Map Projection Trading Cards

The Projection Collection (Daniel Huffman)
Daniel Huffman

Daniel Huffman’s map projection trading cards are now a thing you can order. Daniel, earlier this month:

A couple months back, I floated an idea for making some fun trading cards based on map projections. I’m very happy to report that several dozen of you responded and contributed designs to help make the set happen. I’ve been spending several weeks on managing everyone and working through logistics, and I’m pleased to now be able to offer a pre-order of The Projection Collection.

The cards can be pre-ordered here, with delivery later this year (or pickup at NACIS). Each pack has 16 cards, with complete sets not available by design—these are meant to be trading cards in the classic sense. Pre-orders will close on July 6, so you have until then.

Lego’s New Globe

Lego Ideas GlobeIf Lego’s 11,695-piece world map was not enough for you—and believe me, I understand—then they have something else for you: a 2,585-piece globe that’s 40 cm (16 inches) tall, comes with glow-in-the-dark labels, and costs US$200/C$270/£175/€200. The Brothers Brick take a brick-by-brick look1 at the thing from unboxing to assembly. Kenneth Field has one and is not impressed, finding fault with the land shapes and much preferring Lego globes designed by Dirk’s Bricks (previously).

This Year’s Papercraft Globe Ornament

John Nelson's papercraft globe ornaments for 2021

In what is now an annual tradition, John Nelson has released another do-it-yourself papercraft globe ornament; John says that this “this year’s ornament craft is the most straightforward yet! Just some cutting and pasting and high fives all around.”

Previously: John Nelson’s Cassini Globe Ornament; John Nelson’s Dymaxion Globe Ornaments; DIY Map Ornaments.

2021 Holiday Gift Guide

Every year at about this time—

(Actually no, check that, this year I’m late; and last year I didn’t post one at all except for this stationery guide.)

—I post a gift guide that lists some of the noteworthy books about maps that have been published this year.

(Actually . . . this year not very many books were published. Thanks, pandemic. I’ve had to expand my scope a bit this year.)

If you have a map-obsessed person in your life and would like to give them something map-related—or you are a map-obsessed person and would like your broad hints to have something to link to—this guide may give you some ideas.

Please keep in mind that this is not a list of recommendations: what’s here is mainly what I’ve spotted online, and there’s probably a lot more out there. Also, I haven’t so much as seen most of what’s here, much less reviewed it: these are simply things that, based on what information I have available, seem fit for giving as gifts. (Anyone who tries to parlay this into “recommended by The Map Room” is going to get a very sad look from me.)

This post contains affiliate links; I receive a cut of the purchase price if you make a purchase via these links.

Enough with the caveats. Let’s go shopping!

Fun with Lego and Spreadsheets

Jon Schwabish has been building the Lego world map (previously), but he’s also been building a spreadsheet version. “Because the map is laid out in a grid, it’s primed to be built in Excel. And voila, I present to you the Excel version of the Lego World Map! I built a grid in a big Excel spreadsheet with each number then placed in the appropriate spot according to the instructions. Each number is then assigned a color using Excel’s Conditional Formatting menu.” Good for making drafts of your Lego map, or also if you can’t lay hands on the real thing.

Lego’s 11,695-Piece World Map

Lego Art World Map
Lego

Lego’s recently announced world map is 104 cm by 65 cm (41 × 26 inches) and has a staggering 11,695 pieces. Part of the Lego Art series aimed at adults, it’s built basically pixel-by-pixel, and comes with pin pieces to mark locations once it’s finished.

Lego says that you can customize the oceans in any number of colours or patterns, but it seems to me, based on the building instructions, that there’s nothing stopping you from doing the continents completely differently as well. You’re not physically limited to the three choices the instructions give you: Europe and Africa in the centre, the Americas in the centre, or Asia and Australia in the centre. You could do a different map projection, or even a different globe. But that’s the point of Lego, isn’t it?

Anyway, it’s available as of this week for US$250/€250/£230/C$350; it’s already out of stock at the online store but may be available through other channels. [Boing Boing]

John Nelson’s Cassini Globe Ornament

Another year, another DIY papercraft globe ornament from John Nelson. “This ornament is a blending of NASA Visible Earth imagery and Esri/USGS Ecological Land Units. It uses the Cassini projection as six half-gores for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, arranged in ArcGIS Pro.” In this blog post he shows how to print and assemble it.

Last year John released a set of Dymaxion ornaments. The year before that, a more complex geodesic globe ornament. This is now officially a tradition, John.

A Guide to Map Stationery

To keep myself connected to distant friends and family members during the pandemic, one thing I’ve been doing has been to send them actual, handwritten correspondence. A bit old-fashioned in the era of Zoom meetings and video chat, but it gets me away from the computer, and the firehose of awful that comes with it. Since I’m me, I was interested in finding map-themed postcards, notecards and stationery that I could use when writing to friends and colleagues who shared my interest in maps. It turns out that there is some out there.

This post is a roundup of what map-themed stationery for correspondence I’ve been able to find. It can serve as a gift guide, if map-themed stationery strikes you as a good gift; the holidays, after all, are coming up. As usual, I link to stores selling the stuff; I get a small cut of the income from qualifying purchases.

Continue reading “A Guide to Map Stationery”

IKEA’s All-Black Globe

IKEA sells an all-black globe as part of its LINDRADE series. It costs $20 in the U.S. and £17 in the U.K.; for some reason it’s not available on the Canadian store. If it were, I might just get one.

Per standing IKEA policy, New Zealand is not shown.

The reviews on the U.S. store are hilarious, but on the U.K. store the single a review on the U.K. says that the globe is chalkboard (it’s made of polystyrene), which makes the product a good deal less absurd. Otherwise, it occurs to me that it could make a halfway decent base on which you could paste your own globe gores. [Cartophilia]

New Canada-Shaped Coin Released

Royal Canadian Mint

This, believe it or not, is a coin—a coin in the shape of a map of Canada, with various animals forming the shape of each province and territory. The design was created by Ottawa illustrator Ali Giroux, who posted it online as a letterpress map. Then, as CBC News and CTV News report, the Royal Canadian Mint came calling.

Commemorative coins aren’t cheap. This one is made of three ounces of pure silver and sells for $340 (Canadian). It is being produced in a mintage of 2,000 and will ship in December.

(And yes, despite its weirdo shape, it is a real coin: the Queen is on the other side, a traditional, coin-shaped portrait embedded in the centre. It has a face value of $50, but that’s only if you want to use it to pay a bill or something, and who’d do that with this?)