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.