The xkcd from last Friday, “Island Storage,” is the most recent map-related way that Randall Munroe has hurt us in the eyes.
SMBC on GPS
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a take on what GPS does to our ability to navigate.
xkcd’s Madagascator Projection
Uncharacteristically for xkcd’s Bad Map Projection series, the Madagascator is actually totally legitimate as a projection. Not that it’s any less mischievous, mind.
Update, 3 May: Turns out there was more to this xkcd cartoon. See Mercator: Extreme.
xkcd: The Goode Homolosine to the Rescue!
Randall Munroe’s map projection humour is increasingly on point, as last Friday’s xkcd demonstrates. (The mouseover text is even better: “There are two rules on this ship: Never gaze back into the projection abyss, and never touch the red button labeled DYMAXION.”)
Previously: xkcd: The Greenland Special; xkcd: All South Americas; Blame the Mercator Projection; xkcd’s Time Zone Map; xkcd’s Liquid Resize Map Projection.
xkcd Sabotages Those Flag Maps
Maps where countries are coloured in with flag patterns: I’ve seen a lot of them around, especially on Reddit, but I haven’t necessarily liked them; xkcd’s comic from last Wednesday goes one step further in that it offers a way to hack them.
A Map of Every Chinese City
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.
Previously: Itchy Feet’s Map of Every European City; Itchy Feet’s Map of Every American City.
xkcd: ‘No, The Other One’
How this map isn’t nothing but Columbuses and Springfields, I have no idea.
SMBC Takes the Mercator Projection into Its Own Hands
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal’s take on the Mercator projection is … not what you’d expect. The punch line is similar to Christopher Rowe’s short story, “Another Word for Map Is Faith”: if you can’t make the map conform to the territory, make the territory conform to the map. Since we’re dealing with the Mercator projection, this requires some … escalation.
xkcd: Reaction Maps
The latest xkcd comic suggests a fiendish way to express yourself: by creating phrases from driving direction waypoints.
An obvious upgrade would be to use one or more of the places from the Magnificently Rude Map of World Place Names (previously).
xkcd: All South Americas
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.”
Previously: xkcd’s Time Zone Map; xkcd’s Liquid Resize Map Projection; xkcd’s United States Map.
Poorly Drawn Lines Maps the Snark
Last month Poorly Drawn Lines, the web comic by Reza Farazmand, published “Welcome,” a comic that with its blank map of the ocean channels Lewis Carroll’s 1876 poen The Hunting of the Snark.
If you’re not familiar with that poem, here’s the key passage:
He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.
“What’s the good of Mercator’s North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?”
So the Bellman would cry and the crew would reply
“They are merely conventional signs!
“Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we’ve got our brave Captain to thank:”
(So the crew would protest) “that he’s bought us the best—
A perfect and absolute blank!”
And here’s the accompanying map:
(More at Strange Maps. Source for the above image.)
SMBC’s Alternatives to a Flat Earth
It’s not like xkcd has a monopoly on comics about maps. Last week, Zach Weinersmith’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal web comic posted a comic about alternative non-spherical Earth theories: everything from a hollow Earth to, well, stranger variations—including a slightly lumpy oblate spheroid Earth, which I frankly find hard to believe in.
Pop vs. Soda Maps Spoofed by xkcd
By law, I am required to share every xkcd comic about maps. Today’s makes great fun of pop versus soda maps—the maps showing where in the U.S. carbonated beverages are referred to as pop versus where they’re referred to as soda. Randall takes things to their ludicrous extremes, as he is, by law, required to do.
Blame the Mercator Projection
Last Friday’s xkcd suggests that the Mercator projection’s reputation can be used to convince anyone of any false geographical fact.
Not that I’d suggest you do that, mind. No.
xkcd’s 2018 Midterm Challengers Map
The web comic xkcd has done maps before (and I’ve covered most of them) but Friday’s iteration was a departure all the same: an interactive map of the challengers in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections: the larger the candidate’s name, the more significant the office and the better their odds of winning. Remember, these are only the challengers: no incumbents are listed.
You must be logged in to post a comment.