Posted on | May 14, 2013 | No Comments
Was looking at the Polar Navy map on wunderground.com and never realized how much unexploded ordnance there was in almost any given area. Took a screenshot from the Atlantic off eastern Long Island. Also probably worth avoiding the sulfuric acid patch…
Posted on | March 29, 2013 | Comments Off
Interesting travel account of an interesting place: the conjunction of North Korea, Russia and China…
Posted on | March 29, 2013 | Comments Off
Nuclear weapons are naturally objects of concern, but North Korea’s fledgling nuclear arsenal changes little in terms of the underlying trump card Pyongyang has held since the end of the Korean War.
Posted on | March 23, 2013 | Comments Off
The last vestige of French sovereignty in North America, St. Pierre and Miquelon. Historic rivalry and conflict distilled into two small islands. And some ocean.
Posted on | October 31, 2012 | Comments Off
Sadly nothing eclectic about this map. It brought home visually however just how serious Hurricane Sandy was going to be for New Yorkers, and how much of NYC is vulnerable to flooding. Click the link for a PDF.
Source: NYC Office of Emergency Management.
Posted on | June 25, 2012 | Comments Off
Posted on | April 13, 2012 | Comments Off
As far inland as it’s possible to get in Antarctica a sole landmark stands above the snow, a bust of Lenin… somewhat surreal, no?
Posted on | March 29, 2012 | Comments Off
One day while playing Victoria II (a strategy game presented, like many, on a world map) I chanced upon a small island about 50 miles north of Germany, south-west of Denmark. The island was quite unremarkable and would have escaped notice but for one thing – it was colored a pinkish red. “By Godfrey!” I proclaimed, my monocle popping out as my eyes widened in surprise, “can such things be?”
For you see, that particular shade of red was the color reserved by the game for highlighting the Queen’s Dominions, those parts of the world over which the Union Jack flies proud and whose inhabitants we impress for service in our lucrative and vital Marmite quarries. Naturally a good portion of the known world was shaded British, as well it should be, but outposts in the North Sea – and a mere Kaiser Roll’s throw from the frightful Hun, at that… surely some mistake had been made? Clicking on said island with my electro-pneumatic hand-rodent revealed the offending land masses’ name: British Heligoland, a moniker so dubious as to be underlined in red by all respectable spellchecking apparatus.
Scratching my pith helmet in befuddlement I resolved to consult the Encyclopædia Wiki on the matter. Sure enough from 1807 to 1890 the island was indeed British territory, it being first captured during the Napoleonic Wars and in 1814 ceded by Denmark to the United Kingdom. During the early period of British sovereignty one gets the impression that Heligoland was a sort of Mos Eisley Cantina, a den of rogues, pirates, and fugitives which the British were happy to tolerate inasmuch as it constituted a thorn in Napoleon’s side and offered a convenient staging area for espionage against Continental Europe. It then became a popular health spa for a time, popular among artists and émigrés, until the British traded it for cessions in Africa from Germany in 1890. Despite being used as a bombing range after World War II, the island is today once again inhabited and something of a holiday resort – although bombs are still being unearthed.
Above is from Chart of the North and Baltic Seas &c. by John Thomson (1816) hosted at the David Rumsey Map Collection.
Posted on | March 17, 2012 | Comments Off
The Iconography of Manhattan Island is a six volume work by Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes published between 1915-1928. They contain what must be a lifetime’s amount of research into the physical character of said island. In the preface to Manhattan in Maps (1997), authors R. Augustyn and P. Cohen note that the Iconography “…has been called ‘the greatest single reference work of any American city.’”
The first page of Volume 1 reads, “OF THIS BOOK THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY COPIES HAVE BEEN PRINTED ON ENGLISH HAND-MADE PAPER AND FORTY-TWO ON JAPANESE VELLUM.” I’d prefer a Japanese Vellum one if you have sets to spare, but otherwise Columbia University has very nicely scanned them all in their entirety.
Posted on | March 16, 2012 | Comments Off
In 1865 Egbert Ludovicus Viele published his survey, “Sanitary and Topographical Atlas of the City and Island of New York.” Superimposing Manhattan’s grid system over the marshes and waterways (almost all now hidden, if still extant) of the island. The map is remarkable in that looking at it one can see what Manhattan island actually *is* (or was, perhaps) underneath all the concrete and steel.
Almost 150 years later the map is still routinely consulted by engineers today – as this NY Times article illustrates – because accurately determining the locations of these waterways would be near impossible given today’s level of development.
To my surprise I was unable to find any high-quality digitized versions of the Viele Map online. One website hosted a 9mb screengrab mash-up while the New York Public Library hosts the map online but only viewable with an applet.
In 2000 the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Supply scanned a 400dpi copy of the Viele Map in five separate chunks. The data is available at the NYPL and is stored in SID format. I decided to convert the SID files to JPG’s (without reducing them in size) and to make them available to the public here. At some point I will try to put together a full-resolution mash-up but for now here are the five sections of the Viele Map in all their high-res glory (click on the thumbnails to view or download):
|Section 1||Section 2||Section 3||Section 4||Section 5|