This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”
Maps. You don’t have to be able to read them very well to think they’re kind of freakishly awesome. I’m not saying I can’t read a map, but I will confess to being directionally challenged from time to time, even when I’m staring right at the lines and squiggles and legends that are practically jumping up and down to get my attention.
So, yeah. We don’t always understand one another perfectly, maps and I, but the love is there, one-sided though it may be. (I kind of hope it is. The idea of a map loving me teetering toward the edge of creepy. May even have stepped right over that line. It might make a good story, though.)
I’m not sure where my affection (see, backing off the love angle here, now that I’ve creeped myself out) comes from, but childhood stories of buried treasure and the tattered maps with “X” marking the spot probably had something to do with it. Nothing like a financial incentive involving glittering jewels and gold doubloons to pique a person’s interest.
At any rate, the love affair (see how quickly I forget?) endures to this day, so I thought I’d share some mappish links with you today.
It was difficult to choose, because there are thousands of maps online exploring everything from where the world’s slaves live (apparently 60,000 of them live in the USA), where the major walls of the world are or have been, and, of course, mustn’t forget Britain’s rudest place names.
NatGeo is the source of all kinds of irresistible cartographic largesse–these are just the tip of the iceberg:
- They post fascinating articles on their website, like 100 Years of National Geographic Maps or The Persistent Global Gender Gap in 5 Maps.
- For a period in 2008 they posted a Map of the Day–maps pertaining to specific historical or scientific events, maps detailing space exploration, maps charting DNA research. Easy to get lost over there, so be warned.
- They also have some lovely jig saw puzzles of maps for you to put together on your computer or tablet.
Healthline’s Body Maps lets us explore the human body in 3D, from multiple levels, from skin right down to bone. It’s super cool, even if you’re not a hypochondriac.
I don’t know how old these images are, but The Telegraph has a stunning slideshow of maps showing Twitter and Flickr activity around the world.
A Different Kind of Transit Map
Here’s a tasty one for you. Amelia Greenhall, Adam Greenhall, and Jared McFarland took first prize in the 2013 Urban Data Challenge after coming up with this very cool Dots on the Bus project, and interactive visualization of bus route activity in San Francisco, Geneva and Zurich over a one-week period. That sounds way less interesting than it actually is. Also worth a look is the third place winners’ project, A City’s Heartbeat.
And, finally, I leave you with this mesmerizing glimpse of twelve hours of activity of New York’s MTA transit system.