Over on Strange Maps, which like this here site is still a going concern, Frank Jacobs has a nice writeup of the history of perception maps. These are maps that provide a skewed or exaggerated view, usually of the United States, that favours their preferred part of it. The best known is Saul Steinberg’s 1976 New Yorker cover (“View of the World from 9th Avenue”) but there were antecedents. Frank covers the examples I mentioned in these previous entries: McCutcheon’s View; McCutcheon’s 1908 Cartoon. Plus a few others.
Inspired, he says, by Itchy Feet’s maps of Every European City and Every American City, Alfred Twu has come up with a Map of Every Chinese City. (Chinese version here.) Twu is no stranger to these parts: he worked on rail maps for California and the Northeast Corridor some years back.
How this map isn’t nothing but Columbuses and Springfields, I have no idea.
xkcd is back with another bad map projection: in this one, it’s all South Americas. The alt-text: “The projection does a good job preserving both distance and azimuth, at the cost of really exaggerating how many South Americas there are.”
The latest cartoon from Itchy Feet, a comic about travel and language by filmmaker Malachi Rempen, is a “Map of Every European City.” In the comments, the cartoonist says, “Having been to every single European city, I can safely say with confidence that they all look exactly like this.” I don’t think he’s wrong.
Updated "Serio-Comic Map" of Europe 2018 (after Fred W Rose), complete with Renaissance "wind-heads" for a nice, satisfied client. Lot of work but very enjoyable (and probably out of date by tomorrow) #politics #Europe pic.twitter.com/BB3ZNVFW8u
— Andy Davey (@DaveyCartoons) June 18, 2018
In December 2016 cartoonist Andy Davey created, for a private client, a modern-day “serio-comic” map of Europe in the style of the caricature maps that proliferated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Now he’s created another one in the same style, this one even better than the last: it features political figures in the shape of their countries, with leaders from elsewhere in the world blowing wind in Europe’s direction. Very easy to get lost in the detail here. [WMS]
We’ve seen “serio-comic” or caricature maps before, most of them dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but Caitlin takes us behind the scenes with a story about one of the artists behind such maps. The twelve maps published in Geographical Fun: Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries (1868) were the handiwork of a 15-year-old teenager named Lilian Lancaster, who originally drew them to amuse her ill brother. Which is a great and surprising twist. The accompanying text (an introduction and accompanying verses) was by William Harvey (under a pseudonym), who tried to make an educational case for such maps (as one did).
interesting job for private client; map a la 20thC political cartoon maps of Fred Rose etc; have taken liberties with geography pic.twitter.com/fm0nAR22tE
— Andy Davey (@DaveyCartoons) December 12, 2016
Last December political cartoonist Andy Davey posted a modern-day caricature map that hearkens back to the eve of the First World War, when such “serio-comic” cartographic portraits were common, but fully up-to-date and relevant to the Trump-Putin era. [Maps on the Web]
New York Times graphics editor Tim Wallace stumbled across a 1908 Chicago Tribune cartoon by John T. McCutcheon that’s older than other examples of “perception-based” maps he was aware of.
— Tim Wallace (@wallacetim) March 16, 2016
(Though my previous entry contained a link to a 1922 McCutcheon cartoon, which only moves the clock back only 14 years.)
Three years ago, the Newberry Library posted a note about a 1922 cartoon from the Chicago Tribune: “The New Yorker’s Idea of the Map of the United States” by John T. McCutcheon bears a strong resemblance to Saul Steinberg’s famous 29 March 1976 New Yorker cover, whose inspiration is often traced to Daniel K. Wallingford’s A New Yorker’s Idea of the United States (1937). See the gallery below.