Least popular post published in 2017: Deadline Extended for Corlis Benefideo Award Nominations (4 Apr).

Books reviewed: 5.

Books received in 2017 that are still in my to-review queue: 1.

Bestselling book: Picturing America by Stephen J. Hornsby (my review).

Top five countries by page views: (1) United States; (2) United Kingdom; (3) Canada; (4) Netherlands; (5) Germany.

Countries generating a single page view in all of 2017: Afghanistan, Åland Islands, Angola, Bhutan, Côte d’Ivoire, Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, Grenada, Guyana, Liberia, Sint Maarten, Somalia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vatican City.

A reader just brought to my attention an issue that will probably be familiar to the four hundred or so of you who subscribe to The Map Room’s daily email digest: embedded videos (such as YouTube) included in blog posts don’t work in email clients, and in fact can bork the formatting of the email. A little digging on my part revealed that this is a longstanding issue: email clients don’t generally display scripted or embedded elements. Not sure whether this is something I can fix from this end, but in the meantime I’ll try and hold off on the embedded video.