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Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in London, Visualisation | 0 comments

Burger Cartography

Burger Cartography

  I enjoy burgers and have a passion for maps and mapping, which is probably why Andrew Hill’s recent blog post “In Defense of Burger Cartography” offered a sufficiently large piece of bait for me to bite on and respond to (I join Kenneth Field and Taylor Shelton [and others, I am sure] in his cartographers’ keepnet) . In summary, the post says its time to “fall in love with maps all over again” thanks to a “new world of cartography” that has been liberated from old world critiques. I agree with many of Andrew’s points – it’s good to make it easy for people to make maps, traditional cartography can seem a bit crusty in this “new age” of so-called “Big Data” and web mapping, the more people who enjoy maps the better etc. etc. – but I have a few thoughts of my own to add. Firstly, I’m all for “exploratory playfulness” but I am more for thinking critically. Twitter maps are a key example in Andrew’s post – why get hung up...

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in Resources | 2 comments

The Ultimate Christmas List for Map Lovers

The Ultimate Christmas List for Map Lovers

It is about this time of year that I get asked if I want anything in particular for Christmas. So for others in the same position, or if you are searching for a gift for a map obsessed loved one, here is my ultimate Christmas wish list. Most of these items are things I have asked for in the past, or purchased myself, so I know they are must haves for map lovers! Accessories Starting with the last job first, this Map wrapping paper and Subway map packing tape offer the perfect way of presenting your gifts. It is worth noting, the paper is really nice quality and comes in loads of different variations.   I was given these Map Fridge Magnets last year and they make for a nice stocking filler. Prints This Population Lines print is one I have produced showing world population density. Each A2 print is produced with vegetable-based inks on 170 gsm 100% recycled Cyclus Offset paper. This is slightly off-white and does a great job of producing crisp lines and giving the print a...

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Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Spatial Analysis, Visualisation | 2 comments

In Maps We Trust

In Maps We Trust

Of all the different types of data visualisation, maps* seem to have the best reputation. I think people are much less likely to trust a pie chart, for example, than a map. In a sense, this is amazing given that all maps are abstractions from reality.  They can never tell the whole truth and are nearly all based on data with some degree of uncertainty that will vary over large geographic areas. An extreme interpretation of this view is that all maps are wrong- in which case we shouldn’t bother making them. A more moderate view (and the one I take) is that maps are never perfect so we need to create and use them responsibly – not making them at all would make us worse off. This responsibility criterion is incredibly important because of the high levels of belief people have in maps. You have to ask: What are the consequences of the map you have made? Now that maps are easier than ever to produce, they risk...

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Posted by on Mar 2, 2011 in Featured Maps, Resources, Visualisation | 0 comments

World Transport Links and US Climate from The National Geographic over a Century ago

World Transport Links and US Climate from The National Geographic over a Century ago

Following my previous post I have been digging around archive.org for interesting spatial/ geographical related resources. A search for “geographic” yielded a number of back issues of the National Geographic Magazine. They date back as far as 1888 and contain some great images and maps. There are some real gems to be had, such as the “Scenes from every land” series (link to one here) that contain century-old photographs from every continent. I was also amused to see an article titled “Notes about ants and their resemblance to man“. I have shared a few of my highlights here. The top map is taken from the 1907 edition of “Scenes from Every Land”. It shows a map of the world with its key trade routes. I suspect today’s equivalent would be much more complex such is the nature of contemporary global transport. My final two favourites are taken from the 1894 edition of the National Geographic Magazine and illustrate climatic variables for the USA. The top shows the mean temperature...

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Posted by on Oct 8, 2010 in London, Visualisation | 0 comments

Spin Off Tube Maps

Spin Off Tube Maps

I am currently reading Denis Wood’s excellent “Rethinking the Power of Maps“. In it he draws attention to Geoff Marshall‘s silly underground maps project. The project, and subsequent legal challenge from TFL, had completely passed me by. The website (now hosted here) contains as series of excellent spin off maps from Harry Beck’s famous original. I have blogged about Beck inspired maps before, but not ones that maintain the familiar layout of the map. Of course the most famous spin off is Simon Patterson‘s “The Great Bear“, a copy of which is hanging in my Geography Department. As for Geoff Marshall’s compilation I highlight a couple of may favourites below. The first is of practical use and will give those new to London a head start in the nuances of the Tube Map; it shows those stations that are quicker to walk between. I would hate to think how long the map below took. Each standard station name has been re-written as an anagram. My final favourite is a...

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