Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Hobby

Anyone who reads this on a regular basis can probably tell that I have a fondness for hand drawn maps. However, I haven't made any myself since I was a child making up imaginary places. Even in my pre-computer carreer, we used special drafting equipment (a subject for another time) to make maps. I recently began trying my hand at making maps with colored pencils. Back in the old days we would trace over US Geological Survey maps on a light table. These maps are not traced but drawn freehand after carefully looking at some DeLorme atlases.
Burlington, Vermont-Doug Greenfield, 2017
Above is a map of Burlington, Vermont, a city I have spent a fair amount of time in and know the landscape of well. I used a similar color scheme to the DeLorme atlas and was pleased with the level of accuracy. Not every street is shown, just enough to give an idea of the street pattern.

Next, I tried Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a city that I've only driven through the edges of but one with an interesting settlement pattern.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania-Doug Greenfield, 2017
This was more of a challenge as I am much less familiar with the area. The map got gradually less accurate and more impressionistic the further I dug into it. It was liberating when I gave up on the idea of trying to be too accurate.

I don't have a new project yet but I hope to continue in a more impressionistic direction and to find a different map source to add some variety of looks and scales.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Baltic Sea Traffic

This is gorgeous and mesmerizing. That is all. Have a good day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Water: An Atlas

Guerilla Cartography is an organization that uses creative and artistic mapmaking to foster collaborative knowledge and promote cooperative ideas towards today's major problems. They created an excellent food atlas. Their second one, Water: An Atlas is being printed and should be ready to ship by the end of November. You can pre-order a copy here. They were nice enough to send me some sample pages. Here are a few details from some of the maps.
The map above is from a page titled "Water Availability for Food Security in African Cities" It looks at the challenges of a rapidly growing and urbanizing continent. City dots are sized by population and major cities have an outer circle divided into three colored sections indicating whether water and wastewater are separated and whether the city has a master plan for managing each.

There is also a diagram of the water cycle and a graph running diagonally down the page showing the availability of improved water (dark blue) wastewater treated (gray) and water consumption (the bars underneath) in daily liters per person.
Here is a small version of the page to show how these graphics fit together.

Another map was a commission from the Scotland Environmental Arts Festival by Andrew McAvoy showing the area with a focus on the water courses.
The hand drawn map is presented at three different scales. Above is the larger Southern Uplands region, while below is a detail around Morton Castle, the festival site with suggested exploring routes.
More maps and photos from the festival can be seen here.

Finally, "Pink Salt Lakes" maps out water bodies that are colored pink due to two types of reddish algae.
The map has a kind of checkerboard pattern with pictures of some of the lakes interspersed. Below is a picture from California's South Bay Salt Ponds-I once flew over these and wondered why they looked so weird.
Australia has many pink lakes including one named Pink Lake.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

More Mario Zucca Illustrations

Self-made thousandaire (his own words) Mario Zucca, creator of the National Parks map also has a series of great city maps, including Kansas City,
http://mariozucca.com/projects/kansas-city-map/
Buffalo,

http://mariozucca.com/buffalo-news-features-buffalo-map/
and Cleveland (University Circle Area).
http://mariozucca.com/projects/university-circle-map/
There are also maps of Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Atlantic City, Minneapolis and a map of Denver's bicycle loop - see the portfolio on his web page for these.

The Philly Island Map shows the"Strait of Disinterest" that exists between the city and the rest of Pennsylvania-a popular sentiment among Philly folks.
http://mariozucca.com/projects/philly-island-map/

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Our National Parks

Illustrator Mario Zucca has created this gorgeous hand drawn map of America's National Parks.
https://mariozuccamaps.com/national-parks
Some detailed images below.
There's also a cute animation panning through the map. Here's a sample.
You can show your passion for our parks by purchasing a copy here.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ancient Maps on Globes

The DX Lab out of the  State Library of New South Wales in Australia is experimenting with placing 17th and 18th Century maps from their collection onto globes.
http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE3538803
The map above is a 1706 world map by Portuguese cartographer Joseph Da Costa e Miranda. Below the map is "unprojected" onto a globe that you can watch in motion here - it may not work on all web browsers.
http://dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/meridian
The experiment, called Meridian, reverses the typical paper map process. Instead of projecting the globe onto a flat surface, these maps are "unprojected" from paper, back onto the globe. Here it is in motion:
http://dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/meridian/?globe=miranda
This was done manually which sounds painful. Here's a description from the making page.
We didn’t have access to map projection software, so I manually distorted the image by eye, gradually vertically squashing the image more and more as it got closer to the top and bottom.
They have also worked on a globe by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, who created a series of copper engravings of globe gores as seen below.
 With this result. Click to see in detail.
http://dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/meridian/?globe=coronelli1
The lab is expecting to add more globes shortly. You can read about the process here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Happiest Places

The November issue of National Geographic's cover story is about the happiest places in the world. There is a two page spread showing happiness measures for all countries where data is available.
The map* uses a type of Chernoff face to show three variables; size reflects overall satisfaction with life, the degree of smiling shows people's daily happiness and the color represents health. Some patterns that emerge are that countries in North America and northern Europe have a high degree of happiness but only moderate health. Many countries in Central and South America have better health scores but slightly lower overall satisfaction with life (the faces are a bit smaller.) Eastern Europe and central Asia and much of Africa (but not all) score poorly in all categories.

*this is more of a cartogram-like chart than a map and the not all countries fit into their ideal locations so some are hard to find.

Clearly much is this is subjective on many levels and subject to debate. What I find more dubious is their assessment of urban areas within the United States. Here's a detail from the map of the most happy metropolitan areas.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/united-states/happiest-cities-united-states-2017/
These places are mostly either college towns or places that are unaffordable to anyone of a modest income (or both)-this creates a sense of exclusivity and males me wonder if these surveys show an accurate cross section of the population.

The magazine also has some interactive graphics showing the metropolitan areas-here is a screen shot from a chart of happiness. Although most of the highest ranked places are expensive, there are exceptions such as Des Moines.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/11/where-to-find-the-good-life/
There is also a Chernoff face treatment for the 50 states, though this one only measures one variable-the well being score.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/11/where-to-find-the-good-life/