Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Message in a Bottle

This map appeared in my inbox a while back and now I can't seem to find any reference to it online.
If you put a message in a bottle, who will find it? The map is credited to the Weather Bureau of the USDA and shows "bottle paper courses" from 1892 and 1893. The legend is cut off but I think that the blue lines are from 1892 and the red from 1893. Either the weather bureau actually placed bottles and then retrieved them or this is just some theoretical map based on currents.

Almost all of the bottles travel eastward, with the flow of the St Lawrence Seaway. However the ones placed near shore in the Toronto area get caught in a counterflow that takes them to the west before heading south and then back to the east.

If anyone has additional information about this unusual map I'd love to know more.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tactile Atlas of Switzerland

I enjoy making fun of the sometimes cultish nature of the Esri User Conference. However, among the over-hyped items there is a really useful map for the visually impaired on display.
Created by Anna Vetter of Esri Switzerland, the map uses minimal and well separated details so the user can feel their way around the country without being confused with too much conflicting information. More good pictures from Twitter can be seen here,
and here, where you can see it in action at the conference.
Esri has put together a nice online version of the map. You can't feel it but you can pan, zoom and get the visual idea.
http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=651b04a8ad3940aaa7ae47a2e0fbabfe
The legend shows the wonderful simplicity of the maps.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ancient Earth Globe

The Ancient Earth Globe allows you to pan, zoom and rotate the earth to see what it looked like during various eras, from 600 million years ago,
 to a more recognizable 105 million years ago,
 to a much more recognizable 20 million years ago.
You can spin it around yourself, or sit back and watch it rotate.
There are arrow keys to move it through eras of time-in 20-40 million year increments.
There are also options to remove the clouds or jump to specific era's in the planet's life.
This visualization was created by Dinosaur Pictures, who specialize in high resolution images of dinosaurs.

Maybe they'll make a flat earth version to appease the reality deniers.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada 150

In honor of Canada's 150th birthday here is an animation showing the evolution of the provinces and territories via Wikipedia.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Worldwide Urbanization

In 2015 The Guardian posted a couple of interesting maps highlighting the trends of urbanization. By 2050 the world population is expected to be 70% urbanized. Here is a map showing how many people are added each hour to the world's large cities.
https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/11/19/1447951960277/6feee86c-cf4f-45ea-a3bc-e21de6c1fe2e-2060x1003.jpeg?w=780&q=20&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&dpr=2&s=bdd964404817092bf812e4484766999c
The data is from the London School of Economics Urban Age program. The map is a bit hard to read. Numbers are sized by city growth, making lower growth cities like London hard to read. Since the dots are already sized by number they could have kept the numbers all at a readable size. Also using a different color for each continent is somewhat pointless. Nevertheless the data is interesting-Lagos gains 85 new residents every hour while Rio only gains 10.
The map below shows past and projected growth by time period.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/8969e81e3b29dbcc0a6059dd7c2ff39b9f962e51/23_480_3228_1732/master/3228.jpg?w=620&q=20&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&dpr=2&s=9837146295d0c8aaf4331c7d1734efbe
Green cities saw most of their growth occur by 1950 while the more yellow ones are currently seeing the most growth. Some cities, particularly in India have a more mixed pattern of concentric circles showing steady growth throughout past and future decades. These maps are a bit hard to read at this size. If you click on them, you can see larger sizes. Here is a detail from the map above showing Europe vs South Asia and East Africa.
For much more on the urban footprint, environmental impact, economic development and land use see The Guardian

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fifty Fantasy States

Chris Engelsma is working on creating fantasy maps for the 50 states using toponyms - translations of place names to their original meanings. Here is North Dakota , aka Northern Land of Friends.
https://50fantasystates.tumblr.com/post/161750918716/northern-land-of-friends-a-toponymic-fantasy-style
Here is a nice detail from Idaho (Light on the Mountains) showing the light on the mountains
https://50fantasystates.tumblr.com/post/155699376321/light-on-the-mountains-a-toponymic-fantasy-style
10 states are completed. Prints are available on his Etsy page. This also includes his map of Australia.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/520557874/illustrated-toponymic-fantasy-style-map?ref=shop_home_feat_3

Thursday, June 15, 2017

San Francisco Ships Update

Last December I posted some maps showing the ships that are buried under San Francisco. As a quick recap, what is now the Financial District was once a shallow cove. During the gold rush many ships landed here and were quickly abandoned or sunk. The cove was eventually filled with these ships still in place.
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is working on a new map of these ships, adding details from archaeologists that were not on their original map from 1963.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/2017/06/02/map-post-sf-shipwrecks/03-map-post-san-francisco-shipwreck.adapt.1190.1.jpg
This map will appear in the Park's visitor center. Here is a detail from the image-via National Geographic
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/2017/06/02/map-post-sf-shipwrecks/01-map-post-san-francisco-shipwreck.adapt.1190.1.jpg
A detail of the detail just to show how nice it looks up close.

Here is part of the museum's original 1963 map - also via National Geographic
For more see the National Geographic story