Sometimes called a Rubik’s globe, though Rubik had nothing to do with it, this Hungarian-made globe puzzle from the 1980s, known variously as the Földgöm, Globus Gömb or Varázs Gömb, sometimes shows up on the lists of collectibles dealers. Consisting of a plastic core and tin surface pieces, the puzzle operates on two axes; the eight corners do not move. Jaap’s Puzzle Page has details on its origins and how to solve it, and also shows a couple of non-geographical globe puzzle variants. Here’s a short blog post from the Retro Game Museum (in Hungarian). And here’s an unboxing video from someone who bought a globe (bundled with a Rubik’s cube) on eBay. [Harvard Map Collection]
I didn’t know Replogle made Christmas ornaments. I stumbled across the above, a Waldseemüller globe ornament—i.e., an ornament based on the Waldseemüller globe gores—while poking around my local map store for the first time in years. I bought the last one they had in stock. It’s 3¼″ (8.3 cm) in diameter, comes with a stand, and cost me all of $10. There’s apparently a Coronelli globe ornament as well.
The William P. Cumming Map Society’s North Carolina Map Blog has a post looking at miniature maps of North Carolina (“miniature” is defined as less than four inches in size) and a post about minchiate, a 16th-century Florentine card game; there were were educational minchiate decks with a map on each of the 97 cards. [WMS]
Two recent map-related Kickstarter campaigns:
- Modern Map Art Prints turns a map of a location of your choice into an abstract art print. Already funded.
- Map on Table aims to create a small (42×42 cm) table made up of a laser-cut metal map of New York, London or the world mounted on wooden legs (see above). Not yet funded; campaign runs until 17 October.
Speaking of Londonist, they had a great deal of fun pedantically savaging a decidedly unofficial tube map shower curtain. “This error-ridden shower curtain was purchased via a random seller on ebay, whom we’re not going to gratify with a link. A bit of googling reveals that tube shower curtains are a bit of a thing. There are many variations out there, all presumably knocked together and marketed without permission from Transport for London.” (So much of a thing that I thought I’d linked to something like this before, but apparently not. No doubt my readers can send me links.)
The Global Map is a neat toy from the 1940s. The whole thing is just under one by two feet in area, and consists of two rotating hemispheres that touch at a single point, with the purpose of showing the shortest distance by air or sea between two points—a quick and dirty way of showing a great-circle route with a bit of cardboard and no math. From the David Rumsey Map Collection. [Maps on the Web]
Mini Metros shrinks and simplifies 220 subway and light rail systems; the end result fits on a single sheet. Its creator, Peter Dovak, explains the challenge of making small and simple representations of sometimes inordinately complex transit systems:
All of the cities in the project had the same requirements: they had to fit in a 120px circle (with 10px of padding), the lines had to be 3px wide with a minimum of another 3px between the next parallel line, and all diagonals had to be 45-degrees. The systems themselves needed to be full-fledged heavy rail metro systems or light rail networks that were distinct enough from trolleys or streetcars.
Prints and mugs are available. [Maptitude]
This morning’s post about the AuthaGraph World Map reminded me of Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion map (which after all was explicitly referenced by its creator). Designer Brendan Ravenhill has produced a version of Fuller’s map in the form of a magnetic folding globe. Wired: “Like Fuller’s original map, Ravenhill’s globe can exist in two or three dimensions. Laid flat, it’s a series of 20 triangles that show Fuller’s projection as a single landmass. The back of each triangle features a magnet so you can fold the map into an angular globe. ‘Really it’s a toy, but a toy that has a lot of resonance and importance,’ Ravenhill says.” $15 each, in three colours. [Sociative GIS]
Here’s a coincidence for you. On Saturday, the day after I posted about an exhibition of MacDonald Gill’s pictorial maps, I discovered, while shopping at a local stationery store, that there was such a thing as a MacDonald Gill Wonderground Map of London calendar. (It’s also available on Amazon.)
Retired graphic designer Don Moyer is producing a sea monster shower curtain, inspired by the iconic beasties found on early modern European maps and based on a sea monster print he created last year. It’s a Kickstarter project, but since it’s already been funded, it’s definitely happening. So if your world map shower curtain is beginning to fray, here’s an alternative. [Mental Floss]
Planetary globes aren’t the only map-related 3D-printed items being sold on Shapeways; Ian Grasshoff writes to say that he’s flogging 3D relief maps there as well. “I have made it a focus to only use Open Data (LiDAR where available) and Open Source GIS/modeling software,” he writes. “I think the results speak for themselves.”
Dirk’s LEGO globe consists of nearly 4,000 bricks. With the stand, it reaches half a metre in height (20 inches) and weighs 7.3 kg (16 pounds). The project page describes the project in obsessive detail, with lots of photos.
Dark Horse has released a Game of Thrones map marker set, based on a map and markers briefly seen in the first season of the HBO TV series. What surprises me is how much more the map resembles a real-world medieval map, in its use of symbols and text, than do the usual fantasy maps, including those for Westeros (though, as I’ve argued before, real-world medieval maps were much more information-dense, and covered in text). At $200, it’s not cheap, but the markers are up to six inches in height, and the map is made of fabric and roughly four by three feet in size. It’s available for purchase at Amazon and ThinkGeek, among others.